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Måna Lagerholm


Måna Lagerholm
Memory, 1990
acrylic on canvas

Måna Lagerholm was born in 1946 and grew up on an island in the south of Sweden. Her father was a teacher by profession, but also painted and made furniture. M?na had creative impulses even when she was quite young, often spending time drawing pictures. She became a very independent and rather unconventional person in her teens, preferring to make her own clothes and bleaching her hair white.

After her marriage, Måna went to live with her husband in his native England. She went to Falmouth College of Art in Cornwall, initially to study sculpture. But, as the school was a very free, loosely structured place, she was able to work with a variety of media. Painting, instead of sculpture, became her primary interest, and she did advanced work in order to receive her teaching credentials. But, teaching interfered with the pursuit of her work, and so she gave it up.

Måna was an admirer of Chagall, Bonnard, Matisse, Kahlo, Hockney and others, but her work is solely a product of her highly original artistic sensibilities. Her daughter, Lina, says, ?People would always ask what the world was that she painted, but the truth was that it wasn?t one she had intentionally created, but one that came out when she painted, from somewhere deep within.?

From the late 1980s until her death in 2001 from breast cancer, she and her family lived in the very Southern part of Sweden where there is a large community of artists. She also created ceramic sculptures in which she would include found driftwood from the sea. She almost always lived near the water, which was very important to her. She was a very spiritual, sensitive person. Her daughter described her: "She was highly intelligent, and never was one of those people who can sit and watch bad television, preferring to do something more worthwhile like paint, read, mediate, yoga, or speak to one of her many friends on the phone. She was indeed a great friend and listener."

During the later part of her life, Måna traveled to many places including Bali and the Himalayas. Morocco held an especially deep connection for her in its timelessness and colors.

Måna had little interest in the contemporary art world, and never tried to fit in to a category or present herself as a particular type of artist. She didn't give titles to her pieces, preferring to let the images speak directly to the viewer in a way that transcends language.

We wish to thank Lina Lagerholm for generously sharing her thoughts of her mother and her art.

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