Involved in extending and redefining painting, Sunniva McAlinden, has questioned patriarchal modernist dogma, addressed minimalist aesthetics, redressed approaches to the grid, painted the fold, constructed follies, tackled the function of ornament, and continues to confront the stubborn materiality of painting.

The nature of painting, the intricacies of paint application and colour perception, the nuance of surface, space, and symbol are fundamental aspects that are emphasised throughout her work. In addition to exploring painting as three-dimensional constructions and installation she has in recent work returned to the challenge of a two-dimensional surface and the deceptive simplicity of canvas and stretcher. Exploring and reflecting the phenomenon of colour is integral to her practice.   


Sunniva McAlinden has exhibited in Sweden and Norway since 1990. Solo shows include a major exhibition at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2008). Group exhibitions include shows at Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, and Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm. Large-scale public commissions include the stage curtain for the main auditorium of Moderna Museet Stockholm (1998), and wall mosaics at the station Odenplan, for Stockholm City Line Public Transport (2017). Her work is represented in major public collections in Sweden and Norway. 

She is professor of visual art and head of the MFA programme in Medium and Material-based Art at Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

Born in 1963 in Oslo, grew up in Leeds, England, moved to Norway in 1977.

Studied Fine Art at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden | Kungliga Konsthögskolan 1985 – 1990. 

Lives in Stockholm.

                                                                     © 2017 Sunniva McAlinden