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The mutual influences and perceptual shifts that take place between the purely abstract and the representational, between the literal and the symbolic are a crucial part of Sunniva McAlinden's art practice. Occupied with ideas that evolve from the physical and formal qualities of a pared-down abstract painting, her most recent works bring the grid, the monochrome and the pull of gravity into play. Working with abstract themes and non-mimetic colour she explores painting as both subject and object. Involved with painting as a medium beyond traditional definitions and boundaries her work includes three-dimensional constructions, installation, and photography.

Solo shows include a major presentation at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (Folly, 2008). Participation in group exhibitions include at Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, and Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm. Site-specific commissions include a large textile work (Ridå,1998) for the main auditorium of Moderna Museet Stockholm, and mosaic murals (Länk, 2017) for Odenplan station, Stockholm City Line commuter rail. Her work is represented in various public collections in Sweden such as Statens Konstråd, Stockholm konst, Offentlig konst Region Stockholm, Offentlig konst Region Uppsala.

Born in 1963 in Oslo, she grew up in England and Norway. She studied Fine Art at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden (1985–1990). Sunniva McAlinden has worked as professor at Bergen National Academy of the Arts (2004–2010) and at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2013–2021). She lives and works in Stockholm.


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