Wickström, Åke (1927-2019)

Wickström, Åke (1927-2019)

Swedish artist Åke Wickström translated the many scenic views of Sweden and further afield into sudden, vivacious impressions through his art.

Wickström’s landscapes and sea views are painted with a looseness of brushstroke that evokes the scenery he depicts, whilst retaining cohesion through his chosen colour palette. A Swedish landscape scene scrapes itself across the canvas in bold brushstrokes and applications of the palette knife. This gives strength to the scene, only enhanced by the bold colours Wickström lays down.

A kaleidoscope of blues washes the sea with a transcendental nature, whilst the rippling, shifting grassy stretch in the foreground is evoked through a mixture of ochres and verdant greens.

Human subjects become blurred, caught in movement, and yet distinguishable by the dashes of pale paint recalling limbs.

Wickström had painting in the blood. His father worked as a decorative painter, whilst his brother, Oskar Wickström, was also an artist. It was not until Wickström reached his thirties, however, that he felt able to pursue a career in art. He worked previously as a construction worker.

Fortunately, Sweden had undergone a vibrant change in its artistic endeavours, building throughout the 20th century. Artistic education and practice were becoming more available to everyday people, not only consigned to those who reached the hallowed halls of the Swedish Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Indeed, the Royal Academy had garnered the negative reputation of being stuffy and old-fashioned, and many smaller artistic groups had sprouted keen to encourage modern approaches to art.

The Scanian School of Painting was one such institution. Established ‘to awaken and sharpen’ students’ artistic minds, the school taught the basics of artistic practice whilst giving enough freedom to allow personal discovery and development. Wickström benefitted greatly from this education and supplemented it with his own study trips abroad to places such as Italy, France, and Africa.

He exhibited widely across Sweden in provincial exhibitions, earning a reputation for his landscapes. He also painted a collection of interior scenes, in which the gorgeous, vibrant beauty of the exterior view is exaggerated through a shroud of grey tones submerging the figures in their gloom.

To nature, Wickström always dedicates untampered, vivid colour.


Born in Mörrum.


Began pursuing art full-time.


Died. Buried in Klockarebackens Cemetery.

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