Stockholm is not a large city but in fact there are quite a large number of institutions and galleries for art per capita. Visitors with an interest in the art scene of Stockholm often express surprise about the fact that many of the institutions are situated outside the city centre, some in very distant suburbs like the new institution Konsthall C in the suburb of Hökarängen. This is a situation that has been slowly happening for several years, but only now is the sprawl of contemporary art institutions striking since there have lately been new appointments with interesting directors and curators to several of these institutions turning things into what could be presented as a shift of generations. Maybe one should be careful with these kinds of generalizations and instead focus on the fact that there are many institutions now that concentrate on contemporary art.
Tensta Konsthall, Botkyrka Konsthall and the Marabou Park also specialize in contemporary experimental (and process related) art in three other remote suburbs. And let’s not forget Färgfabriken and Magasin 3 on the outer city limits of Stockholm that has been showing high profile shows for years or Millesgården that quite recently has started to show contemporary art in a serious manner. All of these institutions, with the exception for the private Magasin 3 and Millesgården are publicly funded by the district in which the spaces are situated just like Stockholm’s own Kunsthalle, Liljevalchs, in the center of the city.
And to everyone’s surprise even the Moderna Museet has lately started to show contemporary Swedish art with the huge show “Moderna exhibition” intended to become a quadrennial, exhibiting 49 interesting contemporary Swedish artists in a generous manner. The exhibition was a huge success when it comes to visitors and even though the show resembled more an art fair than a conceptualized exhibition the show also got “grand slam” in the Swedish press. In fact, the hailing of the show in the largest daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter in three different reviews resembled the uncritical approach in East European state press before the wall came down.
And in a new building in a gallery-scarce part of the city the privately funded Bonniers Konsthall, directed by former director of IASPIS Sara Arrhenius will open up in September. Their sneak preview has included an interesting video installation projected directly on the building’s large glass façade by Gabriel Lester. It seems likely that Stockholm once again will be a particularly interesting city for contemporary art.