On International Women’s Day, Sunday March 8th 2020, the exhibition Signature Women – 100 Years on the Swedish Art Scene opened at Artipelag. Some 350 works by about fifty Swedish female artists were presented, well-known as well as previously marginalized names, active from the previous century up to current day.
The selection comprised painting, sculpture, textile, crafts, drawings and graphic prints, photography and film. The artists were be presented based on the century they primarily were productive in, and selection was based on how their art reflects the prevailing social climate at the time.
– A little while ago, I was commissioned by a Norwegian art museum to propose names of Swedish artists to a Nordic art collection. To refresh my knowledge, I turned to art history. I got reminded of how flagrant the male predominance was in most descriptions, the ratio of male and female artists respectively was 95% male and 5% female, regardless of whether the book in question was by a male or female author. It was against this background the idea to an exhibition highlighting this disproportion came about, says Bo Nilsson, Director at Artipelag.
The term Signature Women is an onset to reflect the shifting over a hundred years, when female artists have gone from being dispatched to artistic obscurity to today’s loftiness.
– Our ambition is not to conjure up an ultimate picture of art history, but we chose to present a humble historical writing, rather a topic for discussion than a definitive statement, said Nilsson.
Image above: Untitled Without, 1988. Detail. Oil on canvas by Cecilia Edefalk. Photo from Stockholms Auktionsverk.
Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg
Maud Fredin Fredholm
Annika von Hausswolff
Hilma af Klint
från Märta Måås AB)
Jane Wåhlstedt (Laholmskeramik)