Exhibitions 2011


29 January - 15 May 2011

"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were - Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree." 
Excerpt from "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", 1902.

For the first time in Sweden, Millesgården presents an exhibition with the world-famous British author of children's books, Beatrix Potter. Her illustrations introduced many well-loved animal characters, such as Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Jemima Puddle-duck and others.

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) spent many summers with her family and pets in Scotland, and later in the Lake District in England. She and her brother would go for long rambles across the green pastures, painting, drawing and observing nature, and secretly bringing wild animals, dead and alive, back to the house.

Beatrix Potter loved nature and her animals. In the early days, she drew them and used them as material for Christmas and birthday cards. She gave these creatures clothes and personalities, and gradually made up stories involving them. 

Her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, she had printed herself in 1901. The following year, it was published by Frederick Warne publishers and became an immediate success in England. Beatrix Potter wrote and illustrated a further twenty-two small books. She monitored the printing process closely and insisted on a small format to ensure that her books would not be too expensive and so that they would be easy for children to hold. 

When she was in her forties, Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top Farm in the Lake District. This is where she was inspired by nature and animals. She worked actively to preserve the countryside and farming in the Lake District and was actively involved in rearing Herdwick sheep. She used the profit from her books to buy land and several farms that would otherwise have been in danger of disappearing. It is largely thanks to her efforts that these farms still exist today.


28 May - 14 August

"My paintings can be said to describe a parable
between the obtrusively curious botanical
patterns in nature, as organic abstraction,
and the intoxicating, eye-catching appeal
of large engrossing panoramas".

Björn Wessman from the book Aniane, 2010.

Björn Wessman's paintings are large and colourful. These landscape paintings are a veritable paint-bath, which, on occasion, can be shocking to the eye. They can, in fact, stimulate and arouse even the most jaded colour vision. The large format enables the viewer to enter the painting and wander around, as if in a Japanese garden.

Björn Wessman's work focuses on the boundary between the figurative and the abstract vision. 
Björn uses the traditional technique of oil on canvas, yet he takes an abstract and contemporary approach in that the landscape provides the starting point, and explores how the physical experience of the actual landscape can be re-created on the flat canvas. 
Artistic inspiration is drawn from the various "landscapes" he has spent time in over the years. These include the areas around the town of Aniane in France, Zen gardens in Japan, and mountainous regions in Sweden and Australia.

The Wessmanland exhibition features works which appear very much at home at Millesgården Art Gallery. Johan Celsing's beautiful building is surrounded by a sculpture park that in summertime becomes a lush oasis with trickling fountains and dazzlingly colourful flower beds. The sense of vegetation and landscape is enhanced twofold by Björn Wessman's exhibition; first, experience the sumptuous, colourful and abstract landscapes on show in the Art Gallery and then head out into the park to see nature at her most glorious.

Björn Wessman was born in Hässleholm but grew up in Örebro and studied at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Björn has spent some considerable time in the French town of Aniane, even publishing a book of the same name, featuring works inspired by the region.

Björn has featured in a long list of solo and group exhibitions both in Sweden and abroad, and his works grace the walls of some of Sweden's best-known museums, as well as public spaces.


27 August - 15 January 2012

The exhibition Glasstress Stockholm presents works by internationally renowned painters, sculptors and installation artists. From different points of departure, they challenge and transform glass into a medium for contemporary art, far removed from all notions of the utility value of glass.

Glasstress Stockholm comprises works by 32 artists, including: Jean Arp, Mona Hatoum, Fred Wilson, 
Marie-Louise Ekman, Charlotte Gyllenhammar, Ernst Billgren and Bertil Vallien.

Berengo Studio in Venice has a long tradition of inviting artists, designers and architects from different parts of the world to experiment with glass in collaboration with the Studio's glassblowers. Over the years, more than 100 invited artists have produced artworks which have been presented in exhibitions all over the world, including the 2011 Venice Biennale.

The artistic experiments and the close collaboration with the masterful glassblowers has resulted in unexpected, stunning and challenging artworks that fascinate and provoke thoughts, as does all good art. Or, as Glasstress's Italian curator puts it: "Glassblowing is hot! Glasstress is cool!"

The exhibition is the first in a series of Italian-themed exhibitions at Millesgården. Carl Milles created his dream of Italy when he erected Millesgården. Relating to the Italian features of the facility is thus natural and we have chosen to initiate the Italian theme this year as Italy celebrates 150 years of unification. 

Conceived by Adriano Berengo
Curated by Adriano Berengo and Maria Wiberg


Jean Arp 
Domenico Bianchi
Ernst Billgren
Monica Bonvicini
Pino Castagna
Soyeon Cho
Marie Louise Ekman
Jan Fabre
Charlotte Gyllenhammar
Mona Hatoum
Charlotte Hodes
Hye Rim Lee
Liu Jianhua 
Michael Joo
Marya Kazoun
Marta Klonowska
Konstantin Khudyakov
Atelier Van Lieshout
Massimo Lunardon
Vik Muniz
Anne Peabody
Javier Peréz
Jaume Plensa
Bernardì Roig 
Silvano Rubino
Tanja Sæter
Thomas Schutte
Shan Shan Sheng
Bertil Vallien 
Koen Vanmechelen
Fred Wilson
Kimiko Yoshida