Jacob Dahlgren is a Swedish painter, sculptor, and conceptual artist who works to a large extent with unconventional materials. The artist finds abstraction in everyday objects, which he employs to create dynamic interactive installations and performances. When arranged, the individual objects lose their intended function, their original value, and become part of something completely new. Along with experimenting with such artistic styles of the twentieth century as Constructivism, Minimal Art, and Pop Art, Dahlgren also quotes from the Op Art movement. A common theme for all the works is how art and our everyday life are intertwined.
Dahlgren represented Sweden in the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2007, and has since exhibited worldwide at venues such as the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and participated in exhibitions such as “Superabundant” at the Turner Contemporary in Margate, UK, “Stitched and Gathered at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center of Moma in New York and “Dangerous Beauty” at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York. Image and After, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland. Dahlgren has been candidate for the Ars Fennica Prize.
Jacob Dahlgren has worn a striped T-shirt every day for the last eight years and intends to do so for the rest of his life. Every T-shirt is documented as a painting. Dahlgren looks upon himself as a walking, living exhibition in his striped T-shirts and he also considers the world to be an art show. Shows how our every day life can be viewed as an exhibition of geometric abstract patterns.
From “Art to Life to Art”, is closely linked to its title. It is made out of tins of food that Jacob has eaten. The whole sculpture has been travelling through his body before becoming a geometrical sculpture. This work can be viewed as a modernist abstraction but also as an interactive process, relating to some of his earlier works such as “I, the world, things, life” in the Nordic Pavilion in Venice.
Jacob Dahlgren has made several public works of art in Sweden, and his works are in public and private collections both in Sweden and outside the country.
With each of his works Dahlgren proves to us that everyday life contains material for art. He processes the everyday experience, reminding us that it is worth our while to look around us. In a sense, he still carries on the tradition of constructivism, reforming and refreshing it, and placing it in the present-day context.