Bozar opens an exhibition with works by Swedish artists who are inspired by the spiritual and the occult

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, May 19, 2024

Bozar opens an exhibition with works by Swedish artists who are inspired by the spiritual and the occult
Swedish Ecstasy exhibition view. © Gilles Njaheut Valler.

BRUSSELS.- From January till July 2023, Sweden is holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. At this occasion and in partnership with the Nationalmuseum Stockholm, Bozar in Brussels presents the ambitious exhibition project Swedish Ecstasy: Hilma af Klint, August Strindberg and other visionaries. The exhibition is curated by Daniel Birnbaum and is on view from February 17 through May 21, 2023.

Sweden is often applauded for its pragmatism, great engineers and entrepreneurs. But there is an important yet lesser known aspect of the nation’s spiritual life, visible in its art and literature. Bozar in Brussels is therefore staging an exhibition that brings together a number of figureheads from the Swedish art scene. Mysticism and esoteric speculation runs like a read thread through their work.

In Swedish Ecstasy: Hilma af Klint, August Strindberg and other visionaries, curator Daniel Birnbaum has collected works by Swedish artists who are inspired by the spiritual and the occult. The figurehead of this movement was Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), a pioneer of abstract art. Many of her creations originated from artistic séances with like-minded female artists. Her work has only received recognition in the art world in recent years and will now be exhibited in Brussels for the first time, along with contemporaries and present-day artists.

Bozar is showing work by some of the country’s most important literary figures, from the 18th-century Emanuel Swedenborg to the turn of the 20th century with August Strindberg, who is known as a writer but who also created wonderful drawings and paintings. In the same period, we find visual art by visionaries such as C.F. Hill, Ernst Josephson and Hilma af Klint.

Up to this day, these visions continue to inspire contemporary artists like Carsten Höller, Christine Ödlund, Daniel Youssef and Cecilia Edefalk.

Part of the exhibition is the VR experience, Hilma af Klint - The Temple. Hilma af Klint designed a spiral temple in which her most important works were to be placed. The ambitious project was never completed but is now finally brought to life in digital form.

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