Andreas Eriksson - Winner of 2007
Andreas Eriksson works in several media. Here in Basel he has converted structures from nature into paintings, photographs and sculpture. His unassuming oeuvre is created in the isolation of his remote native village in the Swedish countryside. Like Cézanne’s famous quest, Eriksson does not confront nature but rather works parallel to nature, for example when he traces the painterly structure and rhythm of a group tree trunks or duplicates a tree by systematically taking it apart and re-creating it as an intricate, delicate sculpture in bronze. Atmospheric and of great virtuosity are the silhouettes of an almost imperceptible male figure that appears in a light beam. These are impressive, enigmatic self-portraits of great calm.
In addition to the cash prize, Baloise acquires a group of works by the award winners and donates them to two important European museums. The work of Andreas Eriksson was presented to the collection of the mumok Vienna.
Living in self-imposed isolation (without disregarding contemporary artistic discourse) and intensively observing nature at all times of the day and during every season are still central keys to understanding his work process. Eriksson says: "My work is always based on exploring my reactions to my perceptions and experience of the "external" world, particularly my feelings and emotions towards nature and my projections into it". This self-reflective approach also implies Eriksson's distance from the 19th century Romantic tradition in Nordic landscape painting.