Here is a collection of photographs from a number of exhibitions which we have enjoyed seeing in Stockholm over approximately the last month. If those who see this can, they should try and see these shows before they end. If not, one might still perhaps look out for some of these artists in the future.
The Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas’s show Fantasma at the Moderna Museet appears like a new surreal, futuristic museum environment. The high-key lighting in the large square space has echoes of a set from Kubrick's 2001. Central to the space, raised to roughly eye-level on a large platform, are a collection of familiar and strange objects which appear to be in a state of flux. This work, and particularly the presentation of it, is both fascinating and appears to pose questions about ‘art’ itself, ownership, human progress and memory.
The Royal Institute of Art’s (Kungl. Konsthögskolan) MA Graduation Exhibition, at Konstakademien on Fredsgatan (12), contains the work of 23 of their graduating students. The array of materials and techniques used in the show is in keeping with this institutions tradition for encouraging experimental, explorative practices. Works here utilise installation, performance, sculpture, video, painting, and photography. Much of the artworks have been devised in response to the exhibition and the historical associations of the venue used in staging it. Works question, embrace, critique and poke fun in equal measure, at much of art’s traditions and our modern society as a whole. All the works had their merits and areas of intrigue, but Hedda Viå, Éva Mag and Anna Taina-Nielsen caught our attention particularly. These practitioners artworks, all very different, either have a strong sociocritical dimension, in the case of Viå & Taina-Nielsen, or were visually arresting and presented to convey some interesting connotations about our western history, as Mag has done. However, overall this is a strong show and for those involved, I am sure we will see much more of their work again in the near future.
Heri Dono is probably Indonesia’s most renown contemporary artist and his exhibition Animachines, at Färgfabriken is a large scale showcase of his work. In the show, Dono gives a magnificently individual insight into the social and political history of his native country, through adapting some of their cultural traditions and imagery. Linking traditional Indonesian culture and animism with inspirations from cartoons and western art, Dono manages to create some unique imagery. Humour, colour, oddities, mechanics and interactive works (there are lots of buttons to press), make this show an entirely new and joyous experience. Absolutely not like anything you have seen before.
Jim Dine’s sculpture Lopper's Blue Dream, 2013, oil enamel on cast bronze; with the painting Pinocchio's Unhappiness About Those He Cares About, 2013, acrylic and sand on canvas; both at the Wetterling Gallery
An old favourite of ours is Jim Dine. This new work, Heart of Stone at the Wetterling Gallery focuses on the well known story of Pinocchio, with a collection of paintings and sculptures of the well-known ‘little wooden boy’, together with adjoining, found objects. In sticking with his ‘pop’ traditions, alongside this subject is a series of heart paintings, which give more than a slight nod to abstract expressionism and his 60’s contemporaries, Messrs Johns & Rauschenberg. This work is colourful, fun and continues to look at themes relating to reality, and of course it’s opposite(s), which have been a constant point of reference during Dine’s more than 5 decades as an exhibiting artist.