Ink to Ink: Karl Momen’s Homage to William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s works have been reimagined in a striking new exhibit by Swedish painter and sculptor Karl Momen. “Homage to William Shakespeare” is on display at the Southern Utah Museum of Art until Oct. 5, 2019.

The suite of paintings depicts eight of Shakespeare’s most well known works in Momen’s unique style of iconography and mysticism. Momen channels his passion for Shakespeare’s literature into symbolic artwork with vivid colors, abstract shapes and clues alluding to each play the painting depicts. 

Theatre students, art appreciators and average observers alike can take something from the exhibit. 

“I think you could look at these if you didn’t know them and be struck by the art,” exhibit attendee Lisa Petersen observed. “But if you know the play, you’re going to get more out of them.”

The artwork’s deeper symbolism is drawn from Momen’s reverence for the world of mysticism that transformed stolid forms into universal signifiers for the human condition—a theme seen in many of Shakespeare’s literary works including “Hamlet” and “Julius Caesar.”

“By breaking down the plays into symbols it kind of helps you think about all the elements of the plays and the storylines,” said Mallory Sanders, daughter to Peterson.

SUMA’s exhibit enhances the university’s rich Shakespearean culture. SUU and the Utah Shakespeare Festival have a relationship that spans over 50 years. Shakespeare’s work, impact and influence can be seen across SUU with its many outdoor theatres and productions. 

SUMA is open Mon-Sat 11 a.m. -6 p.m. and is free to the public. For more information about SUMA and this exhibit, visit their website. Learn more about Karl Momen at his website


Story by: Kaden Smith
Photos by: Kaden Smith