12 March 2013

Moderna Museet in Stockholm

Picasso vs Duchamp "He was wrong" exhibition has been around for months (August 2012) and I have been meaning to go see it. Never got to do that, for many reasons (being lazy), and I knew I don't have so much time left! Right before I went to Poland to visit my friends and family I checked it out and it was amazing!
By the way I have seen really awesome exhibitions by other artists too!
Here you go a little sample:


PICASSO VS DUCHAMP - "He was wrong"

He was wrong!

Two giants Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp who are considered to be the most influential artists of 20th century. You probably all heard about Picasso right? Most people consider him to be a weird artist who just draws some squares and triangles and called it art. I have to be honest I never understood his paintings, maybe it just didn't work aesthetically for me. But this was the first time I was able to see his works in person. I must admit I was impressed. Most of the exhibition showcases his drawings, which made a huge impression on me. His art is silly, he can show very close attention to detail and just doodle something right next to it. Its very confusing, like he is bored with precision and just tries to touch everything symbolically.
I absolutely loved the short picture study of one of his paintings. You can see the changes on the way and then look at the original painting. You go back to see what he changed and maybe it helps you a little to understand him and his process.

P.P. sculpture of a woman.

Marcel Ducham is a  mystery to me tho. I have a difficult time calling him an artist. I don't think it is a good word to describe him. I think I would call him exhibitionist and I am aware how ambiguous this word is when it comes to him. Trying to photograph his pieces would be a bit stupid. You have to see it to even try to understand what he wanted to say or show. I have tried tho so there we go.

My shadow over bicycle wheel shadow.

L.H.O.O.Q <- Yeah it's a link!

HILMA AF KLINT - "A pioneer of abstraction"

Oh boy! 230 paintings and pictures. That was something. I was very surprised and kinda beat when I left that particular display. I mean really... The is no words to describe what this little lady did there! I was able to see abstraction could come from precision. Her early works include very tiny and beautiful watercolours of plants (like biology textbook style, with cross sections and close-ups of seeds and so on) and oil landscape paintings. The main display however is entirely abstract. The range of sizes of the paintings is astonishing.

The Ten Largest
The Ten Largest - probably my favourite part of the exhibition - is a journey of human life, from creation to old age. Very symbolic and to me wide open to interpretation. Vivid colours plus amazing technique and precision in size XXL (~ 320 x 240 cm). Her attention to detail and actual design of probably every piece she made was shown in her journals. Tiny little icons of her super sized works side by side, like she was using compass and a ruler... My mind was blown.
She made a decision in her will that her works should not be shown until 20 years after her death (and she has been born in 1862, died in 1944), she was afraid she will be misunderstood. And I am not surprised, I didn't really understand it. I think this sort of art requires a little bit of knowledge of abstractionism, theosophy, anthroposophy and spiritualism. That said I still think it is worth seeing. I even have my favourite piece:

From The Ten Largest - No 10 "Old Age"

Miss Hilma was really creative and productive artist. If you ever have a chance to see her works, please do not walk by. I don't think she is very well known outside of Sweden, but she was influenced and inspired by world famous artists like Wassily Kandinsky or Pieter Mondrain.
Funny thing is that if those names don't ring a bell for you I am sure that if you Google their names you be familiar with the results. And maybe you will see how influential it still is, since we are copy it on daily basis in design.

THE MODERNA MUSEET COLLECTION

Hmm many artists, many styles, many media. Halls of all sorts of art, from architecture, interior design, sculpture, photography to classical paintings. A little display of Russia inspired art, posters and installations. I didn't take too many pictures cause there was A LOT to see and I was already very tired. There you go just a few that caught my eye.

Don't ask. At least from this perspective it looked like lips...


Hmm I really wonder how they pulled that one off!

This one was actually really funny. Comic book style splash!

Moderna is always worth visiting. I am especially pleased cause I got to see Picasso's works so close I could touch them (I didn't!). The fact that Swedes come to museums with children of all ages astonishes me and makes me wonder. They are really a specific nation. In a very good way!
I recommend this museum to everyone. I am sure that you will find something for yourself. And maybe you will also learn something interesting. The biggest highlight for me was Hilma af Klint and her abstractions.

Thanks for reading!

For more information about artists and exhibitions please visit: Moderna Museet in Stockholm page!