Fornasetti in the Shop

Find your own favourites among the Fornasetti products available in our design shop during the exhibition FORNASETTI Inside Out Outside In.

For instance, we sell plates, cushions, ties, lamps, scarves, tumblers and of course the exhibition catalogue.

FORNASETTI Inside Out Outside In runs until Sunday January 26th, 2020.

Works by Berlinde De Bruyckere now part of Sculpture in Nature

Berlinde De Bruyckeres piece, Rodt, January 6 (2012) is now a permanent item of Sculpture in Nature and in Artipelag’s collection. The piece can be seen outside in the entrance yard.

Berlinde De Bruyckere, born 1964 in Gent, Belgium, is one of Europe’s most interesting contemporary artists. To great success and international recognition she has had several exhibitions – to name one, she represented Belgium 2013 at the 55th Venice Biennale.

De Bruyckere works with sculpture and installations in materials such as wax, animal skin, hair, textiles, metal and wood. She draws inspiration from the Flemish renaissance and her core motif is human vulnerability and fragility, the suffering body – both man and animal – as well as the overwhelming power of nature. The topics may be perceived as dark, but the confrontation notwithstanding, the works need not necessarily be interpreted as tragic.

As a sculptor, De Bruyckere is interested in the possibility in working with many angles which enables more perspectives, both physical but also conceptual. For instance, it is quite usual that her works refer to both suffering as care.

Director Bo Nilsson on the artistry of Piero Fornasetti

The FORNASETTI Inside Out Outside In exhibition runs between June 14th, 2019 and January 26th, 2020.

Drawings. Paintings. Furniture. Graphic design. Piero Fornasetti did everything…and then some. In the first Swedish museum exhibition to include Fornasetti’s entire production, Artipelag trains the spotlight on one of the 20th century’s most versatile artists and cultural figures.

Sometimes the best way to open your mind is to immerse yourself in what you’ve previously been avoiding. Artipelag’s director Bo Nilsson had been looking at, experiencing and studying Piero Fornasetti for over 30 years, but had never fully grasped the multi-talented Italian. A new generation of artists paying homage to Fornasetti was the catalyst for finding the right access points. In recent years, his ideas about using the classical in the modern, allowing the traditional to permeate the new, have inspired upcoming talents such as the UK’s Anj Smith. In light of this, the decision to dedicate an exhibition to Fornasetti was easy to make. The time was ripe.

– The popularity of an artist always fluctuates. Fornasetti was yesterday’s news in the 1970s, but grew popular again in the 1980s. Then he fell out of favour again. And now it’s gone full circle and he’s back on top, says Bo Nilsson.

To once and for all get a handle on the prolific artist – who’s believed to have created around 13,000 works in the course of his career – Bo Nilsson decided to put together the most comprehensive exhibition possible. At Artipelag, Fornasetti’s early material, heavily inspired by the Novecento movement, will hang side-by-side with the world-famous design objects featuring 19th century opera singer Lina Cavalieri. Fornasetti’s product and interior design will be mixed with the slightly surreal and very rarely exhibited self-portraits from his years in exile in Switzerland during World War 2. Everything to showcase a versatile total artist who wanted to do, and virtually did, most things during his career.

– We’ve called the exhibition ‘Inside Out Outside In’, which sounds like a paradox, but basically means that we’ll be looking at Fornasetti from the two different perspectives. Our aim is to put together an exhibition that spans his entire production – and interpret it. It starts in our time and works its way back through history. The special layout of this art gallery takes you back the same way you’ve come, meaning you can read the exhibition from two different directions.

Complexity is the very essence of Piero Fornasetti’s artistry. He grew up as part child prodigy, part young rebel. In 1930, at the age of 17, Piero was enrolled at the famous Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, but he was expelled two years later for insubordination. He was destined to spend the rest of the 1930s trying to make a living as an artist and designer in various ways.

It was not until he was discovered by architect and designer Giò Ponti that his career got back on track. Fornasetti’s blend of old and new, of neoclassical references to Italian art history mixed with a more contemporary mindset, appealed to modernist Ponti, who took the talented artist under his wing. In the years that followed, the duo developed a close working relationship, with the 20-year-older Ponti creating furniture and Fornasetti decorating. Together they designed interiors and furnishing concepts for everything from private homes to transatlantic liners, as well as public decorations such as the San Remo casino.

– Ponti tended to favour classic furniture, such as glass cabinets from the Renaissance, but crafted them in simple materials such as Masonite. Meanwhile, Fornasetti’s decorations were inspired by Italian art and architectural history, which made the items of furniture less simple. He often used palace facades to print on screens. He was extremely eclectic and open-minded, unpredictable, and highly skilled at both neoclassical and contemporary design.

Bo Nilsson gladly returns to the idea of Fornasetti as a total artist. The Italian started as a painter, but gradually became involved in a variety of aesthetic disciplines, working as a sculptor, interior designer and product designer. Perhaps this was particularly evident once his partnership with Ponti came to an end. If he and Ponti had worked a lot with the interior design of larger rooms and installations, in the 1960s Fornasetti became more and more focused on the small scale. Back in 1956, Fornasetti opened a shop in his home city of Milan where he started to sell, for want of a better word, merchandise.

– A new middle class searching for its cultural values emerged in the 1960s and Fornasetti was a good fit for this. He made everything from umbrella stands and plates to ashtrays and trays. Everything. We try to understand his motivation in this exhibition, reports Bo Nilsson.

It seems only to be expected that an artist who once said, “A beautiful thing never loses its value, even if it’s mass-produced” would move in this direction.

– Fornasetti had democratic principles – the objects that he created should not only to be accessible to some kind of upper class. He wanted everyone to be able to buy his items. The downside of this is that production gets very fragmented, you no longer have as clear an understanding of the relationship between the different objects. If you give it a certain structure, as we’ve attempted to do in the exhibition, you see that there are patterns in a tradition stretching back to the Renaissance. There are natural motifs, such as fish, flowers and fruit, but there are also artefacts, such as musical instruments, armour and often cultural objects. Nature and culture are contrasted as opposites – Fornasetti in a nutshell.

This is an article from the Artipelag yearly magazine produced in 2019 by Make Your Mark. Text: Mattias Dahlström.

Interview with Barnaba Fornasetti

The FORNASETTI Inside Out Outside In exhibition runs between June 14th, 2019 and January 26th, 2020.

Piero Fornasetti’s son, Barnaba, has managed the design house since 1982. He wants to make its art accessible to more people and is driven by his conviction that the world can be saved by beauty.

What’s the philosophy behind Fornasetti?
– With my artistic orientation, I aim to preserve a pure creativity, the intuition that arises far beyond market influences. I believe that being liberated from one’s own context has always been the secret that has made Fornasetti flourish historically – and this is more true than ever in today’s world of incessant change. One of the most important lessons I learned from my father, one that I’ve always believed in and that I resolutely uphold, is this very thing: the importance of not being swayed by passing trends. He taught me to resist conformism and ultimately I believe that this made it possible for me to always make independent decisions, which has helped the brand to preserve a clearly defined identity.

What are the major influences behind your design?
– There’s a great deal of art history in Fornasetti. Our visual language contains images from our collective imagination – shapes that have always existed in our minds and memories. My father utilised them fully to recreate a magical world – a world rich with colour and full of humour. Although he cherished an ardent desire for independence and insisted on the uniqueness of his creations, it’s easy to see that he was always well informed about the artistic developments that occurred during his lifetime. In his limitless collection of artworks, you can trace an imagery that extends from Neo-Baroque and Neo-Romantic to the surreal and metaphysical, as well as an awareness of Italy’s rich artistic tradition, paired with a deep passion for the outdated and anachronistic.

Many objects feature the face of the opera singer Lina Cavalieri – why did she become a muse for your father?
– Lina Cavalieri was an internationally acclaimed artiste who lived 1874-1944. My father never actually met her, but her face was the original spark for his creativity. Her perfect proportions and enigmatic expression were to inspire almost 400 variations over the years. As my father used to say, Lina’s face is a true archetype. The very essence of classical beauty. Just like a Greek statue and as enigmatic as the Mona Lisa. A face that could constantly be transformed in his mind.

Your father worked with the designer Giò Ponti to design furniture – what was their partnership like?
– It was a very close creative partnership and so full of happiness that Ponti once said: “If one day they write my life story, they’ll have to call one of the chapters Passion for Fornasetti.” The two of them were aligned not only on the definition and importance of decoration and the cultural heritage that it implies, but also on the whole notion of architecture – the relationship between man and his environment. Their work resulted in important concepts for interiors and furnishings, design and decoration for houses, apartments, ship cabins and cinema auditoria. It was Giò Ponti who encouraged my father to develop his intuition in order to produce everyday items embellished with the kind of decoration that would bring art into the homes of ordinary people.

You started working for the company in 1982, what was it like to work side-by-side with your father?
– In the early 1980s, 30 years after the start of his adventure, my father asked me to come to work with him. It was at that moment that I was actually handed the task of evolving this important heritage. In the years since my father’s death, I’ve found it fairly easy to preserve Fornasetti’s creative vision. I was born into this environment and my imagination has been shaped by it to such an extent that the task of taking this heritage into the future, while respecting its style, discipline and subtle irony, is something that feels natural.

How has the Fornasetti brand evolved since you took over the company after the death of your father?
– Today, I preserve and renew the tradition of craftsmanship that I inherited, revise the most popular elements and create new ones with my own style and sensitivity, in collaboration with a tight-knit and enthusiastic team. What I’ve been trying to do for some time, in parallel with the production of objects, is to liberate Fornasetti’s art from the commercial and take it in a purely cultural direction. This has resulted in the opera “Don Giovanni”, poetry readings, art exhibitions and other cultural initiatives. I would like Fornasetti to reach a wider audience beyond the world of design and make its imagery accessible to people who don’t necessarily need to purchase a product. My main motivation is the conviction that the world can be saved by beauty and most importantly by the dimension of meaning. I see that as my personal responsibility.

What are your hopes for the exhibition at Artipelag?
– It’s the first time that an exhibition devoted to the work of Fornasetti has been curated by a team from outside our own organisation. I think that it’s been a stimulating and rewarding experience. It gives a perspective that no doubt will highlight new aspects of and enrich Fornasetti’s identity.

This is an article from the Artipelag yearly magazine produced in 2019 by Make Your Mark. Text: Linus Fremin. Photo: Daniel Hertzell.

Artipelag is now a completely smoke-free environment

From July 1st 2019, when Sweden’s new Tobacco Act came into force, Artipelag is a completely smoke-free environment – both indoors and outdoors.

Our aim is to ensure that all our guests enjoy a wholesome nature experience at Artipelag and to minimise the risk of fires in the surrounding woods.

Our new ice cream is here

Cool down on a hot day with a delicious ice cream in our Bådan Café & Pâtisserie!

For the summer of 2019 we have 150 ml tubs from local supplier Nonna’s from Saltsjö-Boo in Nacka.

This ice cream is Italian-style gelato. Unlike ‘ordinary’ ice cream, gelato contains no cream and is stirred a lot more slowly during the freezing process. This gives it the richness and density that distinguishes it from other frozen desserts.

It’s available in vanilla, hazelnut, raspberry sorbet (vegan) and chocolate sorbet (vegan).

Come here in a kayak

We’ve recently added a rack for kayaks and landing spaces for disembarking to our guest marina.

So paddle on over here to see us! There’s no charge for storing a kayak or mooring a boat.

Read more >>

Bådan Café & Patisserîe in White Guide 2019

We are pleased that Bådan Café & Patisserîe is in this year´s edition of White Guide, which annually reviews Sweden´s restaurants and cafés.

“If the main purpose of visiting Artipelag is to have coffee? Yes! The new Pastry Chef at the art gallery, Annie Hesselstad, has raised the ambitions at the sweet counter to a level corresponding to everything else of beauty there is to see here. With the small advantage that everything is edible. Here you find pastries resembling desserts in season topped with or flavoured with wild-picked herbs or flowers, “fika” classics like carrot cake and brownies that have been jacked up several notches, classic buns, Danish pastries and their own take on croissants. The coffee is made by baristas at the coffee counter, roasted by Kersh Roasters in nearby Gustavsberg, the apple juice is local and the seating area in a fabulous archipelago environment – lovely.“

The exhibition pastry is here

In honour of each exhibition, we create a special pastry inspired by the art. Our pastry for FORNASETTI Inside Out Outside In is now on sale!

Head Pastry Chef Annie Hesselstad on her creation:

“Italy is the source of inspiration, and lemon, mascarpone and pistachio flavours formed the basis of the initial concept for our new exhibition pastry. The design utilised a black and white colour scheme from one of Fornasetti’s best-known artworks. With the hidden interior and a revealing, playful exterior, my aim was to create an experience that satisfies all the senses, where the fantasy of what’s hidden inside becomes reality.”

The pastry is crafted of mascarpone mousse, pistachio-dipped lemon sponge, lemon cream flavoured with home-made limoncello and lemon glaze. The pastry is on sale in our Bådan Café & Pâtisserie.

Open all days during Midsummer

Midsummer (June 21st and 22nd, 2019)  is right around the corner and, unlike many other public attractions and restaurants in Stockholm, Artipelag will be open for the entire Midsummer weekend.

Read more about what’s happening at Artipelag during midsummer here >>