Tag: Moderna Museet


Marina Abramović. The Cleaner

For more than four decades, Marina Abramović has worked with presence and her own body as her primary artistic media. This has made her one of the most widely acknowledged artists of our time. Her uncompromising self-exposure has evoked criticism and praise in equal measure. Now, Moderna Museet opens the exhibition The Cleaner – the artist’s first major retrospective in Europe.

The Cleaner was produced in close collaboration with Marina Abramović and features more than 120 works. It presents several of her best-known performances, including the Relation Works with German artist Ulay, her collaborator and partner from 1976-1988. These works take the form of live reperformances, films, installations and photographs from the 1970s to today. Moderna Museet is also delighted to show early paintings and works on paper from the 1960s and onwards, some of which are being exhibited for the first time. Also included are her relatively unknown audio works from the 1970s.

“Even in her earliest works, Marina Abramović expands the given boundaries, in terms of scale, medium, and the relationship to the audience. The responsibility shared by the artist and the participants for what the work can evolve into permeates her entire oeuvre”, says Lena Essling, curator of the exhibition.

Marina Abramović was born in Belgrade, Ex-Yugoslavia in 1946, to partisan parents, who met during WWII and were national heroes under Marshal Tito’s regime. Raised in her childhood primarily by her orthodox grandmother, religion and revolution impacted profoundly on her early life and continue to permeate her artistic practice. In Rhythm 5 (1974/2011) she sets fire to a communist star that can also be read as a pentagram when inverted. The video installation The Hero (2001) is a ritualistic elegy for her father. Abramović’s works seek the core of concepts such as loss, memory, being, pain, endurance and trust. Her work is a matter of life and death – questions about existence and art are brought to a head in ways that may both provoke and move us. Rarely has anyone explored the physical and mental pain thresholds as she does. In The Lovers (1988) Abramović and Ulay undertook a 90-day walk from opposite ends of the Great Wall of China. Their halfway meeting marked the end of their love affair and more than ten-year partnership.

“27 years ago, before her international breakthrough at the Venice Biennale, we had the honour of featuring Marina Abramović in an exhibition at Moderna Museet. We now take great pride in being the first museum in Europe to produce a retrospective exhibition of her work”, says Daniel Birnbaum, director of Moderna Museet.Continue Reading..


Yayoi Kusama. In Infinity

Moderna Museet and ArkDes in Stockholm, 11 June – 11 September, 2016
Curator: Jo Widoff. Assistant curator: Olga Krzeszowiec Malmsten

Yayoi Kusama is one of the most acclaimed artists working today. Since the 1950s, she has created art that is as personal as it is universal. Like few other artists she moves freely between painting, sculpture and installations, between art and design, and between East and West. In summer 2016, Moderna Museet and ArkDes are featuring Yayoi Kusama’s oeuvre in the first major presentation in Sweden.

In 1957 Yayoi Kusama left Japan for New York. Here, at the heart of the vibrant 1960s art scene, she created many of her seminal works, characterised by the impulse to allow one shape or pattern take over and repeat itself infinitely. In the series Infinity Nets, Kusama methodically filled large canvases with semicircles in white, impasto oil paint, like the mesh of an infinite net. It is a painterly practice where the process itself is tangible, bordering on performance, and the works have an energy that comes from the charged concentrated effort Kusama has put into each painting. In her series of Accumulation Sculptures, everyday objects are covered with stuffed, phallic textile protuberances, a poignant theme that challenged the caucus of male critics. The late 1960s was an intensely creative period for Kusama, and her artistic activities expanded to breaking point. She organised collective art happenings, orgies, political performances and staged Anti-war protests. The participants wore clothes designed by Kusama, but just as often the clothes came off, in protest against the establishment. In Body Paint Festivals Kusama painted polka dots on nude bodies and appointed herself the “High Priestess of Polka Dots”. She founded the magazine Kusama’s Orgy and designed avant-garde fashion for her own label, The Nude Fashion Company. As a non-Western woman in a then excluding, male art world, Yayoi Kusama was an outsider, a position she emphasised and occasionally played with.Continue Reading..


Olafur Eliasson. Reality machines

His works are in dialogue with ecology, architecture and urban spaces, but also with philosophy and science. The show present Eliasson’s unusually expansive artistic output, letting his installations fill both museum buildings.
Curator: Matilda Olof-Ors

On 3 October, 2015, Moderna Museet and ArkDes, the Center of Architecture and Design open their extensive exhibition on Olafur Eliasson, one of the most influential contemporary artists today. Although Eliasson’s work has been exhibited all over the world, this is the first time his oeuvre has been featured in a major museum presentation in Stockholm. Eliasson explores the spaces in which we dwell, with works ranging from unassuming sculptures to larger architectonic structures. Olafur Eliasson’s works are in dialogue with ecology, architecture and urban spaces, but also with philosophy and science. Thus, it is only natural for the neighbouring institutions Moderna Museet and ArkDes to present Eliasson’s unusually expansive artistic output, letting his installations fill both museum buildings.

“I strongly believe that it isn’t necessary to polarise the fields of art and architecture. Rather, it’s about trying to transgress the traditional boundaries to create a space of inclusion and hospitality, where differences of opinion are not only tolerated but encouraged. When you enter my exhibition, you do not step out of the city of Stockholm and into the protected world of art, but continue the processes of negotiation and co-production that characterise our shared reality.”
Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson (born 1967, Iceland/Denmark) is based in Copenhagen and Berlin, where Studio Olafur Eliasson employs some 90 staff members. Eliasson’s practice encompasses sculpture, painting, photography, film, installations, architectural projects and site-specific works in public spaces.
The exhibition Olafur Eliasson: Verklighetsmaskiner/Reality machines spans his entire career so far, from the early 1990s to today. Perception is central to the art of Olafur Eliasson. The works draw our attention not only to what we see, but to how we see, or, in the artist’s own words: “seeing yourself seeing”.

“Olafur Eliasson shifts our focus from the art object itself to the actual experience of seeing. His installations are optical instruments that make us see the world around us in different ways. The works become machines that produce new realities,” says Matilda Olof-Ors, exhibition curator.Continue Reading..


Francesca Woodman. On Being an Angel

Francesca Woodman. On Being an Angel
Moderna Museet. Stockholm

5 September 2015 – 6 December 2015

The American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958–1981) created a body of fascinating photographic works in a few intense years before her premature death. Her oeuvre has been the object of numerous in-depth studies and major exhibitions in recent years, and her photographs have inspired artists all over the world.

Francesca Woodman began photographing in her teens and studied at the Rhode Island School of Design from1975 to 1978. Her output is usually divided into periods, from her early works, her years as a student in Providence, Italy (1977-1978), the Mac Dowell Colony, and, lastly, New York from 1979 until she died. The collection she left behind consists of a few hundred gelatin silver prints, but she also tried other techniques, such as large-format diazotypes, colour photography and video.

Moderna Museet will present some hundred photographs by Francesca Woodman, with a selection from the series and themes she explored. The exhibition is produced by Moderna Museet in association with Betty and George Woodman and the Estate of Francesca Woodman. Alongside this exhibition, Moderna Museet will present a compilation of photography from the same period from its collection, to show Francesca Woodman in context and expand the perspective on her oeuvre to the public.

Woodman’s photographs explore gender, representation, sexuality and body. Her production includes several self-portraits, using herself and her friends as models. The figures are often placed behind furniture and other interior elements; occasionally, the images are blurred in such a way that their identity is hidden from the viewer. The intimate nature of the subject matter is enhanced by the small formats. Woodman worked in unusual settings such as derelict buildings, using mirrors and glass to evoke surrealist and occasionally claustrophobic moods.

Curator: Anna Tellgren

Moderna Museet

Visiting address:
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm

Postal address:
Moderna Museet
Box 16382
SE-103 27 Stockholm

Francesca Woodman
On Being an Angel # 1, Providence, Rhode Island, 1977
© George och Betty Woodman