Giant horses, striking colours and the Prime Minister in a dress! Friday saw the unveiling of the Spring Salon at Liljevalchs Art Gallery. YLC braved the cold to attend!
It was a cold and crisp winter morning in Stockholm when the press gathered at the Liljevalchs gallery to sneak a first peek at this year’s exhibition. Spring felt far away, yet it was the Spring Salon we were there to see.
“Many said that last year’s exhibition was the best so far – I would say that this one is even better,” said Mårten Castenfors, the director of the gallery, as he greeted the gathered press.
The Liljevalchs art venue belongs to the City of Stockholm and was opened back in 1916 as the first independent, public museum for contemporay art in Sweden. The building is the work of renowned Swedish architect Carl Bergsten and is situated amidst the captivating natural surroundings of the Djurgården Island in Stockholm.
The Spring Salon, which has become a fixture on the Stockholm art scene since the first exhibition in 1921, is visited by young and old and for many Stockholmers it is the first and sometimes only art exhibition visited on a regular basis.
“It is important to us that this is a place where you can experience just how fun art can be, said Castenfors.
And fun it certainly is! This is the kind of exhibition where you can bring your children, as well as your parents or your friends – no one will be disappointed as it appeals to all ages. There are sculptures and paintings, installations and film clips.
It would be hard to forget the lingering image of the Swedish prime minister dressed as a 18-century lady in Synergi 1 by Hanna Lundgren Herder, or stay unmoved by the striking images Equatorial and Simple by Samir Soudah. However, YLC was particularly smitten with artist Bo Ljung’s two paintings Rörelse mot Söder and Återsken. A special mention will also have to go to artist Thomas Carlsson and his work Burkfåglar (Can-birds), beautifully crafted birds made out of re-folded soft drink cans in striking colours.
This year’s jury, which consisted of art historian Göran Ståhle, Greta Burman of the Moderna muséet in Malmö, Lisa Lundström from the Bildmuseum in Umeå and Mårten Castenfors of Liljevalchs, said they were very pleased to have received so many different types of pieces this year. 2,192 artists entered their work and out of these 288 were chosen to be displayed in this year’s exhibition. There were 78 women and 74 men chosen – but the age span is wide, as the youngest artist will soon turn 19 and the oldest is 92.
Wandering around the beautiful space that is the Liljewalchs art gallery is always a pleasure and this year’s exhibition is well worth a visit.
Some pieces are striking and others more understated but somehow they all stay with you when you leave. Some you wish you could actually take home with you. And of course – if you move quickly – you can. All the pieces displayed in the exhibition are for sale and it is up to the artists how much they will cost. This year, the least expensive piece, a DVD, was priced at 1 SEK and the most expensive at 280,000 SEK. Something for everyone, in other words.
This time YLC left empty handed but with a wealth of impressions and having spent a lovely morning looking at sometimes beautiful, sometimes disturbing but always interesting, works of art.
Återsken, Bo Ljung
When: Monday closed, Tuesday 11.00–20.00, Wednesday 11.00–17.00, Thursday 11.00–20.00, Friday-Sunday 11.00–17.00. The exhibition runs from January 24th to March 23rd.
Damage: Adults 80 SEK, Seniors and Students 60 SEK, under-18s free. The ticket is valid all day!