The body of Lars-Gunnar Nordström’s work is extensive and varied. It includes drawings, paintings, prints and sculpture, and monumental works made for public areas using various techniques. The earliest works are form the late 1940s and the most recent once from the early 2000s.


Paintings make up the most iconic core of Nordström’s work. He considered painting as an artist’s experimental laboratory where he could examine the interaction between form, line and colour on the picture plane. He created his abstract visual language piece by piece, first sketching his paintings as a postcard-sized composition. He then transferred and enlarged the composition onto a smooth-surfaced hardboard. The forms that he used were based on clearly defined geometry and his colours were bright and deep. Almost without exception, the paintings include black, white or grey elements. Over time, his compositions grew simpler and his palette narrowed. Nordström procured his materials from ordinary building supplies and paint shops. At the beginning of his career, he painted large human figures and compositions on cardboard and canvas. He stopped painting this subject already in the early 1950s.


Nordström’s sculptural work consists of two periods. His early works from the 1950s were created by welding together pieces of scrap iron. The geometric shapes and rhythmic compositions familiar from his paintings are repeated in the sculptures. They were not colourful, however, as Nordström either left their surfaces untreated or, more rarely, painted them in a single colour. The industrial execution of the works was a conscious departure from the academic conventions of sculpture. In the later period, which began in the 1970s, he used metallic sheet steel as his material. At the same time, he increased the size of his sculptures and adopted a narrower formal language with recurring composition. Nordström used both receipts and notepaper to sketch his works. At the end of the creative process, the abstract origamis of form and movement were transferred to metal.


Nordström distinguished himself as a practitioner of various printmaking techniques. The mechanical stages of his working and the even colour surface of the print quality contributed to the attainment of ideals that emphasised the immateriality of the image and the anonymity of the author. The artist’s early work includes cubist woodblock prints. Nordström was an early adopter of serigraphy, a screen-printing technique that was used to produce printed fabrics and posters. In the 1950s he also applied the serial characteristics of lithography in his art. His best-known and most collected series of prints is Dimensions and Extensions (1988). Later in his career, Nordström made reproductions of his old subjects, mostly in the form of offset printing. He also made unique monotypes.

Public art

Throughout his career, Nordström formed fruitful dialogue between visual art, architecture and design. In the 1950s, he contributed to the design of a number of restaurants, completing their refined interiors with murals and mosaics. Originally trained as an interior architect, Nordström knew people in the construction industry who asked him to work on various projects. In addition to direct commissions, Nordström kept himself busy by participating in art competitions. Over the years, his works were acquired and displayed in educational institutions, libraries, hospitals and government offices, as well as in the offices of companies and associations. In addition to the glossy metalwork, the works Nordström created specifically for public spaces include colourful and original monumental reliefs made with an enamelling technique.

Nubben’s art in Finna

Nordström’s art can be also be accessed through the Finna search service, which provides access to works from Finnish art collections.

Works in Finna