Striking façade for Swedish art showcase

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The Swedish art world received a fresh injection on Saturday with the opening of Bonniers Konsthall. The exhibition space is located on the ground floor of a triangular five storey building with a striking glass and steel façade.


In addition to exhibition space, Bonniers Konsthall also intends to arrange seminars, release publications and provide a studio for guest artists. While there will be collaborations with other Swedish and international institutions, the organisers intend for many future exhibitions to be produced in-house.

Fittingly the first exhibition out of the blocks is a retrospective of twenty years of the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Foundation, in which 51 recent grant recipients get to showcase their art.

For anyone who missed the grand opening there is still plenty of time to catch the exhibition, which runs until 17 December. The eclectic natue of the artworks means that there is something here for everyone.

Upon walking through the front door you immediately find yourself walking across a sea of Ikea weighing scales in red, white and blue. For many this may sound like hell but it is in fact Jacob Dahlgren's Heaven is a Place on Hearth. From there you can follow the seven metre high glass walls, assured of finding works of interest in all directions.

The diverse nature of the exhibition is reflected in the various techniques and forms of expression on display. Painting, sculpture, video, drawing, objects and installations are all represented. There is even a hall of mirrors that gives visitors the feeling of wandering endless hotel corridors with only a slim chance of finding their way out – more Twin Peaks creepy than fairground fun.

When art fatigue finally sets in there are three main options available other than simply running for the exits. Some fine views of the surrounding city are to be had fom the large glass facades, there is a reading room stocked with art books, and, most importantly, there is a fine café where visitors can sit down and recharge their art batteries.

Paul O'Mahony


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