(Sweden) *1937 in Jönköping; †2002 in Paris
Erik Dietman’s works refuse classification within the conventional canon of 20th century art. Though he was influenced by the Fluxus movement and Nouveau Réalisme, he never joined either group. In his highly imaginative works, Dietman combined language, poetry, meaning and material expression. He experimented with a huge variety of diverse materials and techniques, developing from them a unique visual language of his own. The large-format bronze “Le dernier cri” seems like a giant snail made of Plasticine with a triangular shell and a big round head. Encircling this nonetheless alive-seeming figure gives rise to an endless series of new impressions and shapes. The blend of associatively invoked visual quotations, unerringly precise observations, and the playfully grotesque undertones of the work is characteristic of Dietman’s output. Even the title works in the same way: “Le dernier cri” – quite apart from its double meaning of ultrafashionable/death cry – is also a reference to Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. A polynomial chain of graduated thoughts and interpretations, wittily and grotesquely explored by the artist, lies concealed behind the first impression of a child-like form.