As many art galleries in Stockholm close for the summer, and if you have viewed those exhibitions that have opened in June, you can cap your July with this season’s riot of expansive colours.
The vibrant hues that characterize Carl Kylberg’s sweeping brush strokes are in full bloom at the Thiel Gallery – from his early paintings of landscapes, figurative scenes and still life and cartoons from the 1910s, his children’s books, and the more colorful 20th century paintings of the well-known classical motifs from the 1930s and 40s; along with the painting “Uppbrottet” (1935), which became the subject of a real art scandal, where the government was accused of censorship, and a “Self-Portrait” (1903) in an Art Nouveau style rarely shown before.
A key figure in the early to mid 1900s’ Swedish art history, Kylberg’s paintings’ existential depth draw you into a spiritual quest to revel in his visionary ability to portray light, substance and sights on the basis of reality, even when his spirituality appears to have made him anachronistic. As his innovative use of colour had freed him to strive beyond the canvas’ surface, you become challenged to break your fixation on the superficial and for consumption.
Hence, revel in this rare treat as there has not been a major exhibition of Kylberg’s works in Stockholm since a group show with August Strindberg and Max Book in 1992.
Exhibition: With The Colour Beyond The Surface
Artist: Carl Kylberg
When: Till 25 September
Where: Thielska Galleriet, Sjötullsbacken 8, 115 25 Stockholm
In contrast, contemporary Swedish artist Agneta Svanberg Sjöfors’ equally bold brush strokes and even more emboldened colours render her paintings charged with the emotional energy that wells up within her. Her larger than life still life pop with exciting shapes, textures, lights and shadows; enlivening well loved fruits and vegetables with luscious and delicious promise.
While Klyberg meets us spiritually, Sjöfors succeeds in making us happy. Her colourful humongous canvases are joyfully and beautifully fitting for adorning the walls of the modern collectors’ homes. And not just in the children’s bedrooms – her art will put bright smiles on your faces to take to work each day.
Exhibition: Four Seasons
Artist: Agneta Svanberg Sjöfors
When: 2 – 7 July
Where: Galleri Norrsken, Bollhusgränd 8, 111 31 Stockholm
Nothing adds colour to brighten up your day further than a garden party in a Scandinavian summer. But when it takes place on the beautiful park grounds of the Thiel Gallery, after its permanent bespoke outdoor sculptures are given new fun-filled contexts by eight contemporary artists, the experience is taken up multiple notches; like when we sight breathtaking twin rainbows gleefully cresting the crisp blue sky on warm sun kissed days.
At this garden party, artists Ebba Bohlin, Cecilia Edefalk, Charlotte Gyllenhammar, Rami Khoury, Albin Looström, Joakim Ojanen, Bella Rune and Elisabeth Westerlund splendidly seduce your elated agreement with Ernest Jacques Thiel’s belief that “without the arts, man is reduced to a barbarian”.
Luxuriate in the colours their creative art adds to his creed on the very grounds of this Swedish financier (c.1859-1947) and art collector’s former villa.
Exhibition: The Garden Party: Contemporary Swedish Sculpture
When: Till 25 September
Where: Grounds of the Thielska Galleriet, Sjötullsbacken 8, 115 25 Stockholm
Information and photo credits: The respective galleries and artists