Sten Kauppi (1922-2002) was a Swedish textile artist and painter. He was a significant reformer within the textile art movement in Sweden.
As a small child in the very north of Sweden, he loved to play with different bits of fabric in his mother’s sewing studio. In 1941 he moved to Stockholm to study at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, and then subsequently at The Academy of Arts. Throughout these years he also did embroidery on the side, but kept it secret from his fellow students as it wasn’t considered appropriate for a man.
After a while he decided to put away paintbrushes and palettes to concentrate on using yarn, needle and thread, and even though mostly self taught within this field he ended up a pioneering force in the textile art world. He expressed himself in an abstract or expressive style with beautiful colours. Quite often his weaves were on a monumental scale where the motifs often are open landscapes, mythical horses or suggested Christ figures, they are intense and colourful paintings made out of yarn.
Kauppi had his first solo exhibition in 1951 and got a lot of attention for his free embroidery style. His work is included in several collections in Sweden, such as the Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg, The National Museum of Stockholm and the Royal Opera House in Stockholm.