Unlike many other art fairs that present international artists Stockholm’s main fair Market Art Fair has a Nordic nucleus. Each participating gallery must show an artist from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Iceland to participate. Therefore, the fair and programming throughout the week—Stockholm Art Week—overall has a decidedly Nordic flavor and as it is set in Stockholm it welcomes visitors to take part in the bustling Swedish art scene.
The most extensive listings can be found in the Stockholm Art Week online calendar—created by PR-maven Joanna Sundström of Part Projects—but, to get you started Cultbytes has highlighted some events that should not be missed that include Sanna Fried’s portraits of her grandmother, a human right activist and holocaust survivor (where we have heard that two former heads of state will be in attendance!), exhibitions by feminist (Misschiefs) and artist (Black Iris) collectives, a performance by Ukrainian artist Darja Lukjanenko, an artist talk moderated by Allyson Schiffman of Vogue Scandinavia, and an Östermalm breakfast gallery crawl, among others.
Stockholm Art Week is focused around Market Art Fair, taking place at Liljevalchs and Spritmuseum 12-14 May, where forty galleries and more than seventy artists represent every Nordic country. Founded in 2006, the fair welcomes the return of many galleries including two leading Swedish galleries with international outposts Galerie Nordenhake and Andrehn-Schiptjenko, Danish Nicolai Wallner, Norwegian Golsa, and Icelandic i8, as well as first-timers Carl Kostyál, Von Bartha, Persons Project, and Galleri Brandstrup. Expanding into Spritmuseum, the fair presents a new section Market Debut with seven participating galleries. Other highlights include a large-scale neon installation by celebrated Danish artist ‘expanded collective’ Superflex and a solo presentation by Britta Marakatt-Labba at Galleri Helle Knudsen. Sámi artists are making waves in the art world, Marakatt-Labba is known for her poetic and political embroidered images of Sápmi landscapes on view at Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens and more recently ‘The Sámi Pavilion’ at Venice Biennale in 2022 which marked the first time Sámi artists had been represented in the biennale’s Nordic Pavilion.
Of course, the week is not all Nordic, the independent art fair Supermarket that takes 11-14 May at Stadsgårdsterminalen in the heart of Stockholm presents 56 exhibiting artist-run galleries from 35 cities around the world. In Stockholm, restaurants have become hubs for good art, and leading this trend during Stockholm Art Week is Taverna Brillo, Teatergrillen, and Riche whose art programs are headed by Carl Carboni. Teatergrillen, showing Jesper Nyren, is the week’s official watering hole.
Where to Find Us During Stockholm Art Week
May 10, 5-8PM
Opening: Sanna Fried: Min Farmor Hédi Fried (My Grandmother Hédi Fried) at Brillo
Panel moderated by Madeleine Levy with the artist Suzanne Khardalian and Katherine Hauptman
On November 2022 the award-winning human-rights activist, psychologist, and author Hédi Fried passed away at the age of 98. Known in the public eye as a holocaust survivor she was celebrated for her important work against racism and for democracy. She passed through Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz and has written about her experiences in several books. Sanna, her granddaughter, knew her as these things but also a grandmother. “When I realized that she was getting much older and the end was nearing I started looking through our old family photographs,” Sanna tells Cultbytes. “I began thinking about who my grandmother was and what influence she had on me,” she continues. A portrait artist she decided to paint some of the photographs sprinkling them with elements inspired by female surrealists working in Mexico in the first half of the 1900s—absurdities that helped her understand the loss, trauma, but also resilience that marked Hédi’s personhood. The work above depicts Hédi at one of her son’s bar mitzvahs shortly after the death of her husband. Hédi frequently traveled, to see the world, one of the snapshots Sanna has selected is taken from one of her grandmother’s trips to Mexico. The backdrop is Painting on traditional Christian-themed Mexican textile, Sanna felt a particular closeness, or perhaps energy transferral, as she created the work while residing in Mexico.
During the past year, working on the portraits, Sanna has lived an itinerant life moving between Mexico City, Santa Theresa, and Stockholm, among other places. Despite being on the move, the work has brought her closer to her Jewish cultural heritage. “I hope that the exhibition will spark reflection and self-examination,” the artist concludes.
May 10, 6-8PM
Opening: Black Iris: EXPLOSIVE VISION at Gasverket (Torsgatan 22)
Founded by artists Anna and Mattias Camner, Black Iris is an artist-run community. After launching their first exhibition at ALMA during Stockholm Art Week 2022 their second exhibition “Explosive Vision,” will take place at a former gas plant and features intense works like “Explosion (Portrait of a Mistress)” a 3 x 7 meter work by Mathias Van Arkel. The compound was designed by Swedish architect Ferdinand Boberg who was leading in form and building innovation during the turn of the last century and was active from 1893-2011. Artists Yngvild Saeter, Gunilla Klingberg, Anna Camner, Johan Thurfjell, Matthias van Arkel, Maria Nordin, Anneè Olofsson, Juan Pedro Fabra Guemberena, Ulrika Sparre, Marcus Mårtenson, Julia Peirone, Éva Mag, Stefan Otto, and Peter Johansson will be on view.
“Black Iris’ wide open pupil meets Ferdinand Boberg’s run-down building in an explosion of new expressions. The contemporary artworks contemplate the future and create a dynamic energy in dialogue with the charming old venue,” reads the press release.
May 11, 11-6PM
Inauguration of Dockskåpet (The Dollhouse) by Misschiefs at Norra Stationsgatan 61 (Elevator E, Floor 8)
Misschiefs, a Stockholm-based feminist curatorial collective’s, newest experimental takeover ‘Dockskåpet’ (The Dollhouse) in Bilpalatset features two new rooms within their 900m2 office building space which hosts exhibitions, performances, and a pop-up shop. Performances will take place at random times during the day.
Misschiefs mission is to occupy empty spaces in strategic city locations to offer rent-free art studios and curated visibility to emerging and established womxn artists and designers.
Open Saturday by appointment, to schedule DM @misschiefs.se.
May 12, 12:30-1PM
Performance: Yevshan Zillya by Darja Lukjanenko at Supermarket (Stadsgårdsterminalen)
Duration: 30 min. Public event at Talks & Performance Stage
“This is a performative archeology series exploring nomadic shared past and possible ways for collective memory activation. Inspired by the legend from the ancient Ukrainian historiography about the child of Polovtsy Khan, who was separated from the family and raised in Kyiv the way he forgot his origin. Neither the sound of Polovtsy’s song nor his mother tongue reminded him of his roots. But once he smelled a mythical herb called Yevshan Zillya, his memory came back. For Ukrainians, it states the hope to restore the lost heritage after centuries of repressions and wars.”
May 12, 4-8PM
Opening Jordan Strafer: LOOPHOLE at Index (Kungsbro strand)
The artist will be in conversation with Theresa Traore Dahlberg at 6PM
Jordan Strafer’s exhibition LOOPHOLE—an installation and film with the same title—takes its starting point in the true story of the 1991 trial of William Kennedy Smith (John F. Kennedy’s nephew) who was accused and acquitted by the jury of the rape of 29-year-old Patricia Bowman. The court case was televised and—as if these events were written for film—the lead defense attorney, Roy Black, married one of the jurors, Lisa Haller.
The original court case took place during a moment where image-related codes for power heavily affected film industry productions; in his video-work, “Strafer takes a cinematic genre popular at that time – the erotic thriller – to combine desire and law, power and systemic questions, sexuality and fear. Classic examples of the erotic thriller genre include softcore pornography, romance and erotic fantasy as in the cases of Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct, with objectification of bodies and projection of sexual fantasies connecting with porn industry,” the press release reads.
May 12, 6PM (Exhibition runs through October 15th, 2023)
Opening: Monica Sjöö: The Great Cosmic Mother Exhibition at Moderna museet (Exercisplan 4)
“An unwavering advocate of freedom from oppression in all its forms, Swedish artist, activist, writer and eco-feminist Monica Sjöö came to be one of the seminal figures in both the Women’s Liberation Movement in the UK and the international Goddess movement. Born in Sweden, Monica Sjöö (1938-2005) lived most of her adult life in Bristol. As an outspoken pioneer of feminist art and female spirituality, Sjöö began producing raw bold images that sought to express her growing resentment for social injustices. Later works speaks to ancient knowledge and belief systems, drawing imagery from pagan sites and female symbols of the past, reflecting her life-long research into ancient matriarchal cultures. Tracing the artist’s deep commitment to gender and environmental justice, this retrospective exhibition will introduce and consider Monica Sjöö’s artistic and activist practice – a practice that also chimes with many challenges today.” A must see!
May 13, 10AM-12PM
Gallery Crawl with Breakfast!
Saskia Neuman Gallery (Linnégatan 19)
Andréhn-Schiptjenko (Linnégatan 31)
Galleri Glas (Nybrogatan 34)
Carling Dalenson (Sibyllegatan 49)
Public Service Gallery (Storgatan 1)
Galleri Sebastian Schildt (Strandvägen 5b)
The appointed neighborhood of lower Östermalm has emerged to become Stockholm’s new gallery cluster. Public Service Gallery and SAskia Neuman both opened within the past year and Andrehn-Schiptjenko re-located some years ago from their space on Hudiksvallsgatan—Stockholm’s OG gallery cluster. Visit the galleries and see art over coffee and croissants and make a pitstop at our favorite tea shop Sibyllans Kaffe & Tehandel to pick up some loose leaf delights.
May 14, 1-1:45PM and 2-2:45PM
Two Talks with ART VOX on Publishing and Art! at Market (Liljevalchs, Djurgårdsvägen 60)
Publishing in the digital age: Frida Vega Salomonsson & Nora Arrhenius Hagdahl Co-Founders of Nuda RSVP
Introducing…Market Debut Artists with Allyson Shiffman Editor at Vogue Scandinavia RSVP
Photographer Vega Salmonsson and art-critic Arrhenius Hagdahl discuss what role art print and independent publishing plays today together with a panel of independent Scandinavian publicists. Nuda is a biannual hardcover publication, exploring broad themes through incursions into the worlds of art, fashion, design, philosophy and science. They will together cover their different approaches, printmaking as curation, and the true meaning of the physical object.
“There’s really something happening in Scandinavia right now – so many thrilling new galleries popping up, so many thrilling young artists. There’s a certain energy and a certain just-go-for-it mentality,” Shiffman said to Cultbytes. Hailing from Canada, she the print editor of newly created Vogue Scandinavia and has contributed to publications such Interview, V and W, where she frequently profiled emerging and established artists. She will moderate a talk with Kristín Morthens (Thula), Hilda Hellström (Andy’s), Jonathan Pihlgren (Coulisse), Andreas Albrectsen (CCC), and Alexandra Jegerstedt (Van Etten). They are all part of Market Debut—thirteen bold new artists represented by seven galleries new to Market Art Fair, from four countries.
All Week! Performances at Sergels Torg
10 May, 12.30pm-1.30pm – SNÄLLA TV PLZ with Arkeolog 8
6pm-6.45pm – UP RELOADED with Arkeolog 8
11 May, 5pm-5.45pm – Cornelis! with Nils Närman Svensson trio12 May, 5pm-5.45pm – Cornelis! with Nils Närman Svensson trio
13 May, 1pm-3pm – The Dancespot
All performances will take place on ‘s handwoven series of carpets placed on the stairs in front of the summer stage at Sergels Torg. The colorful carpets have a geometric pattern that varies from carpet to carpet. Together they form a larger abstract motif that varies depending upon the placement of the carpets.
PS. If you pass by, look up because there is a beautiful installation of silver squares that glitter as they reflect the light in the sky.
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Anna Mikaela Ekstrand is editor-in-chief and founder of Cultbytes. She mediates art through writing, curating, and lecturing. Her latest books are Assuming Asymmetries: Conversations on Curating Public Art Projects of the 1980s and 1990s and Curating Beyond the Mainstream. Send your inquiries, tips, and pitches to email@example.com.