Grant awarded to art school students
The Fredrik Roos Art Grant of 600 000 SEK is one of the largest art awards in Sweden. This year, the following students were nominated:
Matilda Enegren, Andrei Venghiac (Valand Academy, Gothenburg); Sandra Mujinga, Emilie Sandström (Malmö Art Academy); Hedda Viå, Johanna Nordin (Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm); Anna Hillbom, André Talborn (Umeå Academy of Fine Arts); Nina Noreskär, Patric Näsman (Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm).
The Fredrik Roos Art Grant is awarded annually and, as in previous years, each of the five schools of fine art in Sweden proposed two students who are about to graduate or are recent graduates. During the nomination process, a unique survey of the work of young artists is created.
The jury consists of the Fredrik Roos Foundation, Daniel Birnbaum and Ann-Sofi Noring from Moderna Museet Stockholm and John Peter Nilsson from Moderna Museet Malmö.
The Rooseum – Moderna Museet Malmö
The Rooseum is now Moderna Museet Malmö, yet the name of Roos lives on. During his short life – he died in 1991 aged only 40 – Fredrik Roos from Malmö established one of the world’s largest art collections of Nordic and international contemporary art. He began collecting art on his 18th birthday when his parents gave him 1 000 SEK for promising not to start smoking. He bought a Juan Miró print with the money.
Fredrik Roos was a member of one of Skåne’s most influential banking families. His grandfather founded Skånska Banken in 1935; the family owned the bank until 1990, when it was sold to Svenska Handelsbanken. Fredrik Roos however, chose to go his own way, both in the world of finance and of art. He was a shrewd stockbroker, who, based in Switzerland, made a fortune in stocks trading and canny investments. Yet, he was also a passionate art lover.
In the 1980s, Fredrik Roos wanted to site his art collection at Kastellholmen in Stockholm but this plan did not come to fruition. In 1986, the opportunity arose via his company to buy the old Parafront power station, which was standing empty on Gasverksgatan 22 in Malmö. Here Fredrik Roos made his mark – on the entire neighbourhood. He had the old residential buildings demolished and new ones built, while the old power station was transformed into a modern art gallery. Despite the fact that the older Roos generation did not like the museum’s name – it did not fit in with the discrete profile of the family – the Rooseum opened in May 1988, showing the exhibition 5 Nordic Temperaments.
“Fredrik Roos was very aware of the connections to the roots of Skåne’s industry and to the tradition of his family of making things happen but not standing out too much. He spoke rarely about his own significance for the art world in Sweden, yet it was obvious that he was proud of the Rooseum. He was very involved in both the reconstruction and the exhibitions – but also knew when to step back and let architects and exhibition curators get on with their work”, notes Lilith Waltenberg on the Fredrik Roos Grant website.
After Fredrik Roos’ death, a large part of his collection was broken up. The Rooseum continued however, with the Roos family, the Danish art museum Louisiana and Malmö city council all sharing responsibility. During the 1990s it became the leading art institution in Sweden for Nordic, and especially international, contemporary art. Nevertheless, the activities of the museum gradually declined. In 2005, the chairperson of the municipal executive committee of Malmö stated that it was “unreasonable that a city council should supply funds for a completely private organisation over which the council has no influence at all”. On 30th September 2006, the Rooseum closed for good.
The remainder of Fredrik Roos’ art collection was sold at auction, creating the main source of the Fredrik Roos Grant. Malmö city council had already begun discussions with Moderna Museet in Stockholm to see whether they were interested in opening a second museum in the old power station. On 26th December 2009, Moderna Museet Malmö was opened in the newly renovated building.
On 28th March 2012, the first Fredrik Roos Grant was awarded to Oscar Mörnerud. Fredrik Roos’s memory lives on, not only in the building but also especially in Sweden’s schools of fine art, a state of affairs that would have been appreciated by Fredrik Roos.