Culture scholarships   Year: 2022  

Eric Magassa

“I want my art to speak directly to people – like a drumbeat, a musical note or a chord that instantly registers.”

The artist Eric Magassa is based in Gothenburg, but he spent a great deal of time in France when he grew up, mainly in Paris. He studied at Central Saint Martins in London and the Art Students League in New York for six years in the 1990s. His multidisciplinary art embraces methods and materials such as painting, collage, photography, film, sculpting, and textiles, but music is also integral to his creative process. His artwork revolves around subjects such as heritage, memory, and location – about the spaces they create and the flow between them, allowing his roots in Sweden, France, Senegal, and Mali to interweave and create complex patterns and branches.

Eric Magassa explores gaps, places, and voices in his art. A reoccurring theme is the place for humans in the modern world, how they behave and own their history. Loss of identity, language, and culture pair up in Magassa’s creations, with the experience of urban living and exile to become a reference grid for understanding how the world works.

Vibrant collages, murals, photos, and sculptures usher you into Eric Magassa’s universe, one that blends playful abstraction with reflections on spatial conditions and the precise mapping of materials, geography, and memories.

For art that shows – with melancholy and euphoria – the path of images and their musical dimensions, Eric Magassa is awarded the 2022 Culture Scholarship from the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture.