Spellbound – John Bauer and the Magic of Nature

Group show at Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, September 5, 2020 – January 24, 2021. Works by Maria Friberg – Night Vision 2, 6 , and Mirroring Eyes 1, 2. More info here.

Magical, animated nature with deep, mysterious forests and elemental creatures such as trolls, elves and water sprites are presented in this exhibition, in which painting, graphic art and sculpture from the turn of the century 1900 interacts with photography and installation art by contemporary artists. The central artist in the exhibition is John Bauer, who with his illustrated fairy-tale collection Bland tomtar och troll (Among gnomes and trolls) has profoundly influenced the perception of the mysticism of nature and the forest and their magical powers. In the exhibition, the art of Bauer will be presented in dialogue with that of his Nordic contemporaries – Theodor Kittelsen and Louis Moe from Norway and Swedish sculptor and Art Nouveau artist Agnes de Frumerie are some examples.

The exhibition also addresses the magic of nature in contemporary Nordic art. Night vision, the photographic series by Maria Friberg from 2019, is inspired by the art of John Bauer and reflects the views of young adults on nature as a bolt-hole but simultaneously something under threat. In Friberg’s works, the fusion of man with nature is closely linked to notions of resistance, activism and change in our time.