An exhibition by Björn Sjögren, a self-taught artist who never studied art, opens Friday, January 16 in the first-floor gallery at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark Street, Chicago.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is an acrylic-on-canvas triptych, “Streets, Blocks and Neighborhood,” that is seven feet wide. Several individual pieces will also be displayed, including a smaller triptych titled “Trossö.”

Born in Karlskrona, Sweden in 1946, Sjögren has lived in the United States for 13 years, the past three in San Antonio, Texas. “Looking back at my art, I realize that many of the individual pieces are time documents of my whereabouts in life,” the well-traveled artist observed.


Before he became fascinated with creating visual arts, Sjögren had experiences in the culinary arts in Switzerland, England and Italy, that led him to open a Viking Pizzeria in Limhamn, Sweden.
“In the 27 years since I started to paint, I have heard comments that my works look like, or remind people of Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Monet, etc.” Sjögren said. Although flattered, he admits to never having acquainted himself with these masters or attending a class in art or art history.

Dots, waves and lines
Starting in 1987 with the idea that an image could be built by using dots, waves and lines, he developed a process of constructing art from pixels — a unique concept at the time. His pictures, inspired by experiences, are mingled with inner feelings and Scandinavian design simplicity. “Just like my life, it never gets boring!”
Last summer, Sjögren mounted a gallery show in Karlskrona, presenting his art in his hometown for the first time. He had previous Swedish shows in Malmö, Falsterbo and Österlen.
In the U.S., he has exhibited in Chicago, Oak Park, Arlington Heights, Milwaukee, New York City, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, San Antonio and other cities in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
For more information and images, see For more info on the upcoming exhibition: “Streets, Blocks and Neighborhood” by Björn Sjögren at the Swedish American Museum

Sjögren will attend the Museum’s opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, January 16, and the Gallery Walk at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 17. He has announced that the individual segments of the triptych are available for purchase.

Related activities during the exhibition include a Family Night of activities from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, January 23, and a Start with Art program from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Friday, January 30. “Streets, Blocks and Neighborhood” will close at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 15.