This year in Scandinavia begins with a tribute to pop art design and continues with such must-visit events as the solo exhibition of the ground-breaking Finnish video artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila, two exhibitions by world famous photographer Cindy Sherman and a retrospective by Yoko Ono. See the full list of the five must-see exhibitions in Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo, Göteborg and Humlebæk.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila “Parallel Worlds” Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki 19 April 2013 – 1 September 2013
An acclaimed Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila has since the early 1990s introduced new creative idioms into moving image art. Using images, sounds and stories, she constructs installations that embody alternating viewpoints. The viewer is swept into the stories. In her most recent works, Ahtila addresses the themes of globalisation as well as relations between humanity, animals and nature. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the work titled Where Is Where?, which will be shown in Helsinki for the first time.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila studied filmmaking in London and Los Angeles and during her career, she has received numerous grants and awards, including the honorary mention at the 48th Venice Biennale, the Vincent Award for Contemporary Art in Europe, as well as the Artes Mundi Prize. She has also exhibited in such exhibitions as Documenta and the Venice Biennale, and her artworks have been included in numerous museum and private art collections.
Pop Art Design The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk 22 February 2013 – 9 June 2013
Moderna Museet, Stockholm 29 June 2013 – 22 September 2013
This February London’s Tate Modern will host a retrospective exhibition honouring one of the great American artists of the twentieth century – Roy Lichtenstein. But this year pop art will also be visiting Scandinavia.
Today, pop art is regarded as the most influential post-war art movement, and its images continue to inform our understanding of cultural identity. Those who became known as pop artists found their subject matter in everyday life, pictures of celebrities and the mass media, and in advertising, symbols and logotypes created by designers. The imagery and strategies of pop art, in turn, served as inspiration to many designers. Exhibitions “Pop Art Design” in Stockholm and Humlebæk will explore the dialogue that arose between the two disciplines and will cover art and design objects from the early 1950s to the early 1970s, featuring some 80 works of art and as many design objects, films and documentary photographs. The exhibitions will highlight the artistic achievements of Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, Martial Raysse and many other artists and designers, who influenced the development of pop art movement.
Cindy Sherman Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo 4 May 2013 – 29 September 2013
When Cindy Sherman (b.1954) established herself as an artist in New York in the mid-1970s, she was part of a movement interested in performance and conceptual art. Since the early works she has documented the process of transforming herself from one character to another. Her pictures are not self-portraits. She lets her own identity dissolve in the process of creating new characters. Today Cindy Sherman is one of the most influential artists of our time. She belongs to a generation who redefined the photograph and its place in an ever more visually oriented culture. Taking as her starting point the roles appointed to women in photographs, she creates accessible images that mirror the world in which we live.
The exhibition at Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo is co-produced with Moderna Museet in Stockholm, where it will be on view from 19 October 2013 until 19 January,2014.
Yoko Ono “Half-a-Wind Show. A Retrospective” The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk 1 June 2013 – 15 September 2013
John Lennon once described Yoko Ono as “the world's most famous unknown artist: everyone knows her name, but no one knows what she actually does.” For those, who still find Yoko Ono’s artistic expressions a mystery, should visit the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. In 2013 Yoko Ono will be 80, and to mark the occasion the museum will be showing a major retrospective exhibition with a selection of the artist’s characteristic works, demonstrating the diversity of media and disciplines in Yoko Ono’s artistic production, and illustrating the central themes with which Yoko Ono continues to work vitally in her lifelong oeuvre.
PLAY! Recapturing the Radical Imagination Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 7 September 2013 – 17 November 2013
The Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art has taken place every other year since 2001 and this year, with the title “PLAY! Recapturing the Radical Imagination”, it aims to explore the lightheartedness of the art world. The organisers of the Biennial believe that our globalised world seems to be at a constant risk of failing is the very human imagination. New ground for reclaiming the radical imagination needs to open up and alternative ways of thinking and living need to be created. Art remains one of the last frontiers where creative playfulness and activism, social experiment and philosophical deliberation can meet uninhibitedly and spark off such alternatives.
This year the directors of the Biennial have invited four international curators to develop individual episodes, one of which will be curated by the world-renowned performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson, working in collaboration with Andjeas Ejiksson (artist, writer and editor based in Stockholm). The other three curators are Katerina Gregos (art historian, curator and writer based in Brussels; curator of the Danish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennial and artistic director for the 2013 edition of Art Brussels), Claire Tancons (writer, researcher and curator) and Joanna Warsza (curator for visual, performing art and architecture, living and working in Berlin and Warsaw).