Karl Larsson

Larsson karl bettina steinbruegge hamburg

Larsson’s works are defined by their wholeness, built from their context, object and perception.

Larsson’s art practice is synonymously linked with his practice as a poet. He has spent two decades on both paths, as an artist and as a poet, editor and curator organiser of poetry projects and magazines. Larsson has published six books of poetry which are available in English and German translations. However, writing is inherently lonely, the writer spending days, weeks and hours unravelling the poetic moment from a sea of other thoughts. The poem is a palimpsest, often abstract and edited, it resides outside the embodied experience. Sculpture, for Larsson, adds a body and a social dimension to the poem. His physical artworks are therefore an extension of his writing, in three dimensions. Each artwork consists of its material base and its allegorical nature. Its significance is brought by a poetic event, a broken narrative, fragility, or strength which can be read in tune with the work from numerous different angles and layers. Obtaining some physicality in production, Larsson’s works are later made by those people reading, examining, and observing them, from their own context.

Larsson karl bettina steinbruegge installation 06

Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of Hades, guarded the gates of hell to prevent the dead from leaving. Larsson produced this sculpture by creating a 3D scan of the model which combined various parts of toy dogs, which was then rendered in metal out of a solid block of aluminium. The three model dogs were resurrected as one, only after being completely de-materialised into a 3D file. As per the artist, it is Cerberus’ end to guard «the impossible threshold between content and form.» Larsson’s work does not retreat from reality into the surreal but occupies some in-between space. Some works are bold and overwhelmingly positive, others evade and obscure. Stopped By Flowers (2016), presents a promising gesture of pigment-becoming-flowers, fixed to the canvas, just before they disappeared. If there is one structure to bind the artist’s work, it is the umbrella. It is both an off-kilter carriable and saviour in case of rain, representing the bifold nature of Larsson’s work, marrying the horizontal with the vertical, the poetic moment with the prosaic. Represented in Emergency Poem (2014) and Umbrella Poster, Larsson uses the structure as a placeholder for the human body in the very moment where «fulfilled potential and true action» lie. It is here, in the in-between, where Larsson’s works are found, in the poetic moment itself.

Text by Constance Chester

Karl Larsson’s physical artworks are an extension of his writing, in three dimensions.
Larsson karl bettina steinbruegge conemporary art

The problem I always had with writing was how lonesome and abstract the practice was. Sculpture added social dimension and body.

Karl Larsson

Biography Karl Larsson

born 1977 in Kristianstad, Sweden


2009-2010 Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2000-2005 Konstfack, Stockholm MFA, Sweden

Exhibitions (selection)

IO, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Uppsala, Sweden (SOLO, public commission)

Dinosaur 1857, Oslo, Norway (SOLO)

Leaving the 20th Century Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, Sweden (SOLO)
Camilla, Shanaynay, Paris, France (SOLO)

Commonplace, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland; United States (SOLO)

North Western Prose, Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany (SOLO)
Twelve Hours (part 2), Galerie Kamm Berlin, Germany (SOLO)

Cut Up, Written Over and Eventually Recovered, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm (SOLO)
P∞L, Castillo/Corrales, Paris, France (SOLO)
Twelve Hours (part 1), Galerie Kamm, Berlin, Germany (SOLO)

R,A,I,N (Consensus), Signal, Malmö, Sweden (SOLO)

Of or Before the Forum, CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania (SOLO)
The Double of the Object is that I Desire it, Corner College, Zurich (SOLO)

Form/Force, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany (SOLO)
Parrot, Index Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden (SOLO)


2021 Swedish Academy literary grant

2015 Arts Grants Committee Sweden, Two Year Working Grant

2013 Philipp Otto Runge Stiftung, Hamburg, Germany

2011 The Swedish Academy, Stina och Erik Lundbergs prize

2007 FAAP residency Sao Paolo, Brasil

2006 IASPIS Residency, Stockholm, Sweden

Works by Karl Larsson

  • Larsson karl blushing carpet bettina steinbruegge hamburg sold

    Blushing Carpet

    2011 / Hand tufted wool / 120 x 170 cm / 47.2 x 66.9 in

  • Larsson karl carnivore bettina steinbruegge


    2013 / Aluminum carving / 22 x 13.5 x 19 cm / 8.7 x 5.3 x 7.5 in

  • Larsson karl emergency poem bettina steinbruegge hamburg sold

    Emergency Poem

    2014 / Metal, pulver sprayed white colour, stickers / 230 x 140 x 140 cm / 90.6 x 55.1 x 55.1 in

  • Larsson karl celestial walking stick bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Celestial Walking Stick

    2010 / Bronze, acrylic / 115 x 7 x 7 cm / 45.3 x 2.8 x 2.8 in

  • Larsson karl i saw you believe me bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    I Saw You Believe Me

    2014 / Cherry wood / 64 x 77 x 33 cm / 25.2 x 30.3 x 13.0 in

  • Larsson karl make up carpet bettina steinbruegge

    Make-up carpet

    2013 / 5 Handtufted carpets / Dimensions variable

  • Larsson karl involvement bettina steinbruegge


    2014 / Silkscreen print / 84 x 58 cm / 33.1 x 22.8 in (framed)

  • Larsson karl rgb curious bettina steinbruegge contemporary artist

    RGB, Curious?

    2016 / Rabbit skin glue, marker, pigment, UV print on cotton canvas / 84 x 58 cm / 33.1 x 22.8 in (framed)

  • Larsson karl instead of bettina steinbruegge hamburg


    2013 / Silkscreen, marker pen / 84 x 58 cm / 33.1 x 22.8 in (framed)

  • Larsson karl saunders waterford series birthday bettina steinbruegge hamburg sold

    Saunders Waterford Series (Birthday)

    2014 / Silkscreen print / 84 x 58 cm / 33.1 x 22.8 in (framed)

  • Larsson karl some lines just fit the situation bettina steinbruegge

    Some Lines Just Fit the Situation

    2017 / Powder coated MDF, stainless steel, PVC, plastic / 95 x 53 x 10 cm / 37.4 x 20.9 x 3.9 in

  • Larsson karl stopped by flowers bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Stopped By Flowers

    2016 / Rabbit skin glue, oil paint, pigment and UV print on cotton canvas / 84 x 58 cm / 33.1 x 22.8 in (framed)

  • Larsson karl the alternative i sunthinkable bettina steinbruegge

    The Alternative I Sunthinkable

    2017 / Aluminum, kinetic sand, pigment and paraffin on stoneware / 34 x 37 x 40 cm / 13.4 x 14.6 x 15.7 in

  • Larsson karl to think of bone in our time and age bettina steinbruegge

    To Think of Bone in Our Time and Age

    2014 / Bronze / 24 x 35 x 12 cm / 9.4 x 13.8 x 4.7 in

  • Larsson karl umbrella poster bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Umbrella Poster

    2012 / 6 Silkscreen prints / each 108.5 x 77 cm / 42.7 x 30.3 in (framed)

  • Larsson karl washing rimbauds heart bettina steinbruegge

    Washing Rimbauds Heart

    2014 / Wood, copper, beach stones / 379 x 309 x 14.2 cm / 149.2 x 121.7 x 5.6 in