Allan Friis made his debut at the age of 17. He exposed his works together with the Swedish imaginist painter Max Walter Svanberg. It was not by chance he showed his paintings together with Max Walter Svanberg. Friis was early influenced by the Imaginism as weil as the Danish Dutch Cobra group, particularly Henning Pedersen and Svend-Wiig Hansen. The imaginative world with hybrid shapes of animals, plants and human beings was characteristic of Friis' works almost during a decade. He showed his paintings at different galleries, among other things, in Stockholm and Malmö.

During the 60's Friis' worked with "experimental films". Many of these shown on TV, a couple of them prize-winning both in Sweden and abroad. In 1973 he produced a play -"Teacher" - bought by the Swedish Television Co. and presented on TV.

A change in Friis' imagery took place in 1964. He now found his earlier imagery insufficient to describe the human beings' existential conditions and its alienated relationship to the fast economic technological development. The human beings' relation to the technology, its smallness and exposure on being confronted with an, obviously, fated cybernetic existence, is described as a science-fiction-like architectonic and technical world, often with a surrealistic suggestion. Works from this period are represented at several museums and public collections in Sweden.

The tendency to describe our time, which was seen during the 1960's, gradually became more powerful and the paintings got a sharper social orientated and critical imagery, mentioning important social and existential questions. These pictures are parts of two main themes; "We are in the same boat", amongst others, shown at the national art galleries in Gothenburg (1973) and in Lund (1974), and "People in a suburb", showed, amongst others, at national art galleries in Malmö, Eskilstuna and Alingsås (1977).

During the 1980's Friis started to work with a series ambiguous and tense landscape pictures, so called "Semiotic Landscapes" (pen drawings) and also a large number of "Existential" illustrations.

In 1987 a new period begins, which can be described as "Synthesis and Multiplicity". In this lies no contrasts since the synthesis concerns the attitudes towards creation and multiplicity - the contents of the work. As motives some themes have been important, for instance, "Test Patterns" (a Iyric science-fiction, 1988), "Meditation" (a satiric mini novel about art myths, 1989), "Allegory over Freedom of the Human Being", (woodcut, 1989), "Diary Pictures" (different techniques, 1990-91 ), and "Semiotic" and "Subversive Landscapes" (different techniques, 1992-93).

Furthermore, Friis is proceeding with his social commentating pictures (in different techniques), among others "Social Studies" (lino-cuts, large size, 110 x 150 cm, about 43 x 59 inches), "Consequences" (1993-95, lino-cuts and oil on canvas, size about 105 x 135 cm, about 40 x 54 inches), "Side-Effects" (1994-95) and "Romantic Landscapes" (1993-95, oil on canvas, small sizes).

Between 1995-98 Friis made a series of collage "Traces" and "Exposure" in monotype and 1999-2003 "Organic Architecture", a series of oil on panel in varying sizes,


Friis' latest project, "Contemporary Descriptions" (oil on canvas), started in 2004. He is still working with this project.


Allan Friis published two books in 2004. "The Kings Diary", with surrealistic diary pictures and with his own interpretations to every picture. The other book, "Medea the Terrorist" is a story about a revolutionary situation located in the Öresund Region. The story takes place in 2040. Separate Art Appendix enclosed in both books.


Allan Friis, born in Malmö, Sweden, 1931

Address Censorsvägen 13, S-237 31 Bjärred, Sweden

Phone: +46+46 29 24 02




Painting and graphic art at Slöjdföreningens school, Gothenburg, 1948-51

The College of Arts (Konstfack) Stockholm, 1953-58

Bachelor of Science, University of Lund, 1978