Gunnel Wåhlstrand. Born 1974 in Uppsala, she now lives and works in Stockholm.
Gunnel Wåhlstrand bases her work on her family’s photo album. Time-consuming, large-scale, and with great precision, she paints from photographs of her father’s early childhood. The photographs show the west coast of Sweden, interiors from the 1950s, a garden outside a house, often with posing family members. With ink and water she paints on paper measuring more than 200 x 150 cm. She herself has compared her method with the photographic development process, saying that her work is “a way of further enhancing memory…”
In her final exhibition at the Royal University College of Fine Arts in Stockholm in 2003, Gunnel Wåhlstrand presented six paintings that she had been working on daily for two years.
The director of Magasin 3, David Neuman, describes the encounter as “…one of those incredible experiences that you don’t have that many times in life. A student thesis exhibition that surpassed most of what I’ve seen over the past 20 years…”. The paintings featured in the exhibition are in the Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall Collection. Three of them are from the thesis exhibition in 2003 and one is from 2004, Långedrag.
Gunnel Wåhlstrand has been widely acknowledged for her paintings. She has been awarded grants by the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Foundation and the Anna Lisa Thomsson Foundation (2003 and 2004). She was represented at The Armory Show in New York (2004), and the Spring Exhibition at Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm (2001 and 2002). She is currently working on a series of paintings extending her work based on photographic images.