Current and coming exhibitions

Hand of God. Photo: Yanan Li
The Archer. Photo: Yanan Li
Carl Milles. Angel musicians. Photo: Yanan Li

Wien & Paris 1907 - 1957
12 february - 4 september 2022

The photographer Dora Kallmus (1881–1963) had a studio in Vienna and later Paris. Kallmus early on adopted the name Madame d’Ora. In front of her camera sat cultural personalities and transgressors such as Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso, Tamara de Lempicka, Josephine Baker, Coco Chanel and Anita Berber. D’Ora’s fashion photographs were published in the largest fashion magazine of the time. The models were wearing Wiener Werkstätte, Balenciaga, Hermès, Chanel and Madame Agnès.

When the Nazis took control of Paris in 1940, Kallmus, who came from a Jewish family, lost her studio and fled to the French countryside. Friends and family were persecuted. Her sister was deported and murdered. These horrors were after the war embodied by Kallmus in a series of photographs from Parisian slaughterhouses and refugee camps. The contrasts are amazing.

The exhibition is a collaboration with Photoinstitut Bonartes in Vienna, Ullstein Bild in Berlin and Preus museum in Norway.

21 May – 25 September 2022

Throughout the ages, sculptural art and its conventions has embodied various meanings: portraits, memories and monuments, decorations and architectural elements. Sculptures have taken a figurative expression – depicted and idealised – as well as non-figurative and abstract expression. What is sculpture? This is a question that the artist Anton Alvarez (b. 1980) leads us to reflect on.

Sculptures have a tangible volume and share a physical space with the viewer. At the Millesgården Artist’s Home, Alvarez’s contemporary sculptures encounter Carl Milles’s works of art and the Antique Collection in a classical setting. Milles represents tradition and convention. For him, material is subordinate to form. For Alvarez, on the other hand, form is subordinate to material. Alvarez’s sculptures take shape unrestrained by convention and without any ambition to depict. Milles’s passion for classical sculpture, not least his fascination with columns, is given scope in the dialogue with Alvarez’s fluted, ribbed sculptures.

Alvarez’s works can be perceived as having tactile and sensory qualities. Formation is present in the imagination. The viewer is enticed to look closer, tempted to touch. This is associated with the contemporary phenomenon of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), in which intimate and multi-sensory satisfaction is achieved through visual, auditory, tactile or olfactory stimulus.

Alvarez challenges the nature of the traditional work of art by playfully exploring the boundary between the role of artist and engineer. The artist himself designs and constructs the tool that creates the work of art and thus removes himself from its creation. Alvarez’s tool The Extruder is a large-scale press that squeezes out matter at several tons of pressure through various profiles and nozzles. The formations become seemingly distorted and plastic objects.

For Millesgården’s exhibition in 2022 Alvarez collaborated with the Battaglia Fine Art Foundry in Milan. There, Alvarez developed his own method, based on the traditional lost-wax casting process – cire perdue – in which he presses beeswax in cold water. Depending on pressure, force and handling, the wax assumes a shape that becomes the final form of the sculpture, which is then cast in bronze. The lost form, rejected and invisible, becomes immortalised and visible.