A New Year for the Art World - 10 great things you can't miss!
Marina Abramović, Stromboli III Volcano, 2002 Courtesy Marina Abramović Archives. Photo: Paolo Canevari © Marina Abramović
We stand at the start of an exciting new year for the art world, full of big events to look forward to or dread. In either case, you can count on art. 2017 is going to be a banner year, one of the most promising in a while. CFHILL presents ten events and situations to keep an eye on.
Sara Arrhenius, new head of the Royal Academy of Art, Stockholm. Photo: Patrick Miller
1. Right woman for the job
Let’s start at home in Stockholm, where there has been an interesting reshuffle of some of our leading artworld personalities. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts has been in difficult straits for some time, with storm clouds in the administration and conflict among the professors. Was the Ministry of Culture’s recruitment of Sara Arrhenius to head the Academy a brilliant move? It’s certainly looking like it. After ten years at the helm of Bonniers Konsthall, she’s not just a familiar Swedish profile, she has the expertise and the international range required by an outward-looking institution with big ambitions.
Keimena #4: La Mort de Louis XIV by Albert Serra, Documenta 14
2. A banner year for art
In 2017, a veritable deluge of art fairs and biennales is upcoming. Nobody can go to all of them, so plan your year with care. The end of March marks the opening of Art Basel in Hong Kong, Asia’s biggest art show and the newest member of the Art Basel family. As April begins, so too does the noblest event in the artworld calendar, Documenta, a mammoth show that recurs once every five years. As usual, the main event will be in Kassel, Germany, but curator Adam Szymczyk has decided to open with a sneak preview in April in one of the battered but still beating hearts of Europe, Athens. The whole artworld will be gathering there. And while it may lack the glamour and glitz of a Venice Biennale, a few days at Documenta is the equivalent of the better part of a university education. A must for art lovers. Next follows Skulptur Projekte in the South German city of Muenster. From there, Venice is only a vintage train ride away. All this happens before the summer solstice. CFHILL will be attending all of the events, so join us! We’re hearing rumours that Ylva Ogland has been invited to Documenta, too.
Ulay/Marina Abramović, Relation in Space, 1976 Performance 58 minuter XXXVIII Biennale, Giudecca, Venice, juli, 1976. Foto: Jaap de Graaf. Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives © Ulay / Marina Abramović
3. Madonna of the artworld coming to Stockholm
Eager to experience something with an international pedigree before spring comes? On 18 February, The Cleaner, Marina Abramovic’s (born 1946) first European retrospective, opens at Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Abramovic first made a name for herself in the 1970s with her powerful performances together with partner Ulay. Since their separation – effected as part of a performance – she has continued to explore the ties that bind people and the pain that afflicts them with the same intensity as she did in her youth. The show at Moderna can scarcely be other than a sensation. Equally in the spirit of Madonna, though in a different way altogether, is Marie-Louise Ekman, who is finally the subject of a well-deserved retrospective at Moderna. Ekman is one of Sweden’s most original and prolific artists, and in recent years has also garnered international attention.
4. New gallery in Östermalm
Old venues close and new ones open. A new art space we’re looking forward to is Galerie Forsblom. Already a familiar and well-respected brand in Helsinki, the 40 year old gallery is now expanding into big, freshly renovated premises at Karlavägen 9, the former address of the Lars Bohman Gallery. According to the rumour mill, it will be run by a capable female duo from an auction house, and the first show is going to make a big splash. We don’t doubt it. Welcome to Stockholm, Forsblom!
Photo: Mikael Lammgård, Röhsska museet
5. This year’s hope
Swedish design has been out of sorts for a long time. Things have been especially off-kilter at Sweden’s leading design exhibition space, Röhsska Museum. The institution is currently suffering from internal conflicts and resignations – an unfortunate situation. Stockholm still lacks a serious design space, despite attempts to create one by both the Nationalmuseum and Kulturhuset. Will 2017 see a clearer set of marching orders and more resources for ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design? A girl can hope.
6. This year’s London trip no. 1: Giacometti
Exactly fifty years ago, an Alberto Giacometti retrospective went up at the Tate in cooperation with the artist himself. This May, the Tate Modern in London is once again mounting an indispensable exhibition of the 20th century’s most beloved sculptor and most essential interpreter of the period’s traumas. His name is as instantly recognizable as his gangling figures. The show includes several never before exhibited plaster casts and drawings, as well as the famous bronze sculptures and oil paintings. Make reservations now!
Kazimir Malevitch, Black Square, 1913
7. This year’s London trip no. 2: the Russian avant-garde
Now the choices get a little tougher. After the summer is past, the same museum opens a major exhibition on the Russian avant-garde. We art-lovers often imagine we understand the basics of the birth of modernism. Yet the real art revolution of the 20th century would never have occurred if geniuses like Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky and Natalia Goncharova had not moved from Moscow and Saint Petersburg to Paris and planted their radical ideas in its rich and receptive soil.
8. CFHILL’s spring line-up
The first show of the New Year opens soon, featuring painter Tomas Lundgren, about whom you’ll soon be able to read more. We can promise a dynamic, innovative, surprising spring at CFHILL. Our first guest curator of the year, Sandra Weil, arrives in February to present a group show featuring some of Israel’s leading edge artists along with classic Swedish artworld stars. Following that will be the third edition of our successful Ten by Ten concept, and a show on one of the most successful photographers of our era. We’ll reveal the artist’s identity soon.
Yves Saint Laurent in his home in Marrakesh
9. Fashion is art, too
This September, not one but two new museums are opening devoted to Yves Saint Laurent, one in Paris and one in Marrakesh. Fans will have a fresh opportunity to gain insights into his career, design and studio life. In Paris, the existing Fondation Pierre Bergé at 5 Avenue Marceau is being renovated. The interiors are being restored to their golden era finery, and over 20,000 couture items will be presented in beautiful displays. It’s a gargantuan effort. Hats off to the French for taking their cultural heritage seriously.
10. Market Art Fair moves outside the city
The Market Art Fair is testing the waters outside the city proper this year, opening in March at Färgfabriken. Just like last year, the show’s directors are encouraging exhibitors to present individual artists rather than mixed shows. The 2016 Market Art Fair was a success. We should be happy and proud that Stockholm can support a high-quality, commercially viable, popular art fair.
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