Carl Johan De Geer

Marie-Louise & Carl Johan De Geer

Co-proprietors of the Fontessa fabric shop in Stockholm

“Ängelens bild” as a dress, wallpaper at in installation in 1990, and a bedspread in a photo taken by Carl Johan:  “Here’s what it looked like at our house, so much patterns as possible. Marie-Louise De Geer behind the newspaper.”

“Palmer” in the studio, in an retail scenario, and straight up.

“Everything was so beautiful”

“Monster” yardage in the Boo-Hooray booth at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair this year, then a shot of the fabric up close. Carl Johan designed “Monster” for 10-Gruppen in 1986. Here he is lounging on the box printed daybed with the rest of the hero posse in 1972:


Another shot of Carl Johan’s prints at the recent Boo-Hooray booth, then two looks at “Haren” (1970) and two looks at “Duvor” (1972).

Råttas barndom… (1968) and Råttas barndom… installed on a cabinet in Carl Johan’s kitchen, 1975.

Carl Johan wearing an outstanding Paco Rabanne jacket in 1967, then two looks at “Ananas” (1973)

A group of notebooks featuring Carl Johan’s vintage designs, made by Pocket Shop a few years ago, that I can’t get my hands on though I tried and a dazzling pond scene // bunnies running // tiger in the reeds print.

“Flygfiskar” (1972) in two colorways. Designed for 10-Gruppen and then cut up, I think, for the bedroom wall you see in “Mother, Father, Child” and covering a couch in a third colorway amid the sea collection of prints at the 10-Gruppen shop at Gamla Brogatan, Stockholm, in 1975. Purrrrrrrrr. This might be my favorite pattern. Hard to choose, though.

The man looks great in his own shirt designs! In 1967. Then “Den europeiska drömmen ( The European Dream)” (2004). Then “Marie-Louise, Carl-Johan, Ines Svensson…. dinner at La Coupole Paris”.

I first learned of Carl Johan De Geer’s work indirectly through 10-Gruppen, a Swedish design firm for whom he designed several prints, including my all-time favorite, “Flygfiskar,” in the early 1970s. I’ve had a picture postcard of the Flygfiskar couch up on my wall for years, hoping one day to hit on that level of loosness, scale, and joy in one of my own print designs. But I didn’t know which of group of ten had designed it…

Then I ran smack in to a whole booth devoted to Carl Johan’s photography and textiles at the LA Art Book Fair last month, and man! What a world to discover! Carl Johan Louis De Geer af Finspång—reared in a castle, flag burner, fabric designer, photographer, filmmaker, handsome man about town, radical, really unafraid of clashing. So rad.

A retrospective of his work, including film, photography, textile, painting, literature, graphics and stage design, is opening in April at Färgfabriken in Stockholm and running through the summer. Gotta get there!

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