Enjoying The Swedish Arts: Three Must-See Spots
Located in a magnificent Art Nouveau building overlooking Stockholm harbor, Fotografiska opened in May 2010 with an exhibition of 194 Annie Leibovitz photographs, and shows the world’s best contemporary photography, as well as encouraging up-and-coming artists through seminars, courses, and minor exhibitions. Oh, and the food at the bistro, with panoramic harbor views, is top notch, too. Fotografiska.eu
Sculpture at Pilane
Located on the island of Tjörn in western Sweden, this 20-acre sculpture park is set on an ancient burial ground featuring 90 stone circles that date back to the Iron Age and which were likely used for sacrifices and legal hearings. You will weave through those, and hundreds of unmarked graves (plus a herd of around 50 friendly black-faced sheep) as you take in sculptures designed by international artists. The most recent exhibit included everything from the whimsical—a 16-foot-tall white rabbit by Kent Karlsson—to the abstract, like the giant circle of intertwined willow branches by Leo Pettersson. The garden is the brainchild of Peter Lennby, a former Swedish documentary producer, who sometimes has to requisition helicopters to fly in some of the larger pieces to his remote location. Lennby changes the pieces every year, dealing with some of the most exciting sculptors in the U.S. and Europe. Pilane.org
Gunnar Asplund’s Architecture
Asplund is considered the greatest Swedish architect of the 20th century and has earned his place in the starchitect pantheon for his contributions to Nordic Classicism. His most revered creation, the Skogskyrkogården (or Woodland Cemetery), is located in southern Stockholm and was completed between 1914 and 1940 with architect Sigurd Lewerentz. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 250 pine-covered acres are a must-see both for its Zen-like pastoral calm (which has influenced worldwide landscape design), as well as the chapels, which take ancient forms and combine them with modern rationalism.