After a Friday night opening at Wetterling Gallery in Kungsträdgården, where we see sculptures and drawings by the artist Bernar Venet in his show, Maquettes; displaying their chaotic, yet engineered formations - we then have an early morning stroll around the grounds of Clara Kyrka (figure i) and marvel at its sombre beauty, and then less so at its now sadly inauspicious surroundings.
We enter the new, temporary Nationalmuseum building on Fredsgatan to, firstly escape the elements and secondly to refresh ourselves. On the way in we admire their selection of casts of classic antique sculptures placed in the foyer and on the stair ways (fig ii & iii). Following a short break, it’s off to see the Konstakademien’s show, Thinking Through Painting (Part 2), which is located in Galleri Öst & Galleri Väst, on the second floor of the same building. The exhibition features: Kristina Bength, Marc Handelman, David Reed, Jan Rydén, Sigrid Sandström, Wendy White, and curator/theorist Jonatan Habib Engqvist (fig iv & v). This show is as good an exhibition of contemporary visual art as one is likely to see in Stockholm. The works are diverse, evocative and utterly engaging. The curation is successful in many ways also, as we are encouraged to navigate the space and seemingly scrutinise the works on show. As good curation often does, the artists’ works give the impression they are not only in a dialogue with you the viewer, but are also in an exchange and negotiation with both the other works and environment they have been placed in. The subtle, melancholic forms and textures in the works of Sigrid Sandström (fig vi), particularly stand out for us here. As does David Reed’s intoxicating, projected video animation - adapted from John Ford’s classic western The Searchers (2007) (fig vii). This piece - as is indicative of the show generally - really is a feast for the senses.
Then it’s off for a quick visit next door to Galleri Gunnar Olsson & Galleri Magnus Karlsson respectively. The works of Joakim Lager in his show Kompost are subtle and nicely constructed. These semi abstract, ‘plantlike’ images, which are his paintings, have a deep colourful resonance that manage to ‘penetrate’ somewhat (fig viii). Bruno Knutman’s show at Magnus Karlsson entitled Allvarstider / Serious Times is very different though. It is similar in the respect that this is too a painting exhibition and the works are fairly small to medium in size. Nonetheless, his imagery is figurative with a candid, direct quality. Many of these images have a sort of a simple, dreamlike sensation, which taps into ones’ innate innocence (fig ix & x).
And finally off over to Gallery Riis to see the photographic show Another Room by Eline Mugaas. These photographs are nicely put together and some do have a certain ‘Egglestonesque’ charm. We enjoy the subtle nature and ‘ordinariness’ of this sort of work. However, on slightly deeper inspection there are some technically issues with regards the photos, which I admit, may of course be intentional (fig xi). Nonetheless, Gallery Riis is a bright, pleasant space and this is another show worth seeing.
If you haven’t already, please feel free to go to the links included in the text to find out more about these exhibitions and locations; and we hope you are able to visit some, if not all of the places we have mentioned within the text.