top of page
  • Writer's pictureC-print

Most Anticipated Exhibitions of Spring 2024

We should preface the title of our article with the possessive determiner; our, as in our, and not an abstract group of somebodies' most anticipated exhibitions of this upcoming spring, in Stockholm (more precisely). Articles of this genre sometimes cunningly are hauled out as "best exhibitions" before their delivery on earth, and that's a little too rich for anyone. From Bonniers Konsthall, Galerie Nordenhake to Centrum för Fotografi; without further ado...

Conny Karlsson Lundgren, We Feel a Desire for Caresses by Men (The Gothenburg Affair), 2021-2022. Performance. Foto: Hendrik Zeitler.

Conny Karlsson Lundgren, Jag kysser dina ögon, Bonniers Konsthall, February 14 - April 7, 2024

Eleven years ago this year, back in 2013, the year of C-print's birth, Conny Karlsson Lundgren presented the solo The Sylvia Fractions at Kalmar Konstmuseum, interweaving Sylvia Plath (love), iconic transgender activist Sylvia Rivera and the asteroid 87 Sylvia. At the time we interviewed the artist, preambling the whole thing as that one exhibition you probably missed that year, that you, and us, should have seen. If the scope of that exhibition sounds intriguing; allow it to be a promise of how the visionary mind of Conny Karlsson Lundgren works. Karlsson Lundgren, Sam Hultin and more recently Victoria Verseau (a past exhibitor also at Bonniers Konsthall and exhibitor in our 2021 Future Watch exhibition at Kulturhuset in Stockholm) are three Swedish gems working tenderly with intimate queer narratives, disrupting routine form to bring light to tell their, as well as to "mediate" the stories of others, in more bracing forms. This is the first exhibition scheduling at the helm of new artistic director Joanna Nordin, following her stepping in from the Carl Eldh Studio Musuem, and it's a wise and well-considered one that speaks to her credit. One that neither is run-off-the-mill or too obvious, neither so obscure as to not inspire the admiration and approval of her peers. It's looking promising at Bonniers Konsthall that now sees an all-female trifecta behind close doors; Joanna Nordin as the artistic director, Yuvinka Medina as the senior curator and director of operations Ellen Wettmark. Or perhaps that's actually quartet, counting in one of Stockholm's sharpest commuincations managers; Kajsa Pontén. It also holds a very personable host team that makes every visit pleasant. As for Conny Karlsson Lundgren, leading up to the upcoming exhibition you might want to backtrack his Gläntan (The Glade), the first LGBTQI+ sculptural monument in the whole of Sweden, and just recenty erected in Gothenburg.

Installation view, Alina Chaiderov, Aranya Art Center, Qinhuangdao (20 August–15 October 2023). Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nordenhake. © Alina Chaiderov. Photo: Zaiye Studio, Alessandro Wang (retouching)

Alina Chaiderov, title TBA, Galerie Nordenhake, April 11 - May 11, 2024

Alina Chaiderov is another artist whose career we've actively and keenly followed since the start of our platform, in her case dating back to 2015 and while covering the spring graduates of Academy Valand and Chaiderov's whole cohort that year. A big surprise, or shock, over the years has been Chaiderov's absence in the gallery and institutional realm of Stockholm. At times it's made very little sense. As a mere figure of speech; Chaiderov however, has had the last laugh on the matter, rising to international noterity with early representation by Ciacci Levi (formerly Galerie Antoine Levi in Paris) with which she presented at Art Basel (in Basel) for the Statements section already back in 2018. In essence, she's always been a good fit with Galerie Nordenhake in her capacity as a descendant of sorts of seminal artists like Eva Löfdahl and Gunilla Klingberg; long-time permanent fixtures of the gallery. Chaiderov's sometimes pseudo-minimalist installations are visually delectable and in a spring schedule of dullish-seeming gallery exhibitions (from the outset look of it), this could be a standout, but time will tell. Upp till bevis, as the Swedish saying goes. But between Akeem Smith, Ayan Farah and Frida Orupabo; you can rely on Galerie Nordenhake to deliver, as the anchor that it still is of the Hudiksvallsgatan art district.

Ikram Abdulkadir, title TBA, Centrum för Fotografi, April 20 - June 9, 2024

"Surveying the landscape today, our impression is that contemporary photography is being even more sidelined, with some galleries never exhibiting photography and others deeming it currently commercially less viable amid the very clear and dominant prevalence of painting". This, we wrote in a recent text to declare the diminishing space that contemporary photography has been seeing in Stockholm, in quite stark contrast to our neighboring capital city Oslo, where photography continues to thrive. In spite of this, the young Ikram Abdulkadir is duly on track for meteoric rise nationally, seated in a position of her own and a being a flagbearer of a timely photography that currently sees few other peers. Between features in Dagens Nyheter and a recent solo at Fotografiska, expect likely Aperture, FOAM, British Journal of Photography and staples like the Unseen Photography Fair all to lie ahead in Abulkadir's future deck of cards. Apropos of Oslo, photograpy titan Nina Strand (publisher of Objektiv) recently with co-curators, including Moderna Museet's Anna Tellgren, championed Abdulkaidr's work at the recent Les Rencontres d’Arles and the noted exhibition Søsterskap. Of her experience of Abdulkadir's work she recently shared in our annual holiday countdown; "Ikram Abdulkadir's work from this show is still on my mind, dealing with the experience of being a black Muslim woman living in Malmö, Sweden. Her photographs are a form of collective resistance, an expression of self-affirmation that allows her and her subjects to be represented on their own terms." For those who missed this exhibition and the one at Fotografiska, a solo of more intimate nature and likely delicate curation is to be expected at Centrum för Fotografi this spring. A venue always to keep in mind in conncetion to photogaphy in Stockholm.

Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Picador Modern Classics. Cover illustration; Cecilia Carlstedt

The Joan Arcs, group exhibition, Hannes Michanek, Felix Vasquez Aguilera and Marta Galindo, Goethe Institut-Schweden and Instituto Cervantes, opening May 15.

Our anticipated exhibitions in spring will also include ones we're involved in and to which we are giving heart and soul, and in due time, as history will have us know; blood and sweat, but no tears. The late literary genius Joan Didion has over the years been a guiding compass for us; her words have been brought as comfort food for thought in tote bags to countless flights and travels around the globe. Didion had a canny ability even to microscopically look at the most mundane things and broadcast them to you with such "democratic" vigor that by the time she turned the rocks, she would leave you literary fodder that rarely failed to strike you with interest. Whether her sociopolitcal scrutiny, her candor before her passing about personal tragedy and unimaginable loss or her feats of fiction (e.g. her 1970 Play It as It Lays, an echo of Marguerite Duras 1960 Ten-Thirty on a Summer Night; the first work of hers we ever read 20 years ago, when Bret Easton Ellis plugged her as someone he had copied), she managed to invite you to be present with her.

It's always been a hope to one day curate an exhibition as an homage to her work and that is now in the making this spring per C-print's Ashik Zaman who is carrying out The Joan Arcs, an exhibition that marks the cohabitation anniversary of the two cultural institutes; Goethe Institut-Schweden and Instituto Cervantes. The venue is their joint library that will again be serving a more regular exhibition program schedule. This marks a return, following last spring's curation of University of Chicago MFA grad Vincent Haynes' solo exhibition Bankett. The trio of artists are all new names to the Stockholm art scene; Swedish painter Hannes Michanek, grad of Städelschule in Frankfurt who's been based there ever since art school and have been connected to the city's prominent Galerie Parisa Kind, Felix Aguilera Vasquez Aguilera, an MFA grad of Kungliga Högskolan who has been criminally overlooked until now and emerging Spanish conceptual artist Marta Galindo. The premise of the exhibition is not for any of the artists to have to be a scholar of Didion's work but to be interested in studying and engaging with her work and allow for her words to inspire artworks that are in the process of being "authored" for the exhibition. Between personal stories among the artists that mirror such of Didion's own, metereological phenomena that binds their hometowns to places Didion passed and evoking her personhood and esssence, this is one instance where the overlap and juxtaposition of literature and contemporary art really stands at the fore. And we'll be the first to say as curators and consumers of art; sometimes you just got to leave the perpetual swing and run with your own ideas, no matter what your peers are doing and where the zeigeist in art might rest.

Kasper Nordenström, Avklädd & Skamsen IV (2017-2020), installation view MFA solo exhibition Kungliga Konsthögskolan, Stockholm. Image courtesy of Saskia Neuman Gallery

Kasper Nordenström, title TBA, Saskia Neuman Gallery, March 7 - April 20, 2024

For some emerging artists, their moment as debutantes at the ball that is the gallery circuit may come very instantly following art school, and for some others their due might lie further ahead. There's a few painters we've been quick-ish, quick-er than others to highlight and "champion" as per support and enthusiasm already in their very last two-three years at art school. A few to name would be Malin Molin (gearing up for a second solo with Wetterling Gallery), Edit Sihlberg (the recent and first recipient of the 2022 Hilding Linnqvist Foundation Award/Grant. Sidenote; C-print was born in a living room on Bastugatan 21; where we lived our first three years, and also marks the same building that houses the Hilding Linnqvist Studio Museum) and Kasper Nordenström. All of the three above were in the same BFA cohort at Kungliga konsthögskolan and Kasper Nordenström made such a splash with his brisk and yet refined abstract painting, playing with proportions and painterly conventions.

Later he transitioned towards surveying abstract painting in its most bare essential form, stripping it down to the "elementary particles". It's speaks well of Saskia Neuman Gallery to bring into its roster both Kasper Nordenström and the more recent Konstfack graduate and painter Niklas Delin; both of whom with the touch of the gallery can surely be expected to blossom towards large audience over time, or even sooner than later. The upcoming exhibition at the gallery appears to run along the lines of the above, with nods to the Arte povera tradition and movement, as well as the seminal Donald Judd, who was also occupying our mind in our curatorial work during large parts of last year. So, we're excited and happy for Nordenström and curious to see the recent developments since touching base with him more directly, last time a couple of years back.

Image from the interactive live project Basically by the artist and choreographer Nikima Jagudajev. Bergen Kunsthall 2023, © Video Saye Oyama, image edits by Salomon Leonard Poutsma

Nikima Jagudajev, Basically, Acclerator, March 9 - April 2024

The major contemporary art museums/institutions in the city liaising with contemporary dance and choreographers is a very very and very welcome approach and move forward for Stockholm and one that exhibits the sort of dynamic boundary fluidity that makes a venue exciting, and keeps you on the edge of your computer screen to learn what's next, rather than just assuming that next to be of standard protcol. This will very pleasantly be "trending" (if that sounds reductive; it's not at all meant to be) this spring with Bonniers Konsthall presenting Jefta van Dinter (who's been very connected to Cullbergsbaletten), curator Hendrik Folkerts of Moderna Museet and director of MDT Anna Efraimsson teaming up to present Dana Michel in connection to the ongoing Rashid Johnson exhibition at Moderna Museet, and Accelerator bringing Nikima Jagudajev to the audience, teaming up with Dansens Hus. Jagudajev's Basically is an interactive durational work and began as a collaboration between WIELS in Brussels and the biennial Dhaka Art Summit, for which the peformance is set to be presented at the 2025 edition (Dhaka - Bangladesh - hello motherland...).

"Basically is an ongoing live project where the exhibition is a hybrid production site, residency studio, schoolyard; a context to rehearse and perform within.", reads the press release. You come and go as you please, the work will hold no clear beginning or end. But credit where credit is due; if this is a "trend", it began already with Moderna Museet and MDT collaborating to present a revisit/restaging of Every Ocean Hughes' 2011 performance A Gay Bar Called Everywhere (presented intitially at the iconic non-profit avant-garde institution The Kitchen in Chelsea), which also had curator Hendrik Folkerts making his debut at the Stockholm ball as a performer himself. For a window in time it was the talk of town; with someone from the artist's inner circle exclaiming; You're going, you have a ticket?! (to which the only natural response should have been; ...Excuse you, lady, what do you think?) Also, Acclerator has laid out a trajectory with interactive performance with the inaugural exhibition of Tino Seghal, and later saw dancers and performers taking centerstage in a substantial solo by emerging artist and gem Adèle Essle Zeiss.

Raghav Babbar, Shower in the Motel Room (Self-Portrait), 2023, Oil on canvas, 76.2 x 50.8 cm. Copyright the artist. Courtesy Nahmad projects, London. Photo Emil Bertz.

Body electric, group exhibition, Larsen Warner, January 19 - March 16, 2024

Larsen Warner is a very solid gallery with an international, and for Stockholm enviable program, that actually when you look at it closer, far exceeds most other galleries in Stockholm and yet the gallery sometimes unfairly is overlooked by media and press, and audiences alike. But fact remains; there's only a spoonful of galleries in Stockholm in 2024 where you could expect to see Frank Bowling, Rose Wylie and Louise Lawler; reputable artists of the sort and international stature, whose abode is found at blue chip galleries like David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth. But it cannot hurt when one of your directors joined a couple of years back from London's Alison Jacques Gallery (Hannah Wilke, Birgit Jürgenssen, Lygia Clark, Fernanda Gomes...a dreamy situation) As for that being overlooked in media; maybe that's symptomatic of a new alarming trend; one that the gallery has stayed away from this far; galleries teaming up not just on special occasion, but routinely these days with PR firms. We're ending this article with a first offering of the year; a potpourri that should hold something for almost everyone. Whether you lean closer towards Giacometti and Alexander Calder, or very contemporary emerging painting per way of Elsa Rouy and Raghav Babbar, or want to rewind a little bit in painting to Alex Katz and Chantal Joffe, this seems like a good way to start the year, without having to pay 130-150 kronors for entrance, and when on a meager time budget that doesn't hold for the big musuems and their ticket charge.

Exhibited artists; Gertrud Arndt, Raghav Babbar, Sara Berman, Alexander Calder, Francesco Clemente Cecilia Edefalk, Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, Alberto Giacometti, Chantal Joffe, Alex Katz, Joy Labinjo, Elsa Rouy and Guy Yanai

Ashik & Koshik Zaman

bottom of page