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Market Art Fair highlights the Icelandic art scene and Sami culture in Stockholm this week
Sara Berner Bengtsson, managing director of the fair, on art talks, sustainability, and rising stars from the Nordic art scene.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
26 Apr 2022

Director Berner Bengtsson describes Market Art Fair as a cultural meeting and marketplace with a yearly fair, taking place this weekend, promoting the best of Nordic contemporary art.

— We aim to be inclusive and accessible for the visitors without making light of the contemporary art. We take art seriously and want to use our platform to raise ideas and provoke debate around issues current in the art world today, she says.

What’s your focus on this year’s edition?

— Sustainability is at the heart of my vision and values for the fair — both with our actions but also as part of our Market Talks programme, for instance with the talk Art in the age of climate apocalypse, considering the role the art world has to play in ensuring a sustainable future. We are also happy to be presenting the work of a Sami artist for the first time, Tomas Colbengtson exhibiting with Galleri Helle Knudsen. We’ll also present a talk with Tomas which explores the role of indigenous art networks in decolonisation and highlights how Sami culture can provide unique contributions to sustainability and the future of the planet.

Tal R.
Jeppe Hein.
Arna Óttarsdóttir.

What other highlights would you like to point out?

— The energy and vitality of the Icelandic art scene is a particular highlight this year. We are delighted to welcome so many renowned Icelandic artists including Olafur Eliasson, Arna Óttarsdóttir and Birgir Andrésson (i8), Shoplifter/Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (Larsen Warner), and Ragnar Kjartansson (BORCH Editions), who will be presenting some of his first works in printmaking at the fair, as well as Swedish Carl Boutard (Cecilia Hillström Gallery) who is active on the Icelandic art scene, Berner Bengtsson says, continuing,

— This year also features many artists exploring and questioning the medium of painting. These compelling works are varied encompassing philosophy, the making process, and the dynamic relationship between artist, object and viewer, among many other fascinating interpretations.

— Our outdoor presentation Market Extended highlights the joy and opportunity for reflection that contemporary sculpture brings to communities. Visitors can enjoy sculptural works around Liljevalchs (the art hall where the fair takes place, Ed’s note) from leading artists Tony Cragg, Tove Storch, Jens Fänge, Roland Persson, Lisa Jeannin and FOS. Tomas Colbengtson is showing Land Protector, a thought-provoking artwork that signposts the activism of the Sami people for their right to self-determination.

— We are also partnering with the Buffalo AKG Art Museum in Buffalo, New York, which has recently established the AKG Nordic Art and Culture Initiative: a focused project dedicated to the creative pursuits of the Nordic region. It is very interesting to consider the role dedicated geographic initiatives can play in today’s globalised art world. And, lastly, Made in Market is our program of videos and podcasts with opinionated voices and knowledgeable experts discussing contemporary art and culture.

Market Art Fair takes place April 29-May 1.