Ulla Fries & Tor-Göran Henriksson

50 Years Together
20 May – 8 October 2017 

The artist couple Tor-Göran Henriksson (1939-2013) and Ulla Fries (b. 1946) in a duo-exhibition entitled 50 Years Together presenting their respective artistic oeuvres. Parallel to his profession as a prominent and well-established plastic surgeon at the Uppsala University Hospital, Tor-Göran Henriksson  was also a painter and wood carver. One of his sources of inspiration was the naïvist approach of the artist Bror Hjorth. The recurring motifs in Henriksson's paintings and sculptures indicate a tender and acute observational capacity for the care that nurses offer their patients on a daily basis. With their warmth and humour, as well as a sense of gravity, his images possess a contemporary quality that reflects the healthcare debate of the day.

Ulla Fries's black and white dry-point images indicate her impressive skill as a print artist. Nature is humanised in her sculptures and prints through her love of even the smallest of details. Plants and animals do not act as symbols for human traits and characteristics, but instead stand for themselves.  She also paints portraits of her family, of politicians and professors in the academic world. The exhibition also features a specimen cabinet of sorts, that under usual circumstances would have stood in the home of Ulla Fries and Tor-Göran Henriksson. The cabinet is full of collected memories from far-off travels: large pinecones, gracefully ribbed shells or the dried skeleton of a fish; specimens found on a beach or in a botanical garden. A small microscope and a scientific measuring instrument stand clandestinely placed among the shelves. That was  Tor-Göran's. My art isn't about natural science, explains Ulla Fries.