Jockum Nordström Biography

Known for his simplistic renditions of human and animal forms, which are often compared to folk and outsider art, Swedish artist Jockum Nordström's collages and graphite drawings explore the relationships and feelings of power and desire that accompany life.

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Education

Nordström studied at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Jockum Nordström Artworks

Nordström has likened his process to a chain, in which details of an artwork, such as its scale and atmosphere, influence those of its successor. The theatrical scenery of his work derives from both actual and fictional events—memories, observations and fantasies.

Collages and Drawings

Initially trained as a painter, Nordström was drawn to collage for the medium's approach to the act of image making. Whereas his paintings started with compositions, Nordström found that he could begin a collage with simple details—paper-cut figures, created and painted individually—that he then built up into tableaus.

Nordström's collages resemble storyboards with non-linear, sometimes even incomprehensible, narratives. The four pages that make up Sun gonna shine in my back door someday (2014) alternate between an urban setting, featuring figures dressed in Victorian attire, and mountainous landscapes. In one panel, a man in a top-hat raises a stick against a woman and a child, while a figure in a pointed-hat appears to be walking in the air in the right-most page.

Similarly, Nordström's graphite drawings are inhabited by human figures and animals that perform both banal and strange actions. A man lies on the ground in Över sten och trapp/Over stone and steps (2019), as two other figures look on from either side of the steps; in Pantry (2022), a nude woman sits across from a well-dressed man, with an open book between them. Nordström's childlike renditions of the bodies, contrasting with the hard lines of furniture and architecture, add to the deadpan absurdity of the scenes.

Mobile Sculptures

Often presented on tall, white pedestals, Nordström's mobile sculptures combine wood, metal and recycled everyday objects with the artist's drawings and collages. Wishing Well (2021), which lent its name to Nordström's solo exhibition Wishing Well at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, in 2022, consists of coins and pieces of collage attached to a metal mobile, balanced as a whole by a small pile of coins placed on the sculpture's base.

Music

Nordström considers music an alternative practice to art, one that enables him to collaborate and experiment with others while his studio remains a private experience. The artist has been playing in the band Åhlund & Jockum Nordström since 2007 and has featured musical elements in his exhibitions. In The Anchor Hits the Sand, his solo exhibition at London's David Zwirner in 2019, for example, Nordström's works were accompanied by a soundtrack created in collaboration with his son, musician Rudolf Nordström.

Children's Books

Jockum Nordström is also recognised for his series of children's books, titled 'Sailor och Pekka', about a man and his dog, along with works including Who is Sleeping on My Pillow (2009), a collaboration with his wife, artist Mamma Andersson, and his illustrations for Leo Tolstoy: Fables and Other Stories (2017).

Exhibitions

Following his first solo exhibition in 1988, Jockum Nordström has presented his work internationally in solo and group exhibitions.

Solo exhibitions include: Wishing Well, Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp (2022); The Anchor Hits the Sand, David Zwirner, London (2019); Why is Everything a Rag?, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (2018); Nordström. All I Have Learned and Forgotten Again, Camden Arts Centre, London, and Lam, Musée d'art contemporain, Lille, France (2013).

Group exhibitions include: The Spring, Gallerie Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm (2022); A Quiet Spring Wanders Through the Apartment, Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art, Stockholm (2021); Kees Goudzwaard - Jockum Nordström - Bart Stolle - Mircea Suciu, Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp (2019); The Campaign for Art: Modern and Contemporary, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016); The Bottom Line, S.M.A.K., Ghent (2015); The Drawing Room, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm (2014).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2022

Jockum Nordström
featured artworks

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Människor pratar/Les gens parlent by Jockum Nordström contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Jockum Nordström Människor pratar/Les gens parlent, 2021 Watercolour, graphite and collage on paper
51 x 64 cm
David Zwirner Request Price & Availability
Apan och Brevet by Jockum Nordström contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Jockum Nordström Apan och Brevet, 2012 Graphite on paper
36 x 48 cm
David Zwirner Request Price & Availability
Have It Away by Jockum Nordström contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Jockum Nordström Have It Away, 2012 Graphite on paper
48 x 36 cm
David Zwirner Request Price & Availability
Who knows what God knows? by Jockum Nordström contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Jockum Nordström Who knows what God knows?, 2014 Graphite on paper
30 x 42 cm
David Zwirner Request Price & Availability
The Large Livingroom by Jockum Nordström contemporary artwork sculpture
Jockum Nordström The Large Livingroom, 2008 Paper, cardboard and graphite
102.5 x 67 x 9.5 cm
Zeno X Gallery Request Price & Availability
Sent by Hand by Jockum Nordström contemporary artwork works on paper
Jockum Nordström Sent by Hand, 2008 Graphite on paper
45 x 60 cm
Zeno X Gallery Request Price & Availability
Björnen sover (The bear is sleeping) by Jockum Nordström contemporary artwork works on paper, mixed media
Jockum Nordström Björnen sover (The bear is sleeping), 2017 Collage, watercolour and graphite on paper
97 x 71 cm
Zeno X Gallery Request Price & Availability
Valentine’s Day II by Jockum Nordström contemporary artwork mixed media
Jockum Nordström Valentine’s Day II, 2017 Collage, watercolour on paper
61 x 81 cm
Zeno X Gallery Request Price & Availability
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Jockum Nordström
recent exhibitions

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Represented by this
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David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in 19th Street, New York, United States
David Zwirner Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris
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