9 essential Scanian spots for art lovers
Skåne is – and has long been – a place of great art and art experiences. A case in point is the annual Konstrundan art event, when 500 professional artists, artisans and designers open the doors to their ateliers and workspaces for the public, making it the world’s largest art show.
But there is more. Several world-class art galleries and art museums are scattered around the region. Some are urban, others remotely located. Some display art in austere white spaces, while others place the art directly in nature. Discover the very best in our list of Skåne’s best art spots.
Some 30 years ago, writer Marika Wachtmeister started collecting and exhibiting art in the park grounds and forests around Wanås Castle, her family’s 18th Century estate just north of the city of Kristianstad. Her great love for art comes from when she and the rest of her family lived in New York during the 1960s.
The art collection and the majestic natural landscape it is showcased in is equally impressive. Our favourite installations include work by Marina Abramovic, Dan Graham, Antony Gormley and Sissel Tolaas. Although many artworks are permanent, Wanås also organises temporary exhibitions – such as the much-debated spray-painted pink sheep by artist Henrik Plenge Jakobsen that graze the grounds. Make sure to also pay a visit to the restaurant and café.
Olseröds Konsthall, a contemporary art gallery located in a barn in the small town of Degeberga, is the brainchild of interior stylist Anette Mörner and her husband, gallery owner Axel. Together, they have created a remote must-visit art destination that always manages to impress, surprise and delight.
Visitors are welcomed to the couple’s own home, a Scanian quadrangle farmstead, where one of the former barns has been converted into an airy and bright backdrop for some of Sweden’s most interesting contemporary artists. Since its founding in 2016, the likes of Fredrik Wretman, Maria Finn, Åsa Jungnelius, Jakob Solgren and – our personal favourites – Lena Willhammar, Mirja Ilkka and Niki Cervin have been showcased here.
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Kivik Art Centre
Approaching Kivik Art Centre is an oxymoronic experience. The ever-present rolling fields, picturesque apple orchards and quaint cottages are not the usual settings for experiences of art, design, architecture and sculptures. Nevertheless, Kivik Art Centre, the brainchild of Thomas Kjellgren and Sune Nordgren, both with a solid background in the arts, has found its home right in the middle of nature, rather than in a historic urban building.
The art centre is open daily throughout summer and contains a permanent exhibition by Snøhetta, photographer Tom Sandberg, architect David Chipperfield, sculpture artist Antony Gormley, Petra Gipp and architect Gert Wingårdh, to name a few. The Venturo, an organically shaped house by Matti Suuronen, is the art centre’s reception area and café. Every year new temporary exhibitions are added to the permanent ones.
Don’t let the quaint and innocent-looking facade of Galleri Arnstedt fool you. Inside the walls of this charming art gallery in Östra Karup, a village in rural northwestern Skåne, the artist on display means business with some of the Nordic region’s most interesting emerging artists. Some recent shows that we loved included work by textile artist Diana Orving, visual artist Andreas Eriksson and sculptor and painter Staffan Nihlén.
The gallery, which is housed in a former mill, consists of a dwelling house, a stable and a sculpture park. A long-standing collaboration with Malmö Art Academy results in a couple of graduate shows every year.
One to keep a close eye on is Obra, a Malmö platform for contemporary art. With a mission to introduce art to both established and new audiences, Tomás Giraldo-Feener, who co-founded the project with photographer Petra Bindel, puts on exhibitions that are meant to spark conversation about the art and the participating artists.
Since leaving the previous space in Malmö’s harbour area, Obra is without a visiting address. But keep your eyes peeled for what will come – we guarantee it will be well worth the wait.
As one of Sweden’s leading art museums, located in a small town mostly known for its former heavy industry, it has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in its field. It starts with the building itself. A low slung pavilion by Fritz Jaenecke of concrete and glass, it floats in the lush greenery of surrounding Citadellet city park. It backs up to a delicate and beautifully maintained Japanese garden, created in 1989 by Ulla Mohlin.
The surrounding park is home to a permanent exhibition that comprises 20 works by different artists and designers. Temporary exhibitions are launched regularly throughout the year and attract several interesting makers, artists and designers from near and far.
If Scandinavian and Swedish art and design is your fancy, a visit to Fabriken – Swedish for ‘the factory’ – is a must. Sculptors such as Hertha Hillfon and Barbro Bäckström, photographers Dag Hammarskjöld and Jean Hermanson, glass artists like Josh Simpson, William Bell and Nina Westman, to name but a few, have all been exhibited at Fabriken.
Fabriken is consistently graced with high marks for displaying interesting works in an unusual setting and with knowledgeable guides as icing on the cake. The former aviation parts factory provides plenty of space to highlight each work.
A stone’s throw from Malmö train station Triangeln, Malmö Konsthall offers a contemplative refuge from the city’s hustle and bustle. The art hall was designed by architect Klas Anshelm, who was heavily inspired by the Paris ateljé of sculptor Constantin Brâncuși. Constructed using concrete, glass, wood and aluminium, the building was completed in 1974.
Throughout the years, Malmö Konsthall has showcased work by renowned artists like Louise Bourgeois, Olafur Eliasson, Ernesto Neto, Damian Ortega and Rosa Barba, to name a few. Smak, the restaurant found on the premises, serves up a delicious lunch buffet, and the lush courtyard is great for a secluded afternoon fika break.
Skissernas Museum in Lund is a unique art museum that focuses on the artistic creative process. It features the world’s largest collection of sketches, models and preparatory work for Swedish and international public art. The large exhibition rooms hold modern and contemporary art – from small pencil drawings to monumental paintings and plaster sculptures.
When you are done perusing works by Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Fernand Léger or Isaac Grünewald we highly recommend the excellent in-house restaurant. Excellent food is prepared in an open kitchen and served in the decidedly Nordic and sparsely but warmly furnished dining room.