An artwork from Public Art in Ystad
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Foto Markus Fägersten

Foto Markus Fägersten


Alef, Thorwald (1896-1974)
Artifical stone
Height: 1.95m, with plinth 2.7m

In 1955, Ystad decided to acquire more public art for different places in the town. One location that was definitely in mind was the park, Bollhusparken. This rectangular setting was created around 1900 to act as a smooth transition from the old medieval town plan to the new rectilinear suburb, Östra förstaden. It was here that the major Leisure Exhibition was held in 1936. The park took its name from the sports hall, Bollhuset, which was built at the same time as the exhibition in the functional style that was typical of the period. The exhibition aimed to convey the new spirit of the times, emphasising health and outdoor activities. What then could be better than the sculpture, Sun, which was acquired for Ystad in 1955 from a large exhibition at Norrviken Gardens. She stands in front of a shallow concrete water pool. Lines of poplars and large well-tended flowerbeds with a 1950s feel still send out a reminder of the leisure message from 1936. Sun is an almost two-metre-tall figure of a naked woman, who is visibly enjoying turning her face towards the sky. She is sculpted in artificial stone, a type of fine concrete made of crushed stone material and cement.

Thorwald Alef grew up in Jönköping and studied at Althin’s School of Painting 1917-18 and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm 1919-22. He started out as a painter and is considered to be one of Sweden’s earliest modernists. In later years, he turned to sculpture. Many of his works express the theme of youth, light and air. Thorwald Alef is also known for his cooperation with Estrid Eriksson at the interior design company, Svenskt Tenn.

Another of his works – Skolflickor (Schoolgirls) – can be seen in Ystad, at Västervång School, Väktaregatan 6.