twitter facebook
Ai Weiwei at Galerie Forsblom (Stockholm). Photo: Per-Erik Adamsson

Helsinki’s Galerie Forsblom opens a branch in Stockholm 0

Q&A with Sara Berner Bengtsson, the Exhibition Coordinator at Galerie Forsblom in Stockholm

Founded in 1977, Galerie Forsblom, one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Northern Europe, has since 2011 been located in the center of Helsinki, in a space designed by Gluckman Mayner Architects. On February 5, Galerie Forsblom will mark the opening of its Stockholm branch with an exhibition featuring the works of Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei (on view through March 26, 2017). contacted Sara Berner Bengtsson to find out more about the gallery’s new branch in Stockholm.

Photo: Per-Erik Adamsson

Are there any major differences in the identities of both galleries?

The galleries in Stockholm and Helsinki do share the same identity through their architecture and with the materials used in the gallery spaces. They both have a Nordic feel to them, e.g., Dinesen Douglas wood floors throughout the gallery rooms, and both express simplicity and calmness. However, the galleries will have their own separate exhibition programs, with the occasional exhibition of the same established names and international artists. Also, whereas the Helsinki gallery works mostly with young Finnish artists, the Stockholm gallery will primarily exhibit emerging Swedish talents instead. 

Photo: Per-Erik Adamsson

Why did you decide on the Stockholm art market as the first place to expand with Galerie Forsblom? 

The public in Stockholm already exhibits a great interest in art, and they are very knowledgeable – this makes it an exciting place in which to expand Galerie Forsblom. We look forward to getting to know the Swedish audience, and for them to get to know the artists that we will be bringing to Sweden and to the gallery.

Photo: Per-Erik Adamsson

Last summer there was news about a forthcoming merging of Stockholm’s Lars Bohman galleries and Galerie Forsblom. Why did that fall through?

Since Galerie Forsblom is already a well known name internationally, it made more sense to continue under that identity, and to separate it from the Lars Bohman Gallery.

Photo: Per-Erik Adamsson

The gallery will open with a show featuring the world-renown Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei. Could you highlight some of the pieces that will be on view this exhibition?

One of the main highlights (and which has also provided the name for the exhibition) is Tyre. It’s a massive sculpture in marble depicting four lifebuoy rings. It puts the spotlight on the ongoing refugee crisis and has its origin in Ai Weiwei’s personal experiences on the Greek island of Lesvos. We are also very pleased to exhibit three of Ai Weiwei’s powerful kite works, QinyuanMen Shen Kite, and Chuti. They are made of silk and bamboo and are reinterpretations of Shang Hai Jing, or the Classic of Mountains and Seas, a 2,000-year-old Chinese book of fables about mythological creatures and monsters said to inhabit the earth’s uncharted realms. 

Galerie Forsblom
Karlavägen 9