Jonatan Pihlgren Beckers Art Award 2023

22 April 2023 11 June 2023

Scholarship exhibition

Färgfabriken, Main hall

The 36th Beckers Art Award – a grant of 200,000 SEK – will this year be awarded to Gothenburg-based artist Jonatan Pihlgren, born in 1993 and graduated from Umeå Academy of Fine Arts in 2021.

Jury statement

Jonatan Pihlgren approaches his canvases and panels with a balanced mix of primordial painterly power and delicate sensitivity. The painterly narrative is expressive and dizzying in its intense and intuitive temperament. The focus is on people, animals and daily life, but in the safe and familiar milieu, somewhat surreal and totally uninhibited whims and caprices can manifest themselves. A world as seen through a dreamy tumble-dryer where everything takes a new turn, wild and dangerous, but at the same time intimate and contemplative.

Suddenly, colour and form ground to a halt, frozen on the spot, brittle and sensitive for a moment, and then quickly rush on to new adventures.

As an artist, Jonatan Pihlgren is at ease with himself, with an air of irresponsibility. He never flatters, but plays around with paint just as easily as when carving a wooden sculpture and conjuring a strangely messy object, all in the spirit of refreshingly unbridled rawness.

Jonatan Pihlgren is awarded the 2023 Beckers Art Award for the amount of SEK 200,000 because he is instinctively anchored in a narratively expressive tradition, but at the same time, in such an obvious way, he runs his own artistic race completely without a safety net.

Mårten Castenfors / on behalf of the jury

Jonatan Philgren Förtrollningen. Photo Fredrik Åkum

About the artist

Jonatan Pihlgren born in 1993 lives and works in Gothenburg. In 2021, he took a master’s degree at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts. Pihlgren’s main medium is painting, but he also works with sculpture and performance. In 2022, he participated as one of three artists in the exhibition Järtecken at Gallery Verkligheten in Umeå, his wooden sculptures were included in the performance show Real Yellow at Atalante and he showed the exhibition Vargtimme at Gallery 54 in Gothenburg. This year, in addition to the scholarship exhibition at Färgfabriken, Jonatan Pihlgren will also exhibit at Market Art Fair and Höganäs Museum.

Portrait of the artist in the studio, 2022. Photo Fredrik Åkum.


22 April Opening

17.00: The exhibition opens
18.15: Grant award presentation with the jury for the Becker’s art award and this year’s award holder Jonatan Pihlgren.
20.00: Guided tour of the exhibition. In Swedish.
22.30: Live performance by John Bullfrost and friends on the entrance floor.
17.00 – 24.00: The bar, restaurant and exhibition are open.

On April 22 Färgfabriken celebrates the opening of Jonatan Pihlgren’s solo exhibition during Stockholm Culture Night! The evening will offer free admission, a unique live musical performance by John Bullfrost and friends, a guided art tour (note: the tour will be in Swedish) and lots of good food and drink in the bar.


Beckers Art Award was founded in 1987 by Ulf and Viviann Lindén and has since then proven to have a remarkable ability to identify a young talent on the brink of a breakthrough in their careers, such as Jockum Nordström, Dan Wolgers, Nathalie Djurberg and Julia Bondesson. The scholarship aims to support pioneering creative voices in Sweden, and includes a solo exhibition at Färgfabriken and KKAM – Höganäs as well as a prize sum of SEK 200,000.

The jury: Jenny Lindén Urnes, Mårten Castenfors and Magnus Jensner

Key partner