The art highlighted for October is about all things Swedish, with a few outside the country thrown in as contrast for good measure, or as instigators to muse more deeply on the ideas and ideals conveyed by the creative Swedes.
Concurrently, the created artworks on display transverse from the modern to the contemporary, varying greatly in mediums, styles, approaches, sources of inspiration and artistic philosophies. Thus revealing the diversity that defines Sweden today.
Exhibition: With The World In The Fabric
Artist: Maria Adlercreutz
Where: Thiel Gallery, Sjötullsbacken 8
When: 8 October 2016 – 5 February 2017
Using mass-produced newspaper images as models, Maria Adlercreutz (1936-2014) weaved every aspect of life into her textiles – its horrors, injustices and concern… and its beauty, fascination and inner mystery. By crossing her fabrics’ fibers to mimic press photography’s halftone dots, she recounted dignity to those who suffered and whose sufferings have become a small part of an infinite newsfeed.
By carefully choosing faces and figures, her textile portraits enable us to see the world through the people behind all their exterior attributes; placing textile crafts at the intersection of artistic and political debates, and at the heart of global solidarity and its splendid display of nature’s forces; along with women’s history and her own inner world of feelings, experiences and crumbling memories. Thus, making Adlercreutz one of the most influential innovators of this craft in Sweden in the postwar period.
Exhibition: Dandelion / Dandelion
Artist: Cecilia Edefalk
Where: Prince Eugen Waldemarsudde, Prins Eugens Väg 6
When: 15 October 2016 – 12 February 2017
As one of Sweden’s most significant artists, Cecilia Edefalk’s paintings, sculpture and photographs since the late 1970s question time, memory, spiritual, transience and rebirth. Her artistry in “Dandelion / Dandelion” is evident in her floral watercolors from the late 1970s. And the theme aptly describes her latest works – portraiture paintings of dandelion balls, black and white (and sometimes ambiguous) photographs of these very flowers, and bronze sculptures of birch trunks and with found sticks as a base. Evidently, an interest in nature has followed Edefalk for four decades.
Also featured is a selection of Edefalk’s most famous works: the Another Motion, Biflickan, Baby, Dad and Elevator series.
Exhibition: The Earth Will Be Buried at Sea
Artist: Katja Larsson
Where: Cecilia Hillström Gallery, Hälsingegatan 43
When: Opening 6 October
As London-based Swede Katja Larsson‘s first solo show in Sweden, her sculptures and photographic objects act as an imaginary collection of artifacts from a world which has abandoned its humans but where its materials and textures continue to intermingle; mindful of the exhibition title being an excerpt from McKenzie Wark’s text: “The blue ruin of the earth is the total work of art at the end of history. The earth will be buried at sea.”
Hence Larsson’s sculptures draw inception from an expedition to the Isle of Skye where a large-scale silicone rubber cast is taken of its volcanic coastline. The object that emerges is strange yet familiar, bodily and artificial; heralding a Romanticist relationship to nature traditionally occupied by heroic figures such as Caspar David Friedrich and Thomas Joshua Cooper.
And in his photographic and sculptural objects, kelp from the sea, along with deer antlers on a beach, touch and exchange their physical attributes. A 20,000,000-year-old Megalodon shark tooth evolves into the shape of a translucent icy wing. The fossil of a prehistoric Eohippus transforms into a drop of oil and takes its final breath through a 2003 Yamaha exhaust.
The age of Anthropocene is thus brought to prominence, distinguished by geological sediments marked by traces of industrial activity, never differentiating between the various textures of the world; rather Earth is insisted as a fabric, a flowing surface, and an amorphous expanse of mud…
Artists: Carsten Höller, Katarina Löfström, Julia Feyrer & Tamara Henderson, Kate Cooper, Leif Elggren, & Rafaël Rozendaal
Where: Bonniers Konsthall HB, Torsgatan 19
When: Till 22 January 2017
Discussing sleeplessness as a cultural symptom, “INSOMNIA” brings together contemporary artists Carsten Höller, Katarina Löfström, Julia Feyrer & Tamara Henderson, Kate Cooper, Leif Elggren and Rafaël Rozendaal, with a selection of historical works.
The artists set the stage for states of sleep and wakefulness, rest and activity, dream-filled absence and constant accessibility. And the works will keep Bonniers Konsthall active around the clock in order to disrupt the normal daily rhythms of the art institution.
Its aim is in highlighting the fact that the eight hours that we now associate with sound sleep and health is quite a new phenomenon in human history. Before, just as many animals do, man slept in sync with the shifts of seasons and daylight, and often in two segments.
People back then even spoke of the first and the second sleep. The time in between them, which came in the middle of the night and could vary between one to several hours, was a period of wakefulness in which people ate, had sex or worked. These sleepless night hours could also bear with them a particular sense of creativity.
Cultural shifts in sleeping habits go together with changes in our ways of living, and developments in technology have disconnected us from the natural variations in light. With direct communication at any geographical distance now possible, the 24-hour rhythm of time zones has been shattered.
We can now stay awake, stay productive – and keep consuming – regardless of what time of day it is or where we are. The possibility of withdrawing has become a privilege of the few, or an outright act of artistic resistance.
Hence, “Insomnia” draws a map of the mental and cultural state that this constant accessibility creates. Carsten Höller’s Two Roaming Beds (Grey) allows visitors to spend the night at the museum, slowly drifting through the exhibition and different dream states. Julia Feyrer & Tamara Henderson’s works are manifestations of excursions into different modes of consciousness, while Katarina Löfström explores its limits and of losing control. Leif Elggren lets the visitor eavesdrop, curled up like a child under Freud’s iconic sofa. Kate Cooper’s animations touch on questions about image, representation and labour in the digital age, while Rafaël Rozendaal’s 15 websites play on the idea of the ever active, always accessible.
These contemporary artists meet key works by Mladen Stilinović, Maya Deren and Andy Warhol illustrating how sleep, wakefulness and other states of consciousness have been manifested through art history.
Exhibition: Selbst Dort
Artist: Kristina Jansson
Where: Andréhn-Schiptjenko Hudiksvallsgatan 8 2tr
When: Till 5 November
For Swedish artist Kristina Jansson, “Selbst Dort” references the importance of narratives displayed in paintings diminishing along the work process, becoming equalised with the painting’s materiality, even though the narrative constitutes both the conceptual and thematic engine in the scheme of creating the work of art.
Jansson has consistently returned to the question of what she as a painter can create with a medium already so burdened, and of what she actually does when creating a painted image; as she knows it is never only an impression – it exists in a borderland between appearance and the material.
So has this aspect become more visible within our age? Are we so imprinted by the photographic image that a painting always appears to be incomprehensible and strange from where it observes us?
Hence, Jansson’s new works touch on the images’ emblematic relationship to human undercurrents and desires – money, power and lust. In some reminiscences of Pablo Escobar’s house are visible, while the “Million Dollar Painting” shows a fragment of an American hundred-dollar bill greatly enlarged to the proportion of one million singularly laid out hundred-dollar bills.
Exhibition: Abstract Painting – Collage
Artist: Anne Terselius Claridge
Where: Galleri Eklund, Karlavägen 15
When: 1 – 22 October
The goal of the first abstract expressionist was to paint primitively and freely; creating art that sprung directly from the unconscious, as the act of painting was anti-civilizational; unleashing the wild horse inside.
Abstract Expressionism first emerged as a trend in New York in the postwar period, but quickly became international. The style went against the grain of clean room standards and traditions. So though Jackson Pollock, one of the style’s great predecessors, never succeeded in tradition-sacred Europe, in the United States, the art audience and progressive critique jumped at his new, brutal beauty.
Today it is common for artists to mix different “styles” and choose freely among modern ones and experiments. As Anne Terselius Claridge is a form-conscious and restrained painter, in the gap between restrained and unrestrained within the American expressionistic curls, she finds space for his story.
Exhibition: United Enemies
Artist: Thomas Schütte
Where: Moderna Museet in Skeppsholmen
When: 8 October 2016 – 15 January 2017
Best known as a sculptor, Thomas Schütte’s practice includes a wide range of media and formats. Describing himself as a seismograph that registers phenomena around him, his works touch on eternal questions concerning the human condition – freedom and responsibility, power and vulnerability – where the intimate and personal are juxtaposed with the monumental and authoritarian.
“United Enemies” takes Schütte’s sculptures from the past two decades as its starting point, as they merge public scenes with the private’s. Frequently alternating between different scales and materials, he combines small plasticine creatures with giants cast in bronze. Fragmentary figures in steel and aluminium are presented alongside glass sculptures, prints, watercolours and architectural models.
The exhibition’s title references Schütte’s works where two figures are tied together, making each the other’s prisoner – or united enemies. It originates in an eponymous series on a considerably smaller scale, created nearly two decades earlier. Several works in the exhibition seem related to these smaller “United Enemies”, including the early installation “With Tears in My Ears”, the bronze heads in Wichte, and the four Fratelli busts.
Ambiguity also characterises “Vater Staat”; standing like a mighty father, at once both authoritarian and vulnerable, monumental and incapable of action. Thus, with an artistic practice offering resistance, Schütte’s works of art often have an indirectly political and ambiguous undercurrent. It incorporates conflicts, and offers no straightforward answers – rarely being one or the other, neither good nor evil: his imagery is characterised by a singular combination of melancholy and humour.
Architectural models of various kinds have a key role in Schütte’s body of artworks too. He has, for instance, built a model of a museum, with enormous chimneys and in the appearance of an art crematorium, as well as having designed his own fictive tombstone in the form of a monumental bus shelter.
Drawings of models from 1980 to 2006 collected in the print portfolio Architektur Modelle reveal how Schütte allows materials to shape design: in One Man Houses he combines parts of an industrially produced ventilation system to form buildings. In Pringles a potato crisp is placed on a matchbox as an early version of the building Skulpturenhalle, the Thomas Schütte Foundation and sculpture hall, which recently opened outside Düsseldorf.
Exhibition: Silent Mind
Artist: Camilla Lundén
Where: Miva Fine Art gallery, Grev Turegatan 10
When: Opening 1 October
With their bare and colorful bodies and expressive faces, Camilla Lundén’s women catch our interest as she lets her paintings emerge; developing at their own pace, all in line with her own visions and feelings. It is thus a process not to be rushed or forced into existence.
When an idea arises from a flower in nature, or from a reflection in a puddle, Lundén thinks and shapes the image within itself. When the time comes, she begins to paint the scene. Sometimes she sets it aside for a moment while she is working on another painting. Later developing it again to completion with paint, body and soul. Other times, when the mood takes over, she can close her eyes to paint, letting feeling flow out of her hands onto the canvas.
Exhibition: 12 Moments
Artist: Barbara Probst
Where: Lars Bohman Gallery, Karlavägen 9
When: Till 29 October
Throughout her career, German artist Barbara Probst has examined photography as a medium and practice. She introduces a space where the use of imagery creates a sense of familiarity that is simultaneously diversely associated across surveillance film, fashion photography and street photography, along with references to French New Wave and Italian neorealism. Hence it is at the intersection between films’ moving picture and the static photograph that her images activate; mindful of the photograph’s inherent limitations in a deconstructive examination of the medium and its truth claims.
Probst moves back and forth between various scenes and themes, challenging the boundaries between reality and fiction, the documentary and the staged. Her work reveals creative process while the displacements evoke in us a sense of doubt.
Hence, her background in sculpture becomes noticeable here, with the strong spatial design of the arranged motives, and the photographs’ spatiality accentuated strongly within their installation. We are thus moved around a scene of frozen moments in which the search for a logical chronology is reduced in favour of a simultaneous experience of the works’ entity.
Artists: Mamma Andersson & Tal R
Where: Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Fredsgatan 12
When: Till 23 October
Where: Galleri Bo Bjerggaard , Flaesketorvet 85 A, DK-1711 Köpenhamn V
When: Till 22 October
Svanesang is the title for two parallel exhibitions that result from a joint project of paintings and works on paper between two of Scandinavia’s most acclaimed artists: Mamma Andersson and Tal R.
For a year they have sent each other photographs for inspiration and shared work process in terms of background material, imagery and themes as the basis for developing new expressions while maintaining artistic integrity. Hence, we find links between their paintings; like a form of conversation or Chinese whispers, even though they remain unique of each artist.
Information and photo credits: The respective galleries