Ola Billgren


Ola Billgren was born in Copenhagen in January, 1940. His parents, Hans Billgren and Grete Lützhöft- Billgren were both painters. He received his training at home. At the age of thirteen he began to exhibit water colors and ink drawings locally in österlen in Skåne, where the family had moved in 1940 A trip to Spain with Hans Billgren in 1958 had a decisive impact on his later production. Having settled in Lund in 1960, he participated in a number of group shows where he demonstrated a lyrical-abstract painting style.

Early in 1963 he deserted the abstract and embarked on a photorealist course under the influencc of the current literary and cinematographic idioms. His actual breakthrough followed shortly thereafter with an exhibition at Galleri Karlsson in Stockholm in 1966.
During the seventies, Billgren's painting gradually evolved towards a colorism with romantic overtones. Two exhibitions at Galleri Engström in Stockholm in 1982 and 1983 testify to the result of this process, in which collage, among other art forms, plays an important role.

In addition to painting, Ola Billgren has devoted considerable time to graphics, collage and water colors. He has increasingly worked with pure photography and he produced a short film, Ill Wind, in 1964. He has also designed the sets for plays by Samuel Beckett and Marguerite Duras at Malmö City Theatre.
Billgren began contributing to art magazines and newspapers in the sixties and has been associated with the cultural pages of the Sydsvenska Dagbladet for several years. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the artists' collective Aura. Since 1973 he has made his home in Malmö and Löderup.

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