11 Art Destinations
Interested in contemporary art? West Sweden is home to a wealth of art museums that, combined, showcase every facet of contemporary art, from the 20th century to the present day. Experience works of art inside museums or in the outdoors. West Sweden has art activities for every season and mood.
Borås Museum of Modern Art
This museum boasts a fine collection of 20th-century art, which is continually expanding thanks to far-sighted purchases. The museum often holds three parallel exhibitions. There are also a fine restaurant, library and information centre inside the Cultural Centre, where the museum is housed. The City of Borås also organises the Borås International Sculpture Biennale (even years) and the street-art festival No Limit Borås (odd years), which have made the city one of Europe’s most interesting urban galleries.
Photographer: ROBERT DAHLBERG
Skövde Art Museum
Skövde Cultural Centre (opened in 1964 as Sweden’s first cultural centre and designed by Hans-Erland Heineman) houses Skövde’s Art Museum, which focuses on contemporary art. The museum has received major donations of works by artists Anna Sjödahl, Elli Hemberg and Ester Henning. The Cultural Centre also houses a library, cinema and restaurant.
Löfwings Ateljé & Krog, Broddetorp
Just a stone’s throw from Hornborgasjön Lake stands painter Göran Löfwing’s studio, with its exhibitions, restaurant and café. “A picture of a cake doesn’t taste like much. A picture of an oil painting doesn’t have the aroma of paint. Come to Löfwing’s and experience art, good food and pleasant company, live and in person,” the website recommends.
Dalslands Konstmuseum, Upperud
The art and crafts gallery Dalslands Konstmuseum is housed in a heritage building with a charming view out over the lake Spången. The museum building itself is West Sweden’s first-ever “eco” building in modern times, being built entirely from all-natural and traditional building materials. On its ground floor is a collection of works from the surrounding Dalsland Province and the museum’s three other exhibition galleries display contemporary art. Visitors can enjoy both refreshments and a wonderful view in the museum’s Café Bonaparte. The café is named after Napoleon’s niece, Egypta Bonaparte, who was once briefly married to Dalsland dignitary Arvid Påsse.
Nordic Watercolour Museum
A museum built on will-power and water, exhibiting works in watercolour from around the world. The museum also offers workshops open to the public, studios and a long list of cultural events. Visitors to the museum can also treat themselves to culinary works at the Vatten Restaurant & Café, with its enchanting views out over the water and the sculpture Fyren.
Photographer: Amplifyphoto/ Markus Holm
The Art Gallery Lokstallet, Strömstad
West Sweden’s biggest art venue, at least in terms of size. Inside the old engine shed from 1903 (measuring 7.5 metres from floor to ceiling) is a venue for contemporary art exhibitions by established artists as well as an annual jury-assessed exhibition.
Kosters Trädgårdar & Sculpture Park
On the Kosteröarna islands, Sweden’s western-most landmass, you will find the Kosters Trädgårdar restaurant and farm shop and a sculpture park surrounded by Kosterhavets National Park, Sweden’s only marine national park. Here, art and nature combine in a harmonious union through sculptures, installations and lectures covering everything from permaculture to lobster fishing.
Photographer: Åsa Dahlgren
Konstnärernas Kollektivverkstad, Bottna
At the junction where sea and mountains meet stand the artists’ collective workshops known as Konstnärernas Kollektivverkstad Bohuslän. The facility has Sweden’s only studio for sculpting in stone, an exhibition hall and a café with a sculpture garden. A few hundred metres from the studio complex lies the historic Gerlesborgsskolan (the Gerlesborg School of Fine Art), with its exhibition rooms and restaurant.
Contemporary Art Gallery, Bohusläns Museum, Uddevalla
The popular Bohusläns Museum includes a contemporary art gallery whose exhibitions regularly make full and thoughtful use of the museum’s collections, problematising matters and posing questions for visitors to contemplate. The exhibitions’ themes range from works by established artists to those of newcomers and from national to international art.
Sculpture in Pilane
In a Bronze-age burial field close-by Rönnäng on the island of Tjörn stands Jaume Plensa’s colossal stone head in marble-white, silently contemplating the rolling hillsides and sheep at pasture. Sculpture in Pilane was recently recognised by the Guardian newspaper as one of Europe’s top ten sculpture parks. The park’s newly-opened Farmyard Café serves refreshments and lunch all summer long.
Photographer: Roger Borgelid
Abecita Museum of Modern Art, Borås
The Abecita Museum of Modern Art houses world-class photography and graphic art, thanks to textile entrepreneurs Bengt and Berit Swegmark, who have displayed their fine collection in the old corset mill that they themselves once founded. Works by Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Louise Bourgeois and Roy Lichtenstein are just some of the many pop-art gems held by the museum.