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Moderna Museet opens exhibition programme in collaboration with Malmö Konstmuseum
Tora Vega Holmström, Fish stall in Marseille, 1939 © Tora Vega Holmström/BUS 2014.

MALMO.- This summer, Moderna Museet Malmö presents a grandiose exhibition programme in collaboration with Malmö Konstmuseum. In the exhibition Pablo Picasso: From Arcadian Bliss to Painted Exorcism, one of Modernism’s brightest shining stars is placed side by side with the contemporary artists Ursula Mayer and Lene Berg. And in the exhibitions Tora Vega Holmström: I long for everywhere in the world and A Voice of One´s Own – On Women’s Fight for Suffrage and Human Recognition we find a general theme: the fight for women's rights one hundred years ago to our days of global feminism and current discussions on women's rights.

In the exhibition Pablo Picasso: From Arcadian Bliss to Painted Exorcism, Picasso (1881-1973) is presented with a solo exhibition for the first time in Malmö. The title reflects the fact that Picasso himself spoke of some of his paintings as "exorcism paintings", but it also refers to the Arcadian landscape of paintings like The Source (La source, 1921). In addition to works from the Moderna Museet's own collection, loans from Picasso's family and private collectors will be shown. We are also very happy to present the works Baigneuses au ballon (1928) and Deux personnages (1939), that were recently donated to the museum in accordance with Elisabeth "Peggy" Bonnier's will. The exhibition goes deeper through Lene Berg’s film Stalin by Picasso or Portrait of a Woman with Moustache and Ursula Mayer’s The Lunch in Fur/Le Déjeuner en Fourrure.

Austrian artist Ursula Mayer also has her own exhibition at Moderna Museet Malmö, To What I Might Become. Here, her most comprehensive film production to date, Gonda (2012), is shown. It is a mesmerizing 30-minute film that pulls the viewer into a kaleidoscopic flow of moving images, evoking stills and abstract colour fields.

At an early age, Tora Vega Holmström (1880-1967) realised that a future as a housewife would be hard to combine with the artist’s profession. In 1914, she showed some of her works at the Baltic Exhibition in Malmö but her lively style and daring colours evoked strong reactions and were considered brutal and “insufficiently feminine”. Despite the sexist criticism she continued to paint. Her many trips in Europe and North Africa gave her the opportunity to build a far more widespread international network than was customary for Swedish artists at the time and it is a line from her diary that gave the exhibition its title – “I long for everywhere in the world”. The exhibition consists of paintings from Moderna Museet’s collection and loans from museums and private collectors.

– This year, the centennial of The Baltic exhibition is celebrated. Early on, we realised that the question of suffrage was a hot topic in Malmö in 1914, something that artists of today also engage in. If you don’t have access to power, how do you organize? Feminism and its place in the political landscape is just as interesting today as it was one hundred years ago, Cecilia Widenheim, Museum Director of Malmö Konstmuseum, says about the Tora Vega Holmström exhibition and A Voice of One’s Own.

A Voice of One’s Own has its background in the debate on women’s suffrage in Malmö one hundred years ago. The exhibition offers examples of various strategies for working toward an equitable society. A number of artists active today look back at the reform efforts undertaken around the turn of the last century to advance women’s political, economic, and social rights. Others have worked with very latest issues regarding women’s status and access to public space in contemporary life. The local history of Malmö in the year 1914 provides a point of departure for an exploration of some of the methods being used today to confront oppression in a world that remains inequitable. The show also demonstrates the importance of continually rereading and reinterpreting our history from a variety of perspectives.

– The climate of openness in Malmö makes it possible for art institutions to collaborate, and that improves the city’s cultural life. We are not competitors but can take part of each other’s experiences and knowledge and that is very valuable, John Peter Nilsson, Museum Director, Moderna Museet Malmö, says about the collaboration.

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