Swedish Ecstasy: Hilma AF Klint, August Strindberg & Other Visionaries (Bozar Brussels)
Daniel Birnbaum, Christine Ödlund, Stephen McNeilly, James Brett, Briony Fer, Peter Cornell, Julia Voss, Jennifer Higgie, Magnus Florin, Carsten Höller, Celia Edefalk, Svante Tirén
Bozar & Mercatorfonds, 2023
Sweden may be seen as a Protestant nation of great engineers and entrepreneurs, but the nation’s spiritual life has long been influenced by a less official current, visible in its art and literature. Mysticism and esoteric speculation runs through the writings of some of Sweden’s most important figures, from the 18th-century scientist, theologian and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg to the turn of the 20th century with August Strindberg, known primarily as a novelist and playwright. He was also involved in alchemical experiments, occult photography and proto-expressionist paintings that verge on abstraction. In the same period we find art by visionaries such as Carl Fredrik Hill, Ernst Josephson and Hilma af Klint.
These visions continue to inspire contemporary artists such as Cecilia Edefalk, Carsten Höller, Christine Ödlund, Daniel Youssef and Lars Olof Loeld.