Isaac Grünewald has been heralded with the title of the artist who brought 'modernism to Scandinavia'. He was the only artist to be represented at the seminal exhibition Soderbund in Cologne in 1912 that signalled the International launch of Expressionism. Expressionism was the most natural form of creative expression for the Swede, who mirrored Herwarth Walden's holistic view of how the term could refer not only to the visual arts but extended to literature and theatre. In a sense, it was a way of life for Grünewald and this is clearly represented in his work. It is important to note that he studied in Paris under Henri Matisse and that while his influence is certainly clear, Matisse was emphatic in his encouragement of his students to not blindly copy his example but to eventually learn to develop their own style: 'You're here to make art. Don't try to be bizarre or original. You're here to learn and to mature, so as to develop your originality' (Quoted in J.P. Hodin, Isaac Grunewald, Stockholm, 1949, p.43).
Interior is a fine example that demonstrates how Grünewald's style was influenced by Matisse - the scene recalls the series painted by the French painter on the Côte d'Azur - yet similarly, illustrates perfectly how he moved beyond his inital inspiration.
The present work is a bold perspectival composition that invites you into the personal space of the artist and his wife, Sigrid Hjertén. Among their furniture and possessions we become aware of their bohemian lifestyle in Stockholm. It is possible that it was painted in their apartment in Katarinavagen for the chair appears to be similar to that in Ivan in the Armchair, 1915 or even Ivan by the armchair currently in the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Having lived in Paris for a number of years indulging in the ever-changing and stimulating environment of the Parisian avant-garde circles, when the couple moved back to Stockholm, it was here that while they continued to experiment and paint some of their most impressive works, they bagan to relish their own city combining family life and artistic maturity.