There’s something wonderfully Mediterranean about Agneta Livijn’s lily pond paintings, currently exhibited at Broadway Gallery in Soho, New York. Her greens range from light almost turquoise to deep teals and moss and are contrasted with fuchsia and light pink and a splash of gold – just add the smell of figs and the sound of cicadas and you’d believe you were sitting under the hibiscus on Mallorca. That Livijn, a Swedish painter who has her studio in Stockholm, spent part of her youth in France and has always been fascinated by the life and work of artists like Monet and Matisse comes as no surprise. Her own paintings are in that vein.
“I travel a lot and I take photos from my travels,” she says at the opening of “Lily Ponds”. “Photos from the Maldive Islands, Marrakech, and the Mediterranean.”
Some years ago, during a visit to Yves Saint-Laurent’s beautiful Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, she discovered the beauty of water lilies and green leaves, and has since been painting her own version of lily ponds.
“It’s such a great theme,” she explains. “And I love painting water, because it’s so meditative and changeable and with the reflections it’s really an endless motif.”
Livijn began her career as a ceramist, selling her goods straight out of her summer-house in southern Sweden. That was before she was discovered and picked up by big companies like Ikea, Habitat, and R.O.O.M. Today Livijn is internationally recognized as an artist and ceramic designer. She has established herself also as a businesswoman, launching Agneta Livijn AB in 1995, with her collections of latte mugs, bowls, plates and more.
A year ago, when Livijn was visiting New York she got in contact with Broadway Gallery, who, after having seen her website, invited her to come over and exhibit with them.
“These paintings have been very successful in Sweden,” she says, “so of course I’m delighted to have them introduced on the American market.”
“Lily Ponds” will run at Broadway Gallery through October 31.
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