A beautiful medieval city surrounded by water and greenery, Stockholm has plenty of appeal, including thriving food and art scenes. Galleries in the capital promote Swedish talent as well as the works of many international artists, and often collaborate on broader cultural projects. From artist-run initiatives to a gallery specialising in photography, these are ten of the best exhibition spaces and galleries to sample contemporary art in Stockholm.
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
Housed in a 1930s warehouse at the capital’s old free port, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall has a large exhibition area of around 1,500 square metres. It uses this space to present ambitious shows for mid-career internationally established artists, like Irish sculptor Siobhán Hapaska. Since its beginnings in 1987, Magasin 3 has also developed a private collection of over 600 works, including many pieces from artists it has showcased over the years. Two of its galleries are dedicated to displaying works from this permanent collection. In the last few years Magasin 3 has further expanded its scope to include lectures, talks and collaborations with other art institutions as founder members of FACE.
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Frihamnen, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 545 680 40
Since opening in 1978 Wetterling Gallery has been leading the way for contemporary art in Scandinavia. As well as introducing international artists to the local scene, it has also been championing Swedish artists, with a particular focus on the latest trends in painting, sculpture and photography. Wetterling Gallery hosts around seven exhibitions annually, presenting the works of both well-established and emerging talent. World-famous individuals, such as Pop Art exponent James Rosenquist, have had recent shows here. The gallery’s founder, Björn Wetterling, has chaired The Swedish Gallery Association since 2010, and the gallery has been actively involved in the international art scene, participating in around four major fairs per year.
Wetterling Gallery, Kungsträdgården 3, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 10 10 09
The Art Nouveau building containing Fotografiska, formerly an old customs house, was designed by acclaimed Swedish architect Ferdinand Boberg. Today, it is home to one of the best photography museums in Scandinavia. Every year the museum stages between 15 and 20 major exhibitions, which have presented internationally renowned photographers, including Swedes Helena Blomqvist and Klara Källström. Photography shows at Fotografiska explore many different themes, such as Roger Ballen’s black and white depictions of human or animal absurdity, and Sebastião Salgado’s images of parts of the world that have escaped modern civilisation. Visitors to Fotografiska can also enjoy after-hours music events and excellent views of Stockholm from its dining spaces.
Fotografiska, Stadsgårdshamnen 22, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 50 900 500
Bonniers Konsthall derives its name from the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Foundation, which awards a grant to a young Swedish artist every year. The latest contemporary art is presented in a varied exhibition programme of themed group and solo shows. Artists of international calibre have displayed their works here, and American photographer and filmmaker Sharon Lockhart is no exception; immersing herself in foreign communities for long periods of time, Lockhart’s poetic images document the everyday lives of people who are often overlooked. This educational quality is reflective of the many activities undertaken by Bonniers Konsthall, which include collaborating on cultural research projects and art publications. Furthermore, since opening in 2006, Bonniers Konsthall has amassed its own diverse collection of works, which are often loaned to museums around the world.
Bonniers Konsthall, Torsgatan 19, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 736 42 48
Galleri Magnus Karlsson
Founded in 1990, Galleri Magnus Karlsson was originally located in Västerås, a city 100 km west of Stockholm. It moved to the capital in 1997 after developing a reputation as one of the most memorable contemporary art galleries in Sweden. Visitors will find it situated on the ground floor of The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, an institution that plays a supportive role for the country’s artists and architects. In line with its host institution’s mission, the main focus of Galleri Magnus Karlsson is to promote emerging national talent. Artists represented by the gallery work in a wide range of media, from the lifelike watercolours of Maria Nordin, to the avant-garde installations of Mette Björnberg. Galleri Magnus Karlsson also participates in international art fairs such as ABC in Berlin and The Armory Show in New York.
Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Fredsgatan 12, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 660 43 53
Scandinavian galleries were starting to develop more of an international approach in the early 1990s when Andréhn-Schiptjenko was founded. Since then, the gallery has outgrown each of its venues whilst launching the careers of many Scandinavians. It has also introduced foreign artists, such as Mexican José León Cerrillo whose first European solo show was at the gallery. The emerging and mid-career artists represented by the gallery often produce edgy and experimental works, and include Jacob Dahlgren, who pushes the boundaries of optical art, and Annika Larsson, whose videos explore human responses to rules, control and ‘the gaze’. Furthermore, Andréhn-Schiptjenko makes an effort to present these artists at art fairs, including Art Basel Hong Kong and Zona Maco.
Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Hudiksvallsgatan 8, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 612 00 75
Since 1995 Färgfabriken has acted as an exciting platform for art, architecture and urban development. It explores these subjects, and their role in society, through exhibitions, seminars, discussions and workshops. Färgfabriken’s large exhibition hall in Stockholm is the venue for shows like the recent retrospective spanning the 50-year career of the multi-talented Carl Johan De Geer, but it also hosts concerts, dance performances, and solo shows for winners of the Beckers Art Award, which champions innovative contemporary art. In addition to organising national and international exhibitions, Färgfabriken often collaborates on urban projects in other parts of the world.
Färgfabriken, Lövholmsbrinken 1, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 645 07 07
Galleri Charlotte Lund
In 1993, after working in the New York art scene, Charlotte Lund opened her own gallery in Stockholm. In its early years the gallery focused on showing the work of well-established photographers, but has since broadened its scope to include all fine art media. In 2009 Galleri Charlotte Lund opened a 200 square-metre exhibition space at the top of an industrial building in the popular art district of the capital. In this new location the gallery has hosted many exhibitions, such as photo and video works by Maria Friberg, one of Sweden’s most established artists in this field. Friberg’s shows have highlighted modern-day dilemmas, like new communication technologies leading to increased isolation, and the feeling of ‘drowning’ in noise pollution.
Wip Konsthall is the gallery belonging to Wip:sthlm (work-in-progress), a collaborative venture involving 93 artists. Their purpose-built space covers two floors comprising 83 artist studios, a gallery and shops, including a bookshop. Since 2007 Wip Konsthall has presented a programme of cutting-edge exhibitions mostly designed by its artists, but sometimes in collaboration with outside contributors. Past shows have displayed experimental and conceptual art, such as Melissa Henderson’s paintings, sculptures and videos exploring obstacles that prevent speech and self-expression. Wip:sthlm has also promoted art projects in conjunction with the Swedish city of Umeå, the 2014 European Capital of Culture, a title held alongside Riga, Latvia.
Lars Bohman Gallery
The five rooms of the Lars Bohman Gallery display some of the most interesting contemporary art in Stockholm, where eye-catching sculpture, installations and other media contribute to thought-provoking exhibitions throughout the year. In 2013 Lars Bohman Gallery merged with Angelika Knäpper Gallery, continuing its international focus. Artists represented by the gallery work in a broad range of styles, from the collage compositions of Hans Andersson, to the atmospheric watercolours of Lars Lerin, and the amusing cartoon-like paintings of Marie-Louise Ekman. In the past, the gallery has also hosted shows by world-famous artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Edvard Munch and Yayoi Kusama.
Lars Bohman Gallery, Karlavägen 9, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 20 78 07
By Rebecca Steel