Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Naked anglers, plates of spaghetti and men propping up a bar. Well, it is modern art.

spaghetti painting

I like art.

Modern art I either love or just don’t get.

As I wouldn’t want to miss out on the chance of seeing art I might love, I had to visit Stockholm’s Moderna Museet.

I went to the late-night opening after spending the whole day wandering around the sculptures at Millesgården and so was pretty tired and had already seen quite a lot of amazing art that day.

It probably wasn’t the best time to go, but I only had four days and wanted to make the most of them. I thought being tired and all arted-out might have swayed my opinion towards the negative end of the spectrum. But no, I got a new lease of life and really enjoyed the museum and the art and was really glad I’d made the effort rather than just going back to the hostel and lying on my bed with my Kindle and a cup of tea.

Carl Milles 'Wings'
Carl Milles, ‘Wings’ 1911

The first thing I saw, before I even got up to the museum was yet another Carl Milles sculpture. Good job I like them.

Once in the grounds of Moderna Museet I came across this installation.

art installation outside Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Alexander Calder, ‘The Four Elements’ 1938/1961

Calder is an American sculptor who lived from 1898 to 1976. The Four Elements was created as a giant metal sculpture (it stands about 10 metres tall) in 1961 from a model he’d originally made in 1938. The sculpture is motorised and turns slowly. I love bright blocks of bold colour so this was a  winning start for me.

The museum is on the island of Skeppsholmen which was formerly a naval base. The museum began its life in what had been the drill hall. In 1998 a new specially designed building was built to house the museum. This now adjoins the old drill hall which these days houses the architecture museum.

IMG_8229The modern new building is light and spacious. Although there were quite a lot of visitors, it never felt crowded. And there were plenty of benches I could sit on to rest my tired legs admire the art.

Moderna MuseetHere’s another nice bench to sit on. This one also has a good view of more than just the art.

The art really interested me, particularly an exhibition of Nils Dardel’s work, and below are photos of a few of my favourite pieces.

Trans-Siberian painting
Nils Dardel, ‘The Trans-Siberian Express’ 1918

In 1917 Dardel travelled through Russia after a visit to Japan. It was the time of the Revolution and his painting of the Trans-Siberian Express shows both the exterior of the train passing through the countryside and the interior with the carriages filled with soldiers.

This picture appealed to me both as a piece of art and because I’m interested in the Trans-Siberian Express and even have a journey aboard it listed as one of my 60 things to do before I’m 60.

Nils Dardel, The Bar painting
Nils Dardel, ‘The Bar’ 1920

This painting of men propping up a bar shows that some things never change.

Crime of Passion
Nils Dardel, ‘Crime of Passion’ 1921
Crime of Passion
Nils Dardel, ‘Crime of Passion’ 1921
Nils Dardel, Woman in Green Pyjamas Murdering a Man in Black
Nils Dardel, ‘Woman in Green Pyjamas Murdering a Man in Black’ 1918

The above three Nils Dardel paintings show how the same idea can be used multiple times. I could take a blogging lesson from this!

The Dying Dandy
Nils Dardel, ‘The Dying Dandy’ 1918
The Dying Dandy
Nils Dardel, ‘The Dying Dandy’ 1918

These two paintings of The Dying Dandy have subtle differences. I found it really interesting to see different versions of the same painting side-by-side like this.

The Angler
Nils Dardel, ‘The Angler’, 1931

There was something about this one that really drew me towards it (and no, not just because it’s a naked man).

There was a lot more to see than just the Nils Dardel exhibition, though that was my favourite part.

Moderna Museet

I didn’t really understand this part of the exhibtion.

Moderna MuseetNor this bit. Though I did sort of like the sheep.

spagetti painting
James Rosenquist, ‘I Love You with My Ford’ 1961

And I think the only reasons I liked this one are because I used to drive a Ford and one of my niece’s favourite foods is tinned spaghetti. So it reminded me of my first car and my niece. I’m really not sure how spaghetti fits in with the title though.

The spaghetti was making me hungry and it had been a long day. But as I still had a little bit of time left before the museum closed, I ignored my rumbling stomach and paid a quick visit to the adjoining architecture museum which was included with the price of my ticket.

That can be another post though.


Author: Anne

Join me in my journey to live a life less boring, one challenge at a time. Author of the forthcoming book 'Walking the Kungsleden: One Woman's Solo Wander Through the Swedish Arctic'.

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