Press images are available prior to and during the respective exhibition period. These images may only be used in connection with reports about the relevant exhibition or Moderna Museet’s activities in general. The images must not be cropped or altered in any way, neither in print nor when published on the internet. Captions and any information about copyright must always be included.
Images of works of art are protected by Swedish copyright law (SFS 1960:729).
CURRENT PRESS MATERIAL
Anders Sunna – Illegal Spirits of Sápmi
Malmö, 28.10 2023 – 14.1 2024For the first time since its acclaimed premier showing at the 2022 Venice Biennale, “Illegal Spirits of Sápmi” will now be on view at Moderna Museet Malmö. In this monumental work of art, artist Anders Sunna captures his family’s fifty-year conflict with the Swedish state.
The piece measures approximately twenty meters in length, and the story is chronicled in five chapters that span from the 1970s to the present, with one large painting per decade. The paintings are inserted into a wooden construction (built by the artist’s brothers) that also holds an archive of the many lawsuits the family has been involved in. Visitors are invited to browse among the binders, which include thousands of documents.
Sami life and Sami culture have been struck hard by colonization and racist abuse. The spreading of racial biological theories in the first decades of the 20th century, not only spurred the oppression of Sami culture, but also helped to legitimize the claiming of land and natural resources. In the art of Sunna, this chapter in Swedish history forms the background of more recent conflicts, with roots in the 1971 Reindeer Husbandry Act and how it came to be interpreted.Conflicts that have brutally marked the artist’s entire childhood.
To put it very short, the Sunna family considered it unreasonable that they were forced to care for landowners’ reindeer without commensurate compensation, in exchange only for the right to graze the landowner’s property. And so, the they loudly protested. After many protracted conflicts, Sami villages came to be pitted against one another, herding rights was revoked, the family experienced severe harassment, and their reindeer were forcibly relocated.
“I remember how worried my mom was when my dad and his brothers were in the reindeer forest. She went around the house getting increasingly stressed the more time passed and they still hadn’t come home, worrying whether they would at all come home or be found shot. During the worst period, it was really that bad” (From the artist’s remarks on the painting Area Infected).
“Illegal Spirits of Sápmi” was exhibited for the first time during the Venice Biennale of 2022. The Nordic Pavilion had then been transformed into the Sami Pavilion, with Pauliina Feodoroff, Máret Ánne Sara, and Anders Sunna as participating artists. The project, which was undertaken at the behest of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway, highlighted in an innovative and powerful way the indigenous Sami culture and the land area of Sápmi, spanning across parts of the Nordic nation-states of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and also including a fraction of Russia.
In 2022, “Illegal Spirits of Sápmi” was acquired to Moderna Museet’s permanent collection. In conjunction with the exhibition at Moderna Museet Malmö, there will be program of lectures and conversations with invited guests.
Curator: Joa Ljungberg
Lotte Laserstein — A Divided Life
Malmö, 6.5 2023 – 1.10 2023The ground-breaking German-Swedish artist Lotte Laserstein (1898–1993) is one of the art world’s most exciting recent rediscoveries. “A Divided Life”, which is on view in the museum’s great Turbine Hall, is the largest exhibition of Laserstein’s work to date in the Nordic Region.
Exhibitions in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Kiel have attracted broad audiences eager to explore this long-forgotten artist and have established a place for her in the history of twentieth-century art. However, these shows focused primarily on Laserstein’s work from the 1920s to the beginning of the 1930s—the period before she was forced to leave Germany and emigrated to Sweden. “A Divided Life” focuses as much on the multifaceted works she created in exile in Sweden as it does on those she made before leaving Germany.
Lotte Laserstein’s career as an artist began in Berlin in the 1920s. After graduating from the Academy of Arts there in 1927—as one of the first women to earn a degree—she quickly succeeded in making a name for herself in the city’s art scene. Laserstein captured the spirit of an era in scenes from her studio and portraits of cosmopolitan, emancipated women. At first glance, her work appears to share some of the characteristics of the movement known as the New Objectivity. But Laserstein did not exaggerate or caricature—instead, her work reveals an intimate realism that weaves together painting tradition with contemporary themes. The paintings she executed in Berlin, in which she depicts her life as an artist and shows us the many sides of the Weimar Republic’s modern “new woman,” are surprisingly current even today, particularly in light of the ongoing discussions around gender identity and queerness.
The success predicted for Lotte Laserstein and ascribed to her by German art critics in the 1920s ended abruptly in 1933 when the Nazis seized power. As a Jew, Laserstein was increasingly excluded from the public art world. Thanks to an invitation to show her work at the Galerie Moderne in Stockholm in 1937, she was able to get out of Germany with some of her most important works and come to Sweden, where she would spend the greater part of her working life. In Sweden, Laserstein was able to build a new life for herself as a portrait and landscape painter.
“For five decades, Laserstein produced an extremely comprehensive, thematic, and stylistically multifaceted collection of works that has only partially come to light in earlier shows,” say the exhibition’s curators, Iris Müller-Westermann and Anna-Carola Krausse.
“In our exhibition, we ascribe to this period of Laserstein’s life and work the same status as the time she lived in Berlin. Through her representational commissioned portraits, expressive self-portraits, moving depictions of other emigrants, and landscapes and urban scenes, it is possible to discern what living in exile was like. Laserstein’s Swedish work raises questions about what it means to lose one’s own cultural and social milieu and be forced to establish roots in a new society. Against the backdrop of today’s global migration patterns, the works Laserstein created while in exile in Sweden provide an important contribution to the ongoing dialogue around these issues.”
Although Laserstein was able to complete a great many important portraits on commission—for clients that included well-known aristocrats, politicians, business leaders, and cultural figures—and although she was still able to make a living as an artist, her recognition in the Swedish art scene remained limited. It is likely that her unwavering commitment to realism during post-war decades dominated by abstraction played a role in preventing her from receiving a larger breakthrough in Sweden.
Lotte Laserstein described her life and her career with the words “My rescue to Sweden broke my life in two.” This division has shaped the structure of the exhibition. The first part is devoted to the artist’s time in Berlin, with key works that illuminate her artistic beginnings and early successes in the Weimar Republic. The second part features Laserstein’s years in Sweden.
“Lotte Laserstein: A Divided Life” will be on view at Moderna Museet Malmö from May 6 through October 1, 2023. The exhibition will then move on to Moderna Museet in Stockholm from November 11 through April 14, 2024.
Curators: Iris Müller-Westermann, formerly Museum Director of Moderna Museet Malmö and now Senior Curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Anna-Carola Krausse, an art historian and Laserstein expert based in Berlin.
Support for this exhibition is provided by Mannheimer Swartling, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, and the Jacob Wallenberg Foundation. We thank also the Lotte Laserstein Exhibition Circle.
For more information, please contact: Alexandra Giertz, Communication Manager
Press preview at both Moderna Museet Malmö and Malmö Konstmuseum on Thursday, 4 May
On 4 May, Moderna Museet and Malmö Konstmuseum are inviting members of the press to a preview for the two upcoming exhibitions. The press event begins at Moderna Museet with a preview of the exhibition “Lotte Laserstein: A Divided Life” and continues later at Malmö Konstmuseum with a preview of the exhibition “Tal R & Mamma Andersson – Around Hill”. Transportation between the museums will be offered to journalists who wish to attend both presentations.
At 10.00 – Press preview at Moderna Museet Malmö for the exhibition “Lotte Laserstein – A Divided Life” attended by curators Dr. Iris Müller-Westermann and Dr. Anna Carola Krausse and by Museum Director Elisabeth Millqvist.
At 11.30 – Transport to Malmö Art Museum.
At 12.00 – Press preview at Malmö Konstmuseum for the exhibition in the presence of the artists Karin Mamma Andersson, Tal R. Museum Director Kirse Junge-Stevnsborg, and curator Marcus Pompeius will be in attendance.
Applications for admission to the press preview must be submitted no later than 2 May to Alexandra Giertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or Disa Torbjörnsdottir (Malmö Art Museum) at email@example.com.
Indicate whether you wish to attend both press previews or only one of them and whether you would like transportation from Moderna Museet Malmö to Malmö Konstmuseum. The press preview is for journalists or writers who have been assigned to report on the exhibitions. We request that you indicate in which newspaper or other media organization you write for.
Exhibition programme 2023, Stockholm and Malmö
Stockholm Malmö, 1.1 2023 – 31.12 2023Welcome to Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Malmö. Access the exhibition programme including one press image for each exhibition. In due time, every exhibition gets its own press release and selection of press images.
Published 22 October 2015 · Updated 11 January 2023