Exhibitions 2013

METTLE AND MODERNITY: Courageous women artists of the 20th century

5 October - 9 February 2014

The exhibition presents female avant-garde artists who searched for new ways to express themselves and who often took greater risks than their male colleagues when questioning traditional artistic concepts. Their work was often criticised for the very fact that they were created by women. Several women artists were in the forefront of new thinking and experimentation; today many of them are forgotten.

The women artists of early 20th century modernism not only fought against the general view of art and what it should look like, they also had to contend with their male colleagues, who were afraid of the competition, and a prevailing notion that women were not supposed to create art. They were welcome to enrol at art schools and academies but when they wanted to pursue a professional career there were very few opportunities available. If a woman were to succeed in the artistic avant-garde, she needed both courage and curiosity.

Comprising works from 1900-1945 by some 30 artists, the exhibition explores individual bodies of work  and the ways in which the Swedish art scene was influenced by currents in the European art world, with a special focus on Germany and Russia.

The exhibition includes works by, among others, Ester Almqvist, Anna Berg, Maja Braathen, Maj Bring, Anna Casparsson, Agnes Cleve- Jonand, Siri Derkert, Mollie Faustman, Malin Gyllenstierna, Elli Hemberg, Sigrid Hjertén, Tora Vega Holmström, Agda Holst, Greta Knutson-Tzara, Lucie Lagerbielke, Tyra Lundgren, Siri Meyer, Judith Molard, Gabriele Münter, Vera Nilsson, Brita Nordencreutz, Ragnhild Nordensten, Siri Ratchman, Anna Riwkin, Lilly Rydström, Ninnan Santesson, Elsa Ström-Ciacelli, Elsa Thorén, Maria Vassilijeff and Nell Walden.


28 September - 2 October 2013

The exhibition Embroidery in stone, Sculptures from Qingtian, at Millesgården, shows 15 sculptures made by Chinese artists from Qingtian.

Qingtian stone is categorized as a kind of jade stone. As the Chinese National Stone, it is named after Qingtian County of Zhejiang Province where its reserve is mostly concentrated.  It is also nicknamed as "book stone", with the scientific name "pyrophyllite", and famed as "the noble of all stones" and "forefather of all seal stones".  
Qingtian stone was mineralized 140 million years ago from the Late Jurassic to Cretaceous. Encompassing almost all the colors of nature, Qingtian stone is valued higher than gold.

The art and craftsmanship that the artists use for the Qingtian stone carving is a unique skill. The delicacy and vividity with both realistic and abstract styles has earned such works a reputation of stone embroidery.
The artist's:
Lin Rukui, Master of Chinese Arts and Crafts
Lin Bozheng, Master of Arts and Crafts of Zhejiang Province
Zhang Aiting, Master of Chinese Arts and Crafts.  
Dai Chunping, Master of Arts and Crafts of Zhejiang Province.
Du Xiaoliang, Master of Arts and Crafts of Zhejiang Province.
Yang Chuzhao, a famous artist of Qingtian stone carving
In cooperation with Embassy of the People?s Republic of China in Sweden,
Zhangjiang Province, China, People's Government of Qingtian County, Zhangjiang Province, China and Sweden Chinese Federation 


13 June - 22 September

The main motif of Mats Gustafson's drawings over the past thirty years has been the constantly changing world of fashion. Fashion ranges change with the regularity of the seasons. New collections see the light of day at an ever-increasing pace and just like the rest of the world the context has become more global. Within fashion there is a vitalising movement from the pulse of the big city streets and clubs to the salons of haute couture -  an influence that also works the other way around.

From the late nineteenth century onwards, different fashion trends have both captured and expressed contemporary sensibilities; ranging from modern life to today's postmodern condition and its indeterminate extension. However, the gaze also wanders backwards and renewal occurs in dialogue with tradition through reusing and reinterpretation, making fashion into a hall of mirrors reflecting different styles and expressions.

Fashion is a hall of mirrors in another sense as well. It is a world that lives in and through being depicted and, more than just clothing, it is about desire, visuality and dreams. The garments and their materiality become a flow and the images are a translation from one language to another. In this Mats Gustafson is a master and what is distinctive about his interpretations is his sensibility and his creative ability. Using a paintbrush (pen or chalk), paint and paper, his work doesn't only sum up the character of the garments, but also incorporates the vision of the designer and the zeitgeist that all true fashion is a part of. It is a great strength that his images reflect the style of what he is portraying, but what this compilation of three decades of work also shows, is the power of his personal style, as well as the diversity of his expression. The afore-mentioned sensibility not only characterises Mats Gustafson's relationship to the motif, but it is also evident in his approach to material and technique. He makes use of the black ink's calligraphic possibilities and the fast movement of the line, the register of watercolour ranging from sheer to layered density and weight. With his use of pastels the continuous surfaces are emphasized, resulting in striking abstraction.

In Mats Gustafson's drawings it becomes evident that the challenge lies in depicting the way the clothes and the body affect each other, in capturing the model's pose and movement, and, with a smooth gesture, pinpointing what is most essential. The naked body and portraits are other motifs favoured by Mats Gustafson. Among them we find well-known faces from the catwalk -  supermodels as well as fashion designers -  but also authors, actors and other famous people from the cultural sphere. Friends outside the fashion world and close family members are also among the depicted. The sensuality that runs like a thread through his drawings has its strongest expression in the nudes. They convey desire and lust, but there is also a darker streak, coloured by the years when HIV and AIDS took the lives of many young men.

The images have, with a few exceptions, mainly been shown in printed form. This exhibition makes for a change of context drawing attention to characteristics in the originals that are hard to reproduce in print -  not least their tactile qualities and expression. The works were produced between 1983 and 2013, a long time considering the high circulation rate in the fashion world.

Those who have read the captions will have understood that Mats Gustafson has repeatedly worked for some of the most prestigious designers and fashion houses such as Yohji Yamamoto, Romeo Gigli, Dior, Comme des Garçons and Hermès. His drawings have also regularly been published in Italian, French and British Vogue and other influential fashion magazines. In addition, his work has been included in a range of international solo and group exhibitions.

Mats Gustafson was born in Mjölby in 1951 and has lived in New York since 1980.

Niclas Östlind, curator


18 June to 18 August 2013

A selection of ten works by the Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic in the Artist's Home.
The sculptors Carl Milles (1875-1955) and Ivan Mestrovic (1883-1962) made a great artistic impression in their respective countries. They were active during the 20th century, and have a great deal in common. 
They both grew up in the countryside, showing creative talent from an early age and starting to study art. Over the years, their paths crossed on a number of occasions. For example, they both had the opportunity to meet and be influenced by the sculptor Auguste Rodin. And they both left their home countries for the USA, gaining recognition for their work and eventually becoming US citizens. MeStrovic left war-torn Europe for a new life in America. Milles, who after great success during the 1920s felt that he was being opposed in Sweden, moved to find new challenges on a new continent.

Like Milles, Mestrovic is his home countryss most famous sculptor. Both artists' homes, which are now museums, draw inspiration from classic art and the Italian renaissance.

In spring 2013, works by Milles were shown at Mestrovic Atelier, in the Upper Town in Zagreb, Croatia, in an exhibition entitled Milles at Mestrovic. We now welcome works by Mestrovic to Millesgården.
Images of works by Mestrovic: in our Press Room

Little Girl Singing, 1906
Girl with Violin, 1922
Flute Player, 1908
Woman in Prayer, 1917
Head of Christ, 1913


2 February - 26 May 2013

With artists such as Renoir, Monet, Courbet and Vuillard, Millesgården opens the exhibition Painting in Normandy, which forms the start of a major North European tour of the unique collection of artworks from the Painting in Normandy Collection, France. Some 60 paintings by the great masters as well as lesser-known artists will be on display.

With this exhibition Millesgården aims to provide a new perspective on impressionism; on how it was born on the beaches of Normandy, how it continued to the salons of Paris, and how it now, over one hundred years later, is one of the most loved and popular art movements.

Visitors can follow the gradual transition from romantic depictions of nature to the first hesitant steps of impressionism and experience how it reaches maturity. These are scenes characterised by the dramatic nature and the pastoral idyll of the Norman countryside, complete with precipices and rolling scenery, sea and sky. The works were produced at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries as art strode into modernism. Several now-forgotten artists are presented in the exhibition which provides the viewer with new perspectives on both impressionism and Normandy.

Also Carl Milles, Sweden's perhaps internationally best-known sculptor and artist, was, early in his career, via Auguste Rodin, inspired by impressionism. This is evident in his early smaller sculptures. Later this was toned down. However, the exhibition Painting from Normandy and impressionist art harmonise well with the impressions of nature, sky, water, art and architecture that visitors can experience at Millesgården.

List of art works