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Gösta Adrian-Nilsson (2 April 1884, Lund - 29 March 1965, Stockholm), usually referred to as GAN; Swedish artist and writer. Regarded as a pioneer of the Swedish modernist art movement.
GAN debuted as an artist 1907 with an exhibition at the Art Museum of the University of Lund. After studies at Zahrtmann's School in Copenhagen, he traveled in 1914 to Berlin to study modernism. Through the writer Herwarth Walden's gallery Der Sturm he came in contact with contemporary art movements. Both Kandinsky and Franz Marc were of huge importance when he began developing a semi-abstract style with deep vibrant colors, his own style of expressive cubism. He was fascinated by modern technology and masculine strength, which was reflected in his artistic works. In 1916 he moved to Stockholm, where his modernistic art and propaganda for the new art drew much attention. Around 1919 his art was developing into pure abstract art. Around 1920 he made several collages in the dadaist style. Between 1920-25 he lived in Paris and there came in contact with Alexander Archipenko and Fernand Léger. Léger's influence can partly be seen in his rendering of mechanical human figures.... GAN produced geometric abstract works in the late 1920s. During the 1930s he developed his own personal relationship to surrealism and took part in exhibitions like Kubisme-Surrealisme in Copenhagen in 1935.
GAN influenced members of the Halmstad Group (Halmstadgruppen).
...His later works approached romanticism, inspired by landscape painter Marcus Larson. Besides oil paintings, he also produced watercolor works, and wrote poems, short stories, and children's books.
The fact that GAN was gay was reflected in many of his works. For example, at times he was fixated by sailors and adored masculine strength. Another favorite motif was sportsmen. At the same time, homosexual eroticism was both illegal and a taboo and GAN was forced to live a double life.