Reclaiming Beauty
10 June - 10 September 2023

Mats Gustafson (b. 1951) began his career as an illustrator in the late 1970s. His elegant and subtly expressive watercolours and pastel works expanded the scope and possibilities of fashion illustration. His works reinvigorated the genre. Among his clients we find Hermès, Svenskt Tenn, Tiffany & Co. and Yohji Yamamoto. For the past ten years, Gustafson has primarily worked for the Dior Fashion House. 

Side by side with fashion illustration, his brush strokes have conjured up portraits: of people, stones, and swans. He turns his gaze repeatedly to the nature on Long Island in the U.S, where he has lived for 20 years. His work has recently been exhibited in the Nordic Watercolour Museum and CFHILL.

Ted Muehling (b. 1953) has designed jewellery and decorative objects inspired by organic forms in nature since 1976. In his New York City studio, he produces pieces using semi-precious stones, metals, pearls, horn, plastic and wood. Boxes, jewellery, vases, a mirror; often unique pieces, dedicated to a friend. Always with nature as a starting point. Avoiding the conventions and limitations of industrial design, he works on his own designs in an artisanal fashion, where time is not an obstacle and quantity is not a necessity.

The Gustafson and Muehling art shares a common language as they explore textures. The texture of fabrics, skin, shells, sand, stone and metals. Muehling’s cabinets of curiosities with collections of natural artefacts and ancient fossils, and Gustafson’s solitary watercolour stones and haute couture of rapid brush strokes, address the eternal questions of life’s transitory nature – memento mori.

The exhibition at Millesgården shows the two artists’ work side by side in a spirited environment – with antique portrait busts, Baroque furnishings and cabinets of curiosities filled with the wonders of nature. The curator is designer Tom Hedqvist (b. 1948).

Thank you DR HERBERT & ANNE-MARIE LEMBCKE AD-INFINITUM-FOUNDATION and Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation for supporting the exhibition and THE ROBERT WEIL FAMILY FOUNDATION for framing contributions.

With Hanna Hellquist
FEB 11 - MAY 28 2023

“Trivial details can be filled with meaning” writes Hanna Hellquist (b. 1980) and reveals that she is obsessed with setting the table beautifully; with creating a table. And perhaps it is especially important to find significance in the small things when life is uncertain and the world is in a turmoil. To create meaning in an otherwise grey existence.

The meal as a motif has been present in art since antiquity. Often laden with symbols and full of allegories, like the 17th century still life – nature morte – in which compositions of platters laden with bunches of grapes, flowers and butterflies could be designed to manifest wealth and worldliness but also poverty and misery.

The many facets of a dinner table extend along lengths of table settings in Millesgården’s exhibition hall and evoke thoughts – big and small – about life.

Current research shows that mental well-being is promoted by coming together around a meal and sitting down at our leisure. The same studies also show that fewer and fewer people do so.

Hanna Hellquist is a journalist and frequently appears in television and radio. For the exhibition at Millesgården, she has invited designers, artists and creators, including Marie-Louise Ekman and Evelina Kroon to celebrate the pleasure and praise of the set table.