Engström was born in Örebro, Sweden, in 1989. She has spent much time in Shanghai and in New York City, where she studied at Parsons School of Design and later worked as a fashion illustrator. During that time, she began to draw, and to post those drawings on Instagram. Their success allowed her to abandon her job and dedicate herself full time to her art, her true passion. Some time later she landed in Los Angeles, where she is now based.
Her bucolic, metaphysical landscapes celebrate the healing properties of Mother Nature. The trippy, hallucinogenic colours and voluptuous curving forms call to mind the cut-outs of Henri Matisse, while channelling the female energy of Georgia O’Keeffe, and her fellow Swede Hilma Af Klint. Hailed as both “feminist and fecund”, Engström’s art offers an uplifting riff on millennials’ preoccupations spawned by the digital realm, from body shaming to the cult of the self.
In Spring 2023, Camilla spent a month at the Kostyál family summer home on the island of Blidö, in the northern Stockholm archipelago. Ever deeply sensitive to place, to the experience of being alone and immersed in nature – she loves to paint outdoors – these paintings take as their point of inspiration both that island and others in the outer archipelago, transforming them into an almost spiritual abstraction, with dream-like forms and an intense, acid palette.
Engström’s solo exhibitions include ‘Undercurrents’, Over the Influence, Bangkok (2022), ‘Mantle’, König Galerie (2022), Berlin, ‘Emerging Passages’, Over The Influence Gallery, Hong Kong (2021); O‘Målningar till Mamma och Pappa’, Carl Kostyál, Stockholm; ‘Returning Home’, Over The Influence Gallery, Los Angeles (2020); ‘Husa’s Garden’, Hilde Gallery, Los Angeles (2018); ‘Flora’, Cooler Gallery, New York (2017); ‘Faces’, Deli Gallery, New York (2016); ‘Camilla Engstrom’,Room Salon, New York (2016).
Her work has been exhibited in group exhibitions including ‘Stockholm Sessions’ at Carl Kostyál, Stockholm; ‘Rise and Shine’, Over The Influence, Hong Kong; ‘Legalize Humanity’, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles; ‘Spring Break Art Show LA’, Hilde Gallery, Los Angeles; ‘Sweet Cheeks’, Big Pictures Gallery, Los Angeles; ‘Visible Range’, Deli Gallery, New York among others.
In September 2023, Engström will be part of a group presentation at KIAF Seoul, Carl Kostyál. In 2024, she will debut in Switzerland at NOMAD St. Moritz, at Marfa Invitational and in London in three solo presentations for Carl Kostyál.
Her first artist monograph will be published by Carl Kostyál in 2025.