The exhibition “Transformations – Six Artists from Sweden” is displayed at Museo Palazzo Mocenigo, a Renaissance palace in the center of Venice. The six jewellery artists Tobias Alm, Sara Borgegård Älgå, Hanna Hedman, Catarina Hällzon, Agnes Larsson and Märta Mattsson contribute a total of 57 works to this exhibition which coincide with the 2017 Venice Biennale. The exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Nationalmuseum and the Venice City Museum (Musei Civici di Venezia), of which the Palazzo Mocenigo Museum is a part. Whilst the Nationalmuseum is closed for renovation (due to reopen in 2018), the museum has curated an international exhibition programme for the year which includes “Transformations” during the Venice Biennale. This show is curated by Inger Wästberg, an art historian, author of Contemporary Swedish Art Jewellery (2013), and one of Sweden’s leading experts in art jewellery.

The works of the six featured jewellers cross the boundary between design and contemporary art through the use of personal and innovative styles. The selected pieces successfully express how the world of jewellery can also be transformed into a reflective, artistic expression. For example, Catarina Hallzon’s work acts as a comment on consumer society through using fish scales to illustrate how everything should be conserved and recycled. Similarly, Tobias Alm has created a series of tool belts as jewellery, leading to a question of typical gender representation and status structures in society.

The exhibition reports on current trends in contemporary Swedish jewellery and contributes to the ongoing discussion around its categorization as fine art over craft. More than half of the six artists included in the exhibition have consciously chosen to work with simple, inexpensive materials such as Agnes Larsson’s horse hair necklaces, Catarina Hallzon’s imaginative use of salmon and perch skin and the cotton rope used in Sara Borgegard Alga’s necklaces, emphasizing how artistic meaning can add more value to a piece than precious stones.

The artists in this exhibition are all represented by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm; a wide and varied design collection including industrial design, conceptual fashion, fine craft and glass art. The museum continually presents the latest innovations within the contemporary Swedish jewellery scene, reflected through their cutting-edge programme of exhibitions and acquisitions. This current exhibition forms part of this undertaking.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Nationalmuseum will publish a catalogue with information on each of the participating artists accompanied by striking visuals of their work.

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