12 Jul 2024
Summer Pleasures of Art
Art Culture Uncategorized What's on: Stockholm

Summer Pleasures of Art


Summer! Time to luxuriate outdoors…

 … contemplating the numerous art displayed in parks dotting Stockholm city central in their relations to nature and surrounding architecture personifying Sweden’s iconic modernist age as one golden era.

…watching Swedes sunbathe on lush green lawns at lunch break and bathe in the glory of how far feminism has progressed in self-defining her forms and artistic achievements.

…comparing the World we treasure today with that remembered of each stage of our lives, and with that to be conjured, that is to come.  


Jaume Plensa has consistently created installations and sculptures that in some way connect with universal themes of spirituality, the physical body and the collective memory; with inspiration from literature, psychology, biology, language and history.

Whether made out of steel, glass, bronze or alabaster, or by light, vibration or sound, his ideas and associations are always easily discerned. With sculptures as the extraordinary vehicle for accessing emotions and thoughts, they question and set up situations that encourage us to think and think again, to talk with one another, to be silent and meditative, to touch, and experience togetherness.

Placed in the great outdoors of Djurgården, Plensa’s sculptures face each other, as if trying to catch each other’s eye. Despite their magnitude, they induce a feeling of intimacy, reverence and enhanced calm.

“Art gives people the possibility to dream. I have always understood art as a path to knowledge and way towards something better. I decided many years ago that my work would carry a sense of hope,” shared Jaume Plensa.

Exhibition & Artist: Jaume Plensa
Where: Galleri Andersson/Sandström at Rosendalsvägen 38, Djurgården
When: Till 23 September 


The summer exhibition “Detour” by Jaume Plensa, Maria Miesenberger and Lars Nilsson dramatically moves its exhibits outside architectural boundaries to a more open relationship between art and nature in a complex search for other relations with the human concept of landscape.

A detour, so to speak. A change of direction from the main road allowing us to encounter primary levels – from geology to biology, from astronomy to holistic worldviews.

Exhibition: Detour
Artists: Jaume Plensa, Maria Miesenberger and Lars Nilsson
Where: Galleri Andersson/Sandström at Artipelag, Artipelagstigen 1, 134 40 Gustavsberg
When: Till 4 November


With Nathalie Djurberg’s animated worlds and Hans Berg’s electronic music conjuring surrealistic scenes, this internationally renowned Berlin-based duo’s stop motion films and spatial installations along with an entirely new VR piece in this summer’s exhibition describe an inner journey – an attempt to make existence more comprehensible in a flow of impulses and impressions. 

Immerse in their animated worlds of dreamlike realities created out of objects, music and moving images that playfully-tell fables that blend humour with darkness; suspending moral laws of gravity.

Their intense chamber pieces enact fragments of memories repressed between innocence and shame, or fragments of feverish daydreams of role play and desire; toppling accepted truths about man’s supremacy in nature and our habitual understanding of remembrance, time and space. All an embedded burlesque social critique that – sometimes literally – undresses the men of power, given hierarchies and social norms. 

Exhibition: A journey through mud and confusion with small glimpses of air 
Artists: Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg
Where: Moderna Museet, Exercisplan 4
When: Till 9 September


“Cherry Picking” physically showcases Swedish Arvida Byström’s much acclaimed, avidly online-followed virtual photographs that challenge the norms and presumed limitations long ascribed to the female body.

Her imagery is characterized by a style that reads as archetypically feminine, to a degree that appears to teeter on the edge of irony. All juxtaposed with a disregard of conventional rules for feminine depictions; with no censoring or lessening of the actual bodily presence: body hair and fluids are treated as natural components in an otherwise objectively arranged setting.

Continuing the legacy of earlier feminist artists, like Lynn Hershman and Cindy Sherman, Byström uses her own image to explore ideas concerning identity, sexuality and the conditions and consequences of visual mediums.

“Cherry Picking” additionally gives a nod to not only the symbolically sensuous fruit. But also to the act of willingly selecting and disregarding information in accordance with our own viewpoint. Resulting in a personally curated view of the world at a time when internet’s advancement has tightened the collectively allowed margins for time or effort spent on deliberation; yielding the democratization of opinions and influence to be taken and adhered to immediately.

Exhibition: Cherry Picking
Artist: Arvida Byström
Where: GSB/Gallery Steinsland Berliner, BONDEGATAN 70
When: Till 23 June

Bruno Knutman’s was working the last three years on this exhibition at the time of his passing in August 2017. With his wife Birgitta deciding to proceed with the exhibition in accordance to his plan, “Night Piece”, named after his last painting, presents paintings on moods and memories rescued from the mire of the past; lifting them into the light of the present day to construct a virtual contemporary universe, at once both outside history and at its heart – a world where past and present are entwined; winding round and round.

Thus, the seeming simplicity – the riddle-like pictorial elements and the fairy tale tone – paradoxically generates disquiet rather than clarity. Under the apparently tranquil surface, we sense tension from those tightly entangled contradictory forces constantly active in Knutman’s art, without ever being distinctly separated. Lightness and heft. Light and darkness.  Unambiguity and complexity. Melancholy and pathos.

“The hard knot they form is of the kind that no words can undo. [That no] sword could slice through,” shared Dan Jönsson, writer, journalist and art critic for the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Exhibition: Night Piece
Artist: Bruno Knutman
Where: Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Fredsgatan 12
When: Till 30 June

With sculptures of spray foam, wood, aluminium, ceramic stoneware and textile, “The World’s End” starts off with our entry into the exhibition through the narrow door of a candy store-shaped installation of bright colours, candy sculptures, lollipops and chocolate into a room where fairy tale figures are transformed into something new.

Is it the hair of Rapunzel or Bagheera? Is it threading the spinning wheel from Sleeping Beauty? Soft, wild, brightly coloured and deformed, the good has become evil and the evil has become good.

Exhibition: The World’s End
Artist: Linda Bäckström
Where: Wetterling Gallery, Kungsträdgården 3
When: Till 29 June

Referring to popular culture in different ways through the use of simple materials of distinctive character and descent, Elin Elfström and Emanuel Röhss’s new works relate to Thielska Galleriet’s park within which they sit. Their artefacts and material from diverse contexts and environments dialogue with the gallery’s unique architecture and art treasures.

Elfström’s installation includes consumed and abandoned objects that can lead the mind to Ernest Thiel‘s economic rise and fall. Like a memorial monument or a site for an archaeological excavation, the work incorporates narratives on fate.

The notion of transience and decay is also evident in Röhss’ installation of works created on site. They slowly moulder away and dissolve back into nature’s cycle.

Exhibition: Installations in the park
Artists: Elin Elfström & Emanuel Röhss
Where: The Thiel Gallery, Sjötullsbacken 8
When Till 7 October

An ex-pupil of Henri Matisse in Paris, where she was also influenced by the art of Paul Cézanne, Sigrid Hjertén (1885–1948) is a front figure of the Swedish Modernist avant garde. She was both feted and maligned by her contemporaries for her expressive colourist paintings.

The exhibition features a large number of her works from the 1910s and up to her critically-acclaimed breakthrough in the 1930s, when some of her most captivating and colour intense works were painted. A small number of paintings by her husband Isaac Grünewald and son Iván Grünewald are also concurrently displayed.

Exhibition: A Masterly Colourist
Artist: Sigrid Hjertén
Where: Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Prins Eugens väg 6, Djurgården
When: Till 26 August

Learn about a thousand years of Swedish architecture through the chronological display of ArkDes collection’s richly detailed models by Sweden’s from most famous architects; detailing Swedish architectural and city developments from the golden age of Swedish modernism over the last millennium.

More than 80 models portray architectural ideas, urban plans and construction methods, from 9th century stone churches, Rococo summer houses, the extraordinary engineering of the Katarina elevator, the rise of modernism in Sweden after World War II and much more.

Exhibition: Architecture in Sweden
Where: ArkDes, Exercisplan 4, Skeppsholmen
When: Till 31 December 2021



Photo and information credits: The respective galleries.

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