Matilda Enegren works with observational painting and her work features depictions of groups of adolescents, details from urban surroundings and portraits. In her work, Enegren is interested in what is specific but at the same time commonplace. She paint aspects of life, sights that draw her attention, and she strives to identify the emotional responses they evoke. In her work Enegren often renders, as precisely as she can, something that she finds curiously soothing to look at or a scene that embodies a gnawing feeling of tristesse.
In Enegren’s large-scale watercolor paintings of adolescents, she depicts teenagers viewed from behind, clustered in groups in subtracted surroundings. As a starting point when painting, she uses photos that she takes in public spaces. She is interested in the physical closeness and the dynamic of the group, while they simultaneously seem to be absorbed in another reality than the one surrounding them. In his paintings of sublime landscapes, the romantic Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) made use of the turned-away figure – die Rückenfigur – through which the viewer could experience the grandiosity of nature. The painful yet beautiful understanding of one’s smallness in relation to nature is perhaps an important insight today as well, but it most likely feels much more pressing and alarming than elevated, knowing that we are the ones causing the climate change, that is irreversibly reshaping our world and living conditions.
Enegren earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Valand Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2015. She has had a number of solo exhibitions in Finland and Sweden and participated in group exhibitions in Sweden, Finland, the United States and Switzerland. Enegren’s works have been acquired for the collections of the Ostrobothnian Museum, Rovaniemi Art Museum and numerous public collections in Sweden.