• Open today 12–17

The Swedish Gallery

In The Swedish Gallery, you can take part of sketches for public works of art in Sweden from the first years of the 20th century until today. How has public art changed from the beginning of the 20th century until today? What does it say about our society and our ideals?

This gallery displays sketches for public artworks in Sweden from the early 1900s up to the present. The works illustrate how different pictorial languages – from the figurative to the abstract – have existed side by side and provide an insight into how artists and societal institutions have used art to communicate values and ideals. At the start of the previous century, art often represented beauty and was associated with properties suchas goodness and truth. Sometimes themes from Swedish nature and history were used to express national identity. The notion of art as a truthteller or beautifying adornment changed during the 1900s and public art became, to a larger extent, questioning and provocative as well as investigative and ironic.

Public art today can also be temporary: performance or other short-lived interventions in urban space, sound, projections and moving images or digital work which only exist in the broader public forum of the digital world.
Many artists today work with fleeting expressions or make digital sketches, while traditional sketching techniques and materials are still widely used. The works on the walls are organised chronologically. In some places, the chronology is interrupted with works from other periods, in order to contrast and comment.

Works by, among others, Sigrid Hjertén, Isaac Grünewald and Siri Derkert and contemporary artists such as Linn Fernström, Carolina Falkholt and Matthias van Arkel are shown here.

In this room you will also find The Archive with sketches in smaller format. Welcome to pull out the drawers and screens!

The Archive in The Swedish Gallery. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman