Marie Louise Ekman was born in 1944 in Stockholm, where she currently lives and works. A versatile artist, she is as a renowned filmmaker, writer, painter and set-designer best-known for her unconventional treatment of themes relating to contemporary female life, sexuality, dreams, and identity.
She studied at the Åke Pernby School of Painting in 1961, followed by advertising and illustration at the Anders Beckman School of Art and Design from 1962 to 1964. Since her debut exhibition at the Galleri Karlsson in Stockholm in 1967, she has been a prominent figure is Swedish culture. She uses various materials, including glass, wax, waste materials, cloth, oil paint, and gouache, in her artistic language and reclaims traditional women’s handicrafts, such as weaving and ceramics. Her first film Hallo Baby (1976), for which she wrote the screenplay and had the leading role, gained international attention and revealed her challenging, idiosyncratic and experimental style that pervades her multidisciplinary practice. She often creates witty and satirical works that reflect her interest in human behavior, relationships, the differences between the sexes and the role of women in contemporary society. She has exhibited extensively in Sweden and abroad in group and solo shows including at the Malmö Konstmuseum (2006); Angelika Knäpper Gallery (2008), Millesgården (2011), Tensta Konsthall (2013), all Stockholm; Museum of Bohuslän (2015), Sweden; Jewish Museum (2015), New York; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2016); and Moderna Museet (from June 2017), Stockholm. She was a professor of painting (1984-91), President (1999-2008) at the Royal College of Fine Arts, and the Director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre (2009-2015) in Stockholm. She is the recipient of the Creative Achievement Award (1991) from the 26th Guldbagge Film Awards; the Prince Eugen Medal (2007); Nature & Culture Prize (2014); and the St. Erik Medal (2015).