”Thrice Upon a Time”

Thrice Upon a Time
Gabriel Orozco, Black Kites Perspective (right), 1997, image: Collection Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall (Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery)

Co-curated by Richard Julin, Elisabeth Millqvist, and Tessa Praun, ”Thrice Upon a Time” gracefully weaves the curators’ self-designed themes, maintaining a balance of 202 art works from 66 international artists working within various media—some established, others given an opportunity to show work for the first time in Sweden. Under the direction of David Neuman, ”Thrice Upon a Time” emphasizes the institution’s evolution and its scope since its inception more than two decades ago. Magasin 3 is one of the more alluring art spaces in Stockholm, even though it is actually far from the city center, sequestered in an industrial region. An art-historical exhibition with contributing artists born between 1849 and 1978, ”Thrice Upon a Time” highlights the importance of collecting, archiving, and public accessibility to a collection. The curators harbor three distinct focal points that breed an intricate conversation based on Magasin 3’s collection of works, which has remained mostly out of sight until now. Each curator marks their own designated section of the exhibition space highlighting their narrative approach, yet one is able to move from theme to theme without hindrance. With each new theme presented, a poignant curatorial description is provided, making the transition from theme to theme a comfortable one.

Millqvist’s curatorial ambition within the framework of ”Thrice Upon a Time” dissects art history by homing in on traditional genres, such as landscape and portraiture, emphasizing the ongoing presence of the natural world in art. Millqvist presents questions of the artist’s quest for meaning, escape or reverence through portraiture, the concept of landscape as a classifiable subdivision of portraiture, and how artists have chosen to work within these genres over time. Boo Ritson’s Cindy-Rae (2007), a digital print of a live model generously coated with paint in both a sculptural and performative manner, co-exists alongside Cindy Sherman’s self-portrait Untitled #195 (1989) inspired by classical painting motifs and her affinity for masquerades and artifice, Gabriel Orozco’s cibachrome print of a human skull covered in a checkered, black-and-white graphite pattern titled Black Kites Perspective (1997), and Gunnel Wåhlstrand’s Mother profile (2009) being a handprinted lithograph on paper. These works and those along side of them complement one another, illustrating ways in which portraiture recurs as a medium without enforcing an obvious pattern or trend. Whether or not Millqvist’s selections follow a trajectory based on any art historical reference remains debatable; these pieces thrive because they are relieved of the obligation to wholly represent any era.

Praun’s curatorial perspective investigates the spatial and architectural aspects of art-making, as well as dichotomies of exterior/interior and mental/physical. Offering an insider’s view into artists’ working methods, habits, whims and studio milieus, Praun provides a window into the artist’s personal space and peripheral inspirations. For instance, Karin Mamma Andersson’s Studio (2007) shares the painted interior of her studio, hinting at a meta-relational mode of interaction. Andersson’s cluttered studio becomes the object of interest, shifting an artist’s environmental afterthought into view—once a workspace, now a work of art—suggestive of Bruce Nauman’s studio mapping meditations as a response to artist’s block and bouts of nothingness between creative peaks. Though fascinating in content, at times, this portion of ”Thrice Upon a Time” seems cumbersome due to its textual dependency; Absalon’s video Proposition d’Habitation (1990) can seem inaccessible without wall text explanations. Yet, this is a small price to be allowed entrance into these artists’ landscapes.

Julin’s inquiry invokes a personal sense of adventure by igniting one’s imagination, offering multiple avenues of exploration, granting the freedom to both examine objects in heightened detail, and tweaking one’s enthusiasm for both the past and present. Labyrinth-like and located in Magasin 3’s basement, works such as Richard Tuttle’s A-R London Series (1982) is an artist’s response to serving in the United States Air Force, resorting to the speed of paint over the speed of sound; Lena Svedberg’s Lyndon Johnson och Svenska Dagbladets chefredaktör Allan Hernelius (1968) offers a snapshot into the history of Swedish satire; Cecilia Parsberg’s video of two women in combat titled Don’t be stupid (1997) appears to be a visually engrossing power play into the politics of communication. With delicate artifacts on display, askew mechanisms in motion, and sensual, oceanic sculptures such as Catalina (1980) by Lynda Benglis, ”Thrice Upon a Time” proves to be a quintessential precedent of engaging curatorial practice.

Malin Gabriella Nordin, “Floating from Within”

Malin Gabriella Nordin, Veil of Dreams, 2017. Image: Gallery Steinsland Berliner.

Stockholm-based artist Malin Gabriella Nordin is one of many Swedish women artists who resort to the basics – or perhaps the old ways, meaning they’re not particularly interested in the digital. More »

“Survival Kit 9”

Andris Eglītis, Laboratory of Poetic Research, 2017. Image: Jacquelyn Davis.

The 9th edition of Survival Kit is orchestrated by a small team of Baltic and Scandinavian curators: Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Solvita Krese and Inga Lāce. All possess a background in organizing independently and within the confines of institutions, which may be their strong point—their fluidity. More »

The 9th Momentum Biennial

Jenna Sutela, Sporulating Paragraph, 2017. Image: Momentum 9.

Momentum 9, taking place in the industrial town of Moss, Norway, is being curated by Ulrika Flink, Ilari Laamanen, Jacob Lillemose, Gunhild Moe, and Jón B.K. Ransu, who together represent the Scandinavian region. With this biennial’s focus on ‘alienation’, the curators joined forces to determine how alien processes and entities are infused in our lives through technological, ecological and social transformations. More »

Klas Eriksson, “Vet din mamma var du e?”

Klas Eriksson
Klas Eriksson, Evidence of Patchwork, 2017. Image: Göteborgs Konsthall.

Swedish artist Klas Eriksson has developed a practice rooted in examining subcultures via works in public spaces and spontaneous performances. With an interest in how power flows and how crowds function, the artist attempts to unpack sociopolitical dynamics using playful tactics. More »

Lovisa Ringborg, “Night Remains”

Lovisa Ringborg
Lovisa Ringborg, Fountain, 2017. Image: Cecilia Hillström Gallery.

In Lovisa Ringborg’s second exhibition at this gallery, the artist upholds the argument that displaying a set of harmonious works can be more potent than a plethora of free-floating entities. More »

Przemek Pyszczek, “1989”

Przemek Pyszczek
Przemek Pyszczek, Public Relief No 6, 2016. Image: Gallery Belenius.

Polish-born, Canadian-raised, Berlin-based artist Przemek Pyszczek displays new works which are primarily sculptural and mixed media, with stints into collage. More »

Ulf Rollof, “Kleptomaniac”

Ulf Rollof
Ulf Rollof, Hungry Stranded, 2016. Image: CFHILL.

Sequestered above the restaurant Nosh & Chow in Stockholm (designed by Barcelona-based Lázaro Rosa-Violán), renowned Swedish artist Ulf Rollof’s current solo exhibition is the last installment in a trilogy that began in Mexico City. More »


Magdalena Dziurlikowska, Corona Radiata, 2016. Image: Gotlands Konstmuseum.

Differentiating between public and private spheres can be challenging. This group exhibition focuses on how one might successfully share a subjective experience when most individuals are conditioned to distance themselves from others. More »

Christine Ödlund, “Aether & Einstein”

Christine Ödlund
Christine Ödlund, Urtica Dioica, 2013. Image: Magasin III.

In a delicate fusion of scientific experimentation, metaphysics, and exchange between human beings and plants, Swedish artist Christine Ödlund provides an enchanting display of paintings, drawings, videos, and an organic installation that entices viewers to reconsider their relationships with both secular and spiritual realms. More »