Knud Stampe’s drawing Wall drawing (Väggteckning) was commissioned for the dining room of the workers union’s clubhouse adjacent to SKF’s factories in Gothenburg, where it has hung ever since. The drawing portrays several SKF employees and is allegedly one of the first depictions of female immigrant labor in Swedish art history. It also shows a so-called “time study man”—a person who timed the workers’ efforts at the conveyor belt in order to thereby calculate their wages according to the effort required. The time study men, who were also referred to as “bread thieves,” had just come onto the scene of working life in Sweden at the time the artwork was made. In accordance with the artist’s feelings of solidarity with the workers and their conditions, Stampe took the same hourly wage for his work on the piece as the workers on the factory floor received.
Knud Stampe (b.1936 in Copenhagen, Denmark, d.1996 in Gothenburg, Sweden), was a painter, cartoonist and graphic artist. Stampe studied at the Valand Academy in Gothenburg and was featured early on in his career in gallery shows at Galleri AE, Gothenburg and Galleri Karlsson and Galleri Doktor Glas in Stockholm. Stampe is included in the collection of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
The piece is being shown in collaboration with SKF Verkstadsklubb.
Ink on paper
600 x 200 cm
Courtesy SKF Verkstadsklubb, Göteborg
Image: Knud Stampe, Väggteckning, 1970–1971. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler