Michael Kvium

Born 1955, Denmark

Since the 1980s Michael Kvium has developed a personal style and iconography, influenced by the great Spanish masters, Diego Velázquez and Francisco de Goya. Characteristic of Kvium’s art is a distinctive palette of dark grey and brown tones, though in his watercolours he often prefers brighter colours than in his oil paintings.

Flora Danica consists of hundreds of daring portraits in which colour and psychology combine. Repetition is used as stylistic technique. The series lays bare man’s existential loneliness, his thirst for love, his vanity and his sense of lost orientation. The backgrounds are simple, beautiful expanses of colour. His expressive idiom is intense. Gravity and empathy mingle with humour. The robust and the tender are joined in successful union. Small scale works are linked up to a series where the final effect is overwhelming.