Discover the modern art worlds in southern Sweden
Getting a culture-fix is never out of reach, when in Sweden. Here’s a line-up of modern museum highlights, covering many aspects of contemporary art – from painting and sculpture to photography – and even a small serving of quirky food.
Hallands Konstmuseum (the art museum of Halland) sits next to Norre Katts Park in central Halmstad in a distinctive 1930s building designed by architect Ragnar Hjorth. Expect modern art by a diverse line-up of talent from Halland and beyond. Olle Bærtling, Thea Ekström, Roj Friberg and Lotta Antonsson are among the many notable names showcased as part of the museum’s permanent displays. These encompasses everything from painting and sculpture to photography and design objects.
The Halland town of Laholm is home to Teckningsmuseet (Museum of Drawing) – the only dedicated museum of drawing in the Nordic region. Celebrating the world of illustration, this key cultural spot puts on temporary exhibitions from Nordic and international artists alongside the museum’s permanent collection. Located in a revamped historic fire station, you’ll find the museum at Hästtorget square in the centre of town.
Rian Design Museum
Housed in a Falkenberg granary dating back to 1865, Rian Design Museum serves up a broad spectrum of design, from Sweden and beyond, from tactile craft items to industrial design, both historic and contemporary. Notable artist weaver Emelie Röndahl is among the talents whose work has been featured as part of the museum’s solo show programme. Innovative in spirit, the museum offers a library-like service – Smyckoteket – that allows you to borrow a piece of artful jewellery instead of a book. Centrally located, it also boasts a café with views over the Ätran river.
Malmö’s Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art), opened in 2009, is the second outpost of the internationally renowned institution with the same name in Stockholm. You’ll discover the highest calibre of art by some of Sweden’s key artists as well as a strong crop of international icons, such as Andy Warhol. The collection, which spans the beginning of 1900s to the present day, encompasses works by the likes of Karin Mamma Andersson and Josef Albers, while Hilma af Klint is among the notable names featured in the temporary exhibition programme. The museum is a 10-minute walk from the central station.
Inaugurated in 1975, Malmö Konsthall (Art museum of Malmö) is one of Sweden’s largest modern art spaces. Architect Klas Anshelm is the creative force behind the distinctive box-like building, in which you can catch world-class exhibitions featuring Swedish and international artists. Highlights over the years include Munch, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Klee, Miró, Keith Haring, Louise Bourgeois and, more recently, Olafur Eliasson and David Shrigley. This excellent modern museum, centrally located next to the Triangeln shopping centre, also organises events spanning theatre, poetry, music and more.
Disgusting Food Museum
Malmö’s Disgusting Food Museum is not a modern art establishment as such, but it’s decidedly contemporary in feel. As the name suggests, stomach-churning food from around the world is the order of the day. Among the 80 “unpalatable” food items here, which can be sampled, you’ll find a maggot-infested cheese from Sardinia called “Casu marzu” and “Cuy” – Peruvian roasted guinea pig – as well as Swedish ‘surströmming’ (fermented herring). The museum is located centrally in the Carolikvarteren district.
Founded in 1998, Signal is a modern art hub run by a collective of artists and curators including Christian Andersson, Maria Bustnes, Alexander Gutke, Sara Jordenö, Magnus Thierfelder, Evalena Tholin and Elena Tzotzi. In this centrally located space, near Triangeln, contemporary art in many guises – from painting to sculpture – is created and showcased in innovative ways designed to entertain, educate and inspire.
One for contemporary photography fans, Galleri Format opened in central Malmö in 1983. You’ll catch exhibitions focusing on everything from documentary-style photography and film to more art-led forms – as well as artist talks, lectures and workshops. The gallery also houses a darkroom and a photography library.