Born in Kristianstad, Sweden, Truedsson was a teacher before deciding at the age of 26 to study sculpture at Stockholm’s Konsthogskolan (Royal Institute of Fine Arts) 1939-46. He then devoted himself in a search for expression until his first exhibition in Stockholm in 1957, at first pursuing naturalism until moving into more abstract forms. Eventually, Truedsson became a key exponent of the Informalist school of sculpture, his theory being that a form should express or help create atmosphere beyond the form itself into the environment. For him, the abstract form became a metaphor for man’s search for spirituality and reason for existence. In the words of art critic and journalist Kim Nicklasson, Truedsson was the post-war sculptor who “most clearly formulated the search for a nonfigurative language for the inner truths of life. . . For Truedsson, art was a struggle to make the invisible visible.”
After 1971, he lived between a stone cottage in Italy and his studio and foundry in Röschenz, Switzerland. At the time he was approached by Nyborg to participate in the Nordic Art Medal series, Truedsson was recognised as Sweden’s major public art sculptor, and today about fifty of his works in such materials as bronze, marble, granite and concrete can still be seen adorning various public venues, along with paintings, drawings, and two glass windows in a church outside Basel. Many of his works and installations can also be seen in museums and galleries in Sweden, France, Germany and Switzerland. He is probably best known for his 1962-65 highly textured, concrete staircase wall relief ‘Pelarsal’ of over 100sqm, extending some three floors, in the Radio House in Stockholm that gives the space the character of a rock wall.
He died in Röschenz, Switzerland, after a long illness. He left us with an estate of work that is timeless in expression, bridging from ancient traditions to modern forms. Constantly struggling with the possibilities for expression inherent in his materials, Truedsson never saw his artistic creation as the product of a profession but as a call, as a way of life.
Contributed by Chrystopher J. Spicer.