After a challenging couple of years for the art industry, international art fairs are back, new players have emerged and the world has become even more digital.
With many cultural shifts in mind, Barnebys has compiled a list of individuals within the art world who have had the biggest impact on the Swedish art scene in the year 2021-22. Be sure to check out new entries (indicated by 'New Entry' in brackets) and returning faces (indicated by their ranking from 2019-20). Read on to discover who made this year’s list!
This Swedish trio is behind one of the art world's big talking points; Acute Art. During the pandemic, digital art, NFTs and Virtual Reality dominated conversations about the future of the art scene. Described as a laboratory exploring the dialogue between technology and art, this London-based group is producing new digital artworks featuring blue-chip artists such as KAWS, Julie Curtiss, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons and Marina Abramović.
The historic and magnificent premises next to the Swedish Royal Gardens are an important melting pot for the arts. Here, exhibitions by world-renowned artists as well as shows from newly-discovered talents mingle as exciting artistic collaborations. CFHILL attracts private individuals interested in art, institutional collectors and even Sweden's new billionaires. While other players shut down or went on hiatus during the pandemic, CFHILL presented its best year yet.
In recent years, the Nordenhake family has quietly made great strides in the international art market. Nordenhake is the only Swedish gallery to have succeeded in creating its own clientele in Latin America and, in addition to its gallery spaces in Stockholm and Berlin, now also has a beautiful townhouse gallery in Mexico City. This year, Erik is temporarily leaving Stockholm to dedicate himself to launching his artists abroad. Incredibly, Gallery Nordenhake donated twelve works to the Moderna Museet on Skeppsholmen last year.
Lars Strannegård, rector of the Stockholm School of Economics, is educating a new generation of businessmen and women with art at the top of his agenda. The link between art and business now extends far beyond the school's physical walls as his newly minted business students have graduated and entered into the business world. The Stockholm School of Economics is increasingly becoming one of Sweden's larger art centers.
With galleries in New York, London, Paris and East Hampton, Per Skarstedt is one of the world’s top international gallerists. He exhibits artists such as Francis Bacon, Georg Baselitz, Cindy Sherman and David Salle in his galleries and at the world's biggest art fairs. For every work of art he sells, he buys three new ones and keeps one, which means he also has a world-class private collection.
Sometimes called the ‘Elon Musk of the art world’, Carl Kostyàl seems able to predict the future. With a network of contacts that most gallerists could only dream of, Kostyál has completely changed the face of the Swedish art scene. He is behind the Gullringsbo art collection on display at Hospitalet.
After fifteen active years in charge of the Swedish gallery world's most interesting galleries, the Swedish-American couple Martin Lilja and Amy Giunta are expanding their businesses. Their new gallery on Odengatan, in what used to be the Brazilian Embassy, has hosted some of the year's most talked-about exhibitions. They have featured international greats such as Alex Gardner, Eddie Martinez and Lauren Quin.
Who hasn't seen his famous mushrooms and winding slides? Today, Carsten is undoubtedly one of Sweden's most celebrated and exhibited contemporary artists. With Gagosian representing him, Höller’s art is hot property among international collectors. Additionally, the artist founded a trendy Brutalisten restaurant with award-winning chef Stefan Eriksson. Both restaurant’s interior design and menu are based on Carsten's manifesto, the "Brutalist Kitchen Manifesto."
Responsible for picking Art Basel's VIP clients in the Nordic region, Lisa uses her expert hand to charm the most skeptical venture capitalist into consuming contemporary art at a high level. In recent years, she has been getting more and more Swedish clients to step onto the international red-art carpet. She is deeply immersed in the global art market, and a name that shouldn’t be forgotten.
The queens of the Swedish gallery world, with galleries in Östermalm and Paris, Marina Schiptjenko and Ciléne Andréhn continue to show art of the highest quality. With a strong artistic conviction, they never give in to temporary trends. These two women are some of Sweden's most experienced gallerists, but also two of the coolest.
After four years at Galerie Forsblom, Bengtsson stepped in as CEO of Market Art Fair in the middle of the pandemic. Despite the challenges, she has managed to keep the leading contemporary art fair in the Nordic countries alive. In fact, she developed it into an international affair with both a physical and digital presence! She has certainly earned her a place on the Barneby’s list of Sweden's most influential art professionals.
Magnus Karlsson heads Sweden's most recognised painting-focused gallery. With a never-ending flair for finding interesting works and fruitful collaborations with other leading gallerists, Magnus Karlsson certainly holds his own. Among the artists he represents are several of Sweden’s most internationally sought-after artists, such as Karin Mamma Andersson, Jockum Nordström, Klara Kristalova and Jens Fänge.
Undoubtedly two of Sweden's most internationally recognised artists are Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg. Their artworks have already made a mark in the history of art. In the past few years, a series of high-profile exhibitions and international successes were followed by sensational new auction records. Collectors are having a field day with the artists' imaginative sculptures and art connoisseurs are loving these artist’s films.
Thanks to an early digital transformation and one of the industry's strongest brands, Andreas and Louise have continued to dominate this year. With their strongest-ever auction result and a string of new world records, Scandinavia's leading auction house has not only impressed at home, but internationally as well. Their work has been so impressive that Bukowskis has been acquired by one of the world's leading auction houses, Bonhams.
Not since Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie's time in the Makalös Palace has anyone ruled the Royal Garden like gallery veteran and King of the Kings, Björn Wetterling. With the help of his professional team, Wetterling has time after time guided the gallery to be the country’s best.
Ørskou holds perhaps Sweden’s most prestigious role in the art world as Director of Moderna Museet. Despite pandemic restrictions and a partial closure, the museum has been able to show several acclaimed exhibitions such as Alberto Giacometti and the first major retrospective of the British artist and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
One of Sweden's most active art collectors and donors is Lena Josefsson. Lena stepped down as chairman of the Friends of Moderna Museet in 2021, but continues to be one of the country's most important patron of the arts. Among other impressive accomplishments, she is a member of the Princess Estelle Foundation. With an exceptionally strong international network, she is one of the Swedish art scene's most important ambassadors.
Birgitta Rubin holds one of Sweden's sharpest pens as a cultural journalist and art critic for Sweden's largest daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter. At a time when art and culture are occupying less space in the media, Birgitta Rubin continues to deliver accurate reviews. When Rubin moves, the curator stands still.
Prince Daniel has long shown an interest in the arts and an understanding of the role of culture in modern society. Nowadays, he is celebrated as founder of Princess Estelle's Cultural Foundation. The foundation was established in autumn 2019 on the initiative of the Crown Princess Couple. Its purpose is to promote cultural activities in Sweden. The former gallerist Sara Sandström Nilsson acts as director.
After forty years, Verner Åmell still dominates and is unchallenged as Norway's leading art dealer. He is approached by the financial elite, the world's leading museums and the growing list of billionaires for his expertise. At TEFAF, the world’s premier art fair, Åmell shows everything from Italian Renaissance artists to Swedish modernists. For those who can’t afford to buy the art, Åmell has a system where individuals can rent contemporary art, photography and Zorn balls from his gigantic stock.
Eva Livijn has one of the biggest smiles in the art world. While others have to work hard to make others feel welcomed, Eva easily opens the door to her artistic home wide; both figuratively and literally. She hosts incredible international exhibitions for anyone to see inside her own house. Beyond that, Livijn is an art advisor who helps build impressive collections.
Where the Zaman brothers are, there is exciting art to be seen. The popularity of their digital magazine C-print, which started as a non-commercial initiative, has boomed and the publication is now one of the country's best art destinations. Through the digital magazine, their social media feed and their moderated conversations, these brothers offer an insightful perspective into contemporary art.
The mecca of Swedish photography is in Gothenburg at The Hasselblad Foundation, founded back in 1979 by Erna and Victor Hasselblad. There, high-level photography is shown in a unique context which cannot be found elsewhere in Sweden. Every year, their Nobel Prize in Photography is awarded to some of the world's most celebrated photographers.
Mårten Castenfors is one of Sweden’s most outspoken voices. Castenfors is respected for never shying away from telling the truth about difficult topics or the current climate of the art world. With an expert ability to democratize and clarify, he is cultural Sweden's sharpest "influencer". Since he took over as director of the venerable Liljevalchs Konsthall, the institution has seen record-sized audiences.
Stefan Andersson’s gallery and its operations stand firm with very deep roots in the Swedish art scene. Andersson has succeeded in building up a prestigious roster of artists including international greats like Tony Cragg, Sean Henry and Jaume Plensa. Today, the gallery is undoubtedly respected as one of the country's finest.
One of Sweden's most passionate private collectors since the 1980s, Mikael Ståhl presents one of the country's foremost collections of contemporary art in the Old Yllefabriken in Norrköping. The collection includes everything from Cajsa von Zeipel and Nathalie Djurberg, to Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin. In addition, the Ståhl Collection awards an incredible art scholarship benefiting future generations of contemporary artists.
Karin Mamma Andersson has a special place in Swedish contemporary painting. Internationally, she is represented by one of the leading galleries, David Zwirner, as well as the leading Swedish gallery for painting, Magnus Karlsson. Furthermore, her artworks can be found in prestigious museums such as MoMa in New York and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and her work hangs in important private collections around the world.
Niklas Belenius is one of the country's most influential gallery owners. Joining a long family legacy within the art world, Belenius is celebrated for his unpretentious nature. His gallery has a unique program where older, more experienced artists share the space with young emerging artists. The gallery is an important must-visit for the serious art lover. Additionally, the art world is abuzz with rumors of Belenius’ potential involvement in Sweden's new art fund signed by Lars Nittve.
The journalist, gallerist and rector Sara Arrhenius is part of the talent that will take Swedish contemporary art to new heights. Having steadily held the helm of Bonniers Konsthall since its opening in 2005, Sara Arrhenius took over as Rector of the Royal Institute of Art in the spring of 2017. She will soon be moving to Paris to become director of the Swedish Institute in Paris.
One of the Swedish art world's hidden gems is Stellan Holm. This secretive Swede has incredible connections within the artworld and is regularly invited to exclusive dinners and events at Larry Gagosian's. Holm’s impressive clientele includes the likes of Pharrell Williams, Alberto Mugrabi and Bono. What started at The Factory with Andy Warhol ended with Holm's own gallery in Manhattan. Holm is undoubtedly a legend in the Swedish art world.
Jeanette Bonnier's wish was that her niece, Christel Engelbert, would lead the company Jeanette Bonnier AB after Jeanette’s passing. Today, art-lover Christel is indeed chairman of the company. As a major shareholder in the powerful media group, she leads the art world with her strength and vision.
The Sotheby's super duo continue to deliver incredible results, all while maintaining the utmost secrecy and confidentiality. The Stockholm office is Sotheby's most profitable, turning over as much as one of Sweden's largest auction houses – all due to these incredible two employees!
With a solid base in the Swedish institutional art world, Cecilia Widenheim has taken over the acclaimed Tensta Konsthall. This grassroots initiative has become one of the capital city’s most important institutions for contemporary art. In addition to producing and hosting exhibitions by prominent artists, the Tensta Konsthall is a wonderful meeting place for all art-inclined individuals.
One of Sweden's art heavyweights is Bo Nilsson, who leads Artipelag. Nilsson has had an impressive career, including acting as curator and director of Moderna Museet, Rooseum and Liljevalchs. We at Barnebys are now eagerly awaiting the next Artipelag exhibition, 'Anselm Kiefer - Essence-Eksistence'.
Some of Sweden's greatest cultural patrons are Robert and Sandra Weil. Robert's investment company Proventus owns the private museum Magasin III in Frihamnen. Meanwhile, his equally impressive daughter Sandra has lived in Tel Aviv for 20 years and is deeply involved in Palestinian cultural life. She works to help Palestinian artists and African refugees. In the gallery’s branch in Israel's very hip area of Jaffa, the duo show amazing contemporary art. Additionally, Robert is one of the founders of the Accelerator at Stockholm University and Sandra has curated several exhibitions at CFHILL.
Since Cecilia entered the gallery business, she has gone from success to success. Today, she and Katrin are heavyweights in Stockholm’s gallery district. Their gallery dares to mix art form and techniques as well as intermingle artists young and old.
After thirteen years as exhibition curator at Magasin III, Tessa recently took over as Museum Director at Magasin III. Meanwhile, David Neuman transitioned to Chairman of the Operations Board. In addition to Magasin III, David is involved in the new art scene Accelerator at Stockholm University.
In Stockholm's restaurant world, PG Nilsson and Calle Carboni arouse the appetites of thirsty stockbrokers, the financial elite and a celebrity crowd. With curated exhibitions, these creatives allow guests to experience art in a disarming and natural way. They serve art on a plate at their two trendy restaurant locations: Skagen and Aira.
With rare integrity, Teresa and David Castenfors are behind the only magazine dedicated purely to art in Sweden. They are known for being ambitious, and their magazine is bursting with unique images and great writers. Alone in its genre, we at Barnebys hope for a digital edition soon.
Oscar can be found wherever exciting art is shown. Over the past year, he has curated several of Carl Kostyál's acclaimed exhibitions at Hospitalet. He also runs his own nomadic gallery, Issues, which now has a permanent address on Vattugatan. Issues has an incredibly interesting selection of artists, so be sure to check it out.
Joanna Sundström is the art industry's own PR guru and founder of the all-important Stockholm Art Week. She has an unparalleled ability to connect the art world with the business community. She always finds synergies that others didn't know existed. Furthermore, Joanna ensures the art world gets to rub shoulders in the trendiest of venues.
It's not just Rafael Gomezbarro's giant ants that have set off on a pilgrimage to Wanås Castle. Those who make the pilgrimage to the Skåne beech forests and the impressive sculpture park are rewarded with an art experience of a lifetime. Marika Wachtmeister is responsible for all this artistic greatness!
Magnus Bexhed and Sofie Bexhed are influencing the art world as their auction house expands and moves its public activities entirely to Stockholm. The duo have secured a beautiful new premises for the powerful auction house. After another successful year, Uppsala Auction Chamber continues to sell impressive collections and host million-dollar listings.
Christian Larsen and Darren Warner are gallery veterans. They have just opened up a new gallery in central Stockholm. Together with Darren Warner, they have impressed the public with several trend-setting exhibitions. Thanks to a wide and impressive network of contacts, their gallery continues to attract international names.
Johan Ericsson is chairman of the board and co-owner of the largest contemporary art fair in the Nordic countries, Market Art Fair. Today, this fair is a must-visit fixture on the Nordic art scene. Johan Ericsson himself is among the elite of the art world. He is also on the board of Princess Estelle's Cultural Foundation, and holds an impressive art collection.
Gallery Steinsland Berliner brings together some of the most interesting names of the new generation of artists. Since 2008, Jeanette Steinsland and Jacob Kampp Berliner have delighted art lovers with their strong eye for contemporary art.
Claes Britton’s contributions to Swedish culture are endless. Together with his wife Christina Sollenberg Britton, he runs the communications agency BrittonBritton, which focuses on art, design and fashion. The agency publishes the iconic magazine ‘Stockholm New’ – which is renowned for its pleasant and fearless voice. Birtton’s biography of Pontus Hultén will be released this autumn, and is sure to cement his place as Sweden’s most important art professionals.
Saskia Neuman is one of Sweden’s most important art writers and critics. With her natural talent, she seems born to discuss art. Her writings can be found in prestigious publications such as Vogue Scandinavia. Whatever Neuman sets out to do, she always keeps art central. There are even rumors of her involvement in a new gallery.
After several years at Bruun Rasmussen, Kirsten is now the head of the Phillips auction houses in Scandinavia. With a keen interest in both art and people, MacDonald has built a network of contacts in just a few years that would make most people green with envy.
As artistic director of SKF/Konstnärshuset, Alida Ivanov has shown several acclaimed works and gallerists are lining up to get their hands on the next promising star. The fact that she is also curator of Art Platform and co-director of NSFW/Svilova is proof of Ivanov’s many talents.
Ditte Lauridsen and Axel Söderberg both have great ambitions. In their design company, fine art holds a very central role at the center of the company.
Prospects for next year's list:
Malin Gabriella Nordin, artist
Carl Larsson, art consultant
Paula Bjäringer, Misschiefs gallery
Victoria Svederberg & Joakim Geiger, Stockholms Auction house
Fabian Hjelte, collector
Jonas Kleerup, art consultant