Gunvor Nelson (born in 1931 in Stockholm, Sweden) is a Swedish director, cinematographer and writer who is currently residing in Kristinehamn, Sweden. She has worked since the 1960s as an experimental filmmaker. Her mostly well-known works date from when she lived in the Bay Area in the mid-1960s and early 1970s. At this time, Nelson, became a well established artist in the avant-garde film circle of the times and even today. As of 2006, she has created twenty films, five videos and one video installation.
Nelson received a Master of Arts degree from Mills College in Oakland, California. She taught at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1970 to 1992 and then moved to Sweden in 1993. She spent a year at the San Francisco State University from 1969 to 1970 and a semester at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1987. Her works have been exhibited at a number of different European and North American festivals, one-woman shows and she has received many awards and grants Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, Rockefeller Foundation grant. Her films were shown in the underground world of film on both the West and East Coast of the United States, until the mid 70s when she gained recognition from Playboy editors to Pauline Kael. Her film ‘Take-Off’, a satire on the performance of the striptease is partly responsible for this recognition.
In her work Nelson focuses on themes of childhood, memory, home/homeland, displacement, aging, death and the force of nature- usually interlacing female beauty and power.