Carl Fredrik Reutersward, a whimsical Swedish artist whose sculpture of a pistol with a knotted barrel became an international symbol of peace, died on Tuesday in Helsingborg, Sweden. He was 81.
Thomas Millroth, a friend and board member of the Carl Fredrik Reutersward Art Foundation, said that he died in a hospital, where he had been taken about a week ago for treatment of pneumonia.
Mr. Reutersward did not conform to any particular art movement. He painted riotous geometric abstracts, reminiscent of Miró or Kandinsky, and made often humorous conceptual works, like an Ernest Hemingway story with everything but punctuation marks removed.
“Carl Fredrik Reutersward is very much a man on his own in today’s art world,” John Russell wrote in a 1987 review in The New York Times. “Much of what he does is so light as to be almost weightless, but it has a distinct and curious flavor.”