Fahlström was an artist, activist, journalist, poet, and playwright whose concern was art as play and the dramatization of the social and political. Born in 1928 in São Paulo of Scandinavian parents. In July 1939, during his summer holidays, he was sent to Stockholm, Sweden. Barely a month after his arrival, WWII began and his parents decided it was unsafe to bring him back home to Brazil. After the war, his parents moved back to Stockholm. Between 1949 and 1952 he studied art history and archaeology. He worked as a writer from 1950 to 1955. In 1953 he published a manifesto in Stockholm in favor of concrete poetry. From 1956 to 1959 he lived in Paris. In 1957 he began to introduce elements of the comic strip into his paintings. In 1959 he won Honorable Mention for Ade-Ledic-Nander 2 at the São Paulo Biennale. In 1960 he was included in an international exhibition of contemporary art at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh. He was awarded a stipend to visit the USA in 1961. He settled in New York, spending his summers in Sweden. It was at this time that he developed his comic-strip style of painting with elements of collage from different areas of mass-produced culture, and partly including elements of sculpture, such as souvenirs. From 1962 he resumed his literary activities and took part in performances and Happenings with various New York artists. From this time onwards he gave his work the character of alterable collages, variable pictures, whose loose components were equipped with hinges and could be moved about the picture surface with magnets by the spectator. In 1964 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale, and represented Sweden there in 1966. In 1966 he organized Happenings in New York and worked on his writing. His work was included in many international exhibitions of contemporary art. In 1970 he made several so-called "playable" pictures (monopolies). From 1974 he had several one-man shows at the Galerie Buchholz in Munich. He died in 1976 in Stockholm. In 1979 the Moderna Museet in Stockholm devoted a comprehensive retrospective exhibition to his work.