As sure as winter ‘s arrival is the heralding by Christmas of good tidings and even better cheers to birth us yet another joyous New Year…
…let’s build that momentum in our hearts and spirits by indulging in Your Living City’s year end art choices as magical as a yuletide of Stockholm capped with snowy white wonder.
Exhibition & Artist: Gunnel Wåhlstrand
Where: Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Artillerigatan 40
When: Till 17 November
For many years, Gunnel Wåhlstrand has worked exclusively with what could be described as a re-development of private photographs using ink-wash, a technique that she masters to perfection. The close connection between life and art is intact in her new works though leave the earlier albums behind to focus on her own life and her own images.
“These are paintings of the photographs I have taken myself, of the places that mean the most to me: the far end of the beach, the view above, the oak on the other side of the ditch.
These places, or perhaps rather the memory or image of them, are a spiritual centre where dreams take place and always have. They are painted one by one, one as a result of the other.
In the beginning my focus was the places in themselves, to keep, understand and make them mine, but in the end it became something different,” shared Wåhlstrand.
Exhibition: Thinking Like a Mountain
Artist: Helene Schmitz
Where: Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde, Prins Eugens väg 6, Djurgården
When: Till 17 February 2019
One of the most successful art photographers, Helene Schmitz ‘s interest in the relationship between nature and man results in works often portraying the state of balance or of situations beyond control.
Thinking Like a Mountain presents works in which Schmitz’s motive is the extraction of natural resources in Sweden and Iceland. The photographs are often both beautiful and menacing; meditations on man’s global, högindustriell and automated transformation of the natural landscape.
Exhibition: Into the Hideous Hidden
Artist: Martha Ossowska Persson
Where: Cecilia Hillström Gallery, Hälsingegatan 43
When: 17 November
Martha Ossowska Persson’s large-scale watercolours, are multi-layered exploration of the human body and embedded human behaviours.
“Watercolours that are liquid and smeary inside our bodies; of intestinal and somehow shocking in their vulnerability – a reminder of the infinite space we inhabit but fear to acknowledge,” said Martin Gustavsson.
In Into the Hideous Hidden she goes deeper, focusing on the spaces and tensions between the encounters of flesh. The close-ups of fingers and hands intertwined in new arrangements and the new tonality of dark blue, purple and pink colours renders the paintings more alien and abstract, but yet vividly present. By exploring these anatomical outlines with precision, Persson manifests a vibrating psychological landscape, both deeply alluring and uncanny.
Where: Galleri Andersson/Sandström, Hudiksvallsgatan 6
When: Till 17 November
Exhibition (A): Chapter 1, self-chosen exile
Artist: Henrik Jonsson
A graduate from the Royal College of Arts in Stockholm the spring of 2018, Henrik Jonsson works in various materials such as clay, plaster, wax, jesmonite, bronze, aluminium, lead and oil paint.
Important sources of inspiration in his works are his interest in Art history, techniques and references to older traditions. He constantly explores the canon of Art history with great craftsmanship; placing iconic works in the present. He creates physical flashbacks and representations of already existing ideas based on his own subjective experience of the original piece. He translates painting into sculpture, releases elements and projects them into new architectural spaces and contexts.
Exhibition (B): Diaphanous Dioramas
Artist: Alexander Skats
A graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts at Umeå University in spring 2018, Alexander Skats is a painter with works with a starting point in his interest in the technological development of digital displays and how it affects our relationship with images.
Skats emphasizes that the amount of images and access of reaching them makes them consumed in a distracted way, more like a surface. What is behind the image, psychological or philosophical meanings, goes lost when images are considered an abstract visual story or as fragmented material.
Exhibition: Why Can’t There Be a Mountain on the Horizon
Artist: NIKLAS ENEBLOM
Where: GALLERI MAGNUS KARLSSON, Fredsgatan 12
When: Till 10 November
Niklas Eneblom’s Why Can’t There Be a Mountain on the Horizon are paintings made on drafting film; with an evocative and dreamy nature that alludes to a longing for something else: of looking back at previously visited places, and events from the past to rediscover the drafting film as surface to apply paint upon.
Each work there has a personal story that is part of a larger context. Some of the images are inspired by travels in the United States in the early 1990s, depicting a quest of a young person. There are also content that derives from visits to sites related to American politics and history, such as the siege of the Davidian ranch in Waco in Texas 1993. One painting of a horse turns out to be a portrayal of Comanche, the sole U.S. survivor in the Battle of Little Bighorn 1876. The exhibition deepens the recognizable cinematic quality of Eneblom’s work.
A larger group of portraits are also presented in the exhibition. For a long time Eneblom has collected portraiture photos of persons unknown to him. He has found them on streets in various cities, and piled them in his studio with an idea that they must mean something. In Why Can’t There Be a Mountain on the Horizon the portrayed are given a context and a new meaning, both as viewers and motifs.
Exhibition: UTOPIA OR THE MISTAKE OF THE INTELLECT
Artists: Sarah Cooper & Nina Gorfer
Where: Christian Larsen, Hudiksvallsgatan 8
When: Till 17 November
Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer create overwhelming works. They use staged photography not to bypass reality, but as an interpretative art form. Like archaeologists of the soul, they give life to portraits brimming with vitality. Those portrayed live not only within the frame, but seem to lead us into hidden places within ourselves. The magic within them holds us fast as we constantly waver on the threshold between reality and the imagined. The only thing we cannot do is divert our gaze.
In this exhibition Cooper and Gorfer develop and expand upon their rich visual language of a world at once historic and yet decidedly of our time. Their work questions identity, sanctuaries and idealisation of place. Emanating from the current political reality, they imagine a playful utopian theatre. With a deep interest in the human story, they remind us of monocultural conditioning and of the illusions of the human mind.
Artist: Elisabeth Westerlund
Where: Björkholmen Gallery, Rödbodtorget 2
When: Till 10 November
In Elisabeth Westerlund’s Topophilia we move in and out of the collage of art history landscape painting in pastoral idylls and hunting scenes from furniture fabrics and postcards. There is also a sculptural mountain range of the mesh, quartz, agate and jade; cut apart, glued together and twisted around. Disorientation interspersed with flashes of recognition.
Where: Thielska Galleriet, Sjötullsbacken 8
Exhibition (A): Painting & Mysticism
Artist: Ivan Aguéli
When: Till 10 February 2019
Ivan Aguéli (1869-1917) is one of the great reformers of Swedish art. His landscapes and portraits are painted on small canvases, but the game between the fields of color, light and shades inspires a sense of monumentality; experimenting with color and form as he explored the higher dimensions of existence. The spiritual blend into the models’ facial features, in the compact buildings, in the open fields and the swaying treetops whether painted in Gotland, Paris or Egypt.
In 1900 was a skepticism imbuing many artists and intellectuals. Man questioned industrialization, science and Western society’s progress and belief in reason. Aguéli too longed to transcend earthly reality’s constraints with Theosophy and the various forms of mysticism; with radical social movements – anarchism, feminism and animal rights alternative culture far away from bourgeois taste.
Exhibition (B): Inside Thiel: Interpretations of word and image
Artists: Amanda Danielsson, Anders Wettler, Britt O, Carina Pettersson, Hanna Bjorklund, Helene Fredriksson, Kia Gardelius Mårtensson, Ossian Rådmark Pascal Fogelberg and Veronica DS.
When: Till 27 January 2019
The exhibition showcases works created since spring 2016 by artists from Inside Kungsholmen by drawing inspiration from Thiel Gallery’s collections and temporary exhibitions; making new interpretations of the museum’s most famous works by Edvard Munch, Anders Zorn, Bruno Liljefors and Eugène Jansson, and Karl-Axel Pehrson‘s colorful painted ceiling in the Dome Hall.
The artists have followed in the footsteps of Ernest Thiel, read about his extraordinary life, passions, poetry and his life’s work to house an extensive art collection of mainly Scandinavian turn of the century art. They also visited Saltsjöbaden, whose achievements Thiel contributed to. They have delved into his family life, his interest in the arts and the zeitgeist at the turn of 1900.
Exhibition: Jenny Nyström – Illustrator and Pioneer
Where: Sven-Harry’s Art Museum, Eastmansvägen 10
When: Till 17 February 2019
Jenny Nyström (1854 – 1946), one of Sweden’s best-loved 20th-century artists, is often called “Father Christmas’s mother” as she started illustrating a Christmas story when she was a young woman; influencing the Swedish perception of what Santa looked like.
After graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm, she went on to study at two academies in Paris. She was a talented painter, with her earliest works inspired by folklore or portraits.
With her prolific output of thousands of book and magazine illustrations for children and grown ups, and Christmas, Easter and greeting cards, she developed her own unique style, which continues to enchant us to this day.
Photos and information credits: The respective galleries.