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Sophie Allgårdh
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Fr.v Edvard Munch, The Kiss IV 1902 och Andreas Eriksson, Untitled, 2022

Touching. Andreas Eriksson and Edvard Munch

6 May–1 October 2023

The Thiel Gallery opens a duo exhibition of prints by Andreas Eriksson (b. 1975) and Edvard Munch (1863–1944). Munch was a favourite of Signe Maria and Ernest Thiel, and their collection includes nearly all of the Norwegian artist’s prints. It is with great pleasure we now present a large selection of these, in dialogue with works by Andreas Eriksson. Eriksson is a renowned contemporary artist who represented Sweden at the Venice Biennale in 2011 and has had solo exhibitions at Bonniers Konsthall, the Nordic Watercolour Museum in Skärhamn and the Museum of Sketches in Lund. Perhaps best known as a painter, he has also made prints since his late teens.

This exhibition highlights the distinct style of both artists, but also shows how they each bring out new qualities in the works of the other. Juxtaposing Eriksson and Munch in a free format dissolves the notion of a linear art history. The images are liberated from their habitual contexts. By hanging their works from different eras next to each other, new mutual relationships emerge.

Not only does the now living artist take over where the older artist left off, but Munch’s pictures unfold and converse with Eriksson’s. It is not a question of wanting to trace a trajectory, but of trying to achieve a retake. By shifting between contrasts such as figuration and abstraction, and mere allusion, something new can be revealed and come to life in the rooms. Sometimes the works reflect each other.  A tree by a young Eriksson, Untitled (1993), meets Munch’s Oak (1903); the same questions are repeated over the years.

The exhibition will be shown in the Söderberg Room on the second floor and the passage adjoining the Salon, and in the Tower Room at the top of the house. An intimate setting congenial to both artists.

Andreas Eriksson (b. 1975) studied at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 1993–98. He lives and works in Medelplana in north-west Kinnekulle just outside Lidköping. Eriksson’s artistic practice comprises multiple techniques, including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, textiles and installation. Eriksson’s perspective on and use of the surrounding countryside at Kinnekulle imbues his conceptual works with an earthy resonance. He has had numerous solo shows in Sweden and internationally and participated in even more group exhibitions. He is represented at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, MUMOK in Vienna, Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk and Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo. 

Wall texts in the exhibition
Read more about the artist

Andreas Eriksson, Untitled, 2015, woodcut.
Edvard Munch, Summernight 1894, etching, Thielska Galleriet
Andreas Eriksson, Untitled, 1993, drypoint.

Edvard Munch, The Oak, 1903, etching, Thielska Galleriet.

Still Nature. Oskar Bergman

18 February–20 August 2023

The painter Oskar Bergman (1879–1963) is intimately linked to the Thiel Gallery and Djurgården. With 43 works, he is one of the most well-represented artists in the Thiel collection. Signe Maria and Ernest Thiel were crucial to Bergman’s artistic career. In addition to purchasing his works, the Thiels offered him board and lodging in the Neglinge artist home in Saltsjöbaden, which they funded for a few years around 1900. Bergman became a close friend of his patrons, a friendship that continued even after Ernest Thiel had lost his fortune and was forced to sell his home and collection to the government. Bergman would visit Thiel on the island of Fjärdlång in the Stockholm archipelago to paint.

Djurgården’s pastoral settings were especially dear to the artist. He spent his summers there as a child, and this was where he began studying nature. The old trees and woodlands on Djurgården are a recurring theme.

Oskar Bergman’s oeuvre is characterised by detailed, atmospheric paintings in vibrant colours of typical Swedish pastoral and urban landscapes. He used mainly watercolours but also oil, gouache and graphite. Alongside painting, Bergman was a printmaker and illustrator. People rarely feature in his motifs. Instead, he portrayed forests, solitary trees, roads, fields and water in different seasons, along with wildflowers, picturesque city scenes and the archipelago.

Oskar Bergman was born and mostly worked in Stockholm. He studied at Tekniska aftonskolan (now Konstfack) for four years and made several study tours around Europe. And yet, he is often referred to as an autodidact. Bergman’s paintings were considered rather singular by his contemporaries, since he stuck to his naturalist style despite the prevailing abstract and non-figurative ideals. But Bergman was not oblivious to the current tendencies. He was deeply inspired by Japanese woodcuts and symbolism, along with the early Renaissance, especially at the beginning of his career, around 1900. There were also contemporary influences – he admired Gustaf Fjaestad’s snowy landscapes and Axel Sjöberg’s paintings from the archipelago.

There is very little drama in Oskar Bergman’s paintings. Unlike the landscapes from the romantic period, he does not portray any wide panoramas or violent waterfalls. His interpretations of nature are subdued and terse. Still nature in a small, richly-detailed format, sometimes almost photorealistic. And yet, the motifs feel like they come from an enchanted world. This magical mood may be caused by the way they oscillate between different states, and how the recurring themes are nevertheless undefinable.

Oskar Bergman’s lyrical landscapes and cityscapes from Sweden, southern Italy and France are widely popular and regularly turn up on the art market. But he is a comparatively unknown artist today. The Thiel Gallery now wishes to introduce Oskar Bergman to a new generation of visitors and give those who are already familiar with this artist the opportunity to rediscover his magical world in a major thematic presentation comprising some 150 works in various media.

Oskar Bergman, Reflections, 1908, inc, pastel and pencil on paper. Photo: Thielska Galleriet
Oskar Bergman, Snöfall över skärgård, 1962, private collection. Photo: Per Myrehed
Oskar Bergman, Olivlund Italien, 1913-46, private collection. Photo: Per Myrehed
Oskar Bergman, Blommor vid sjö, 1950s, private collection. Photo: Per Myrehed
Oskar Bergman, Strand vid Sandhamn, 1937, private collection. Photo: Per Myrehed
Oskar Bergman Italiensk stad, 1912–14, watercolor. Photo: Thielska Galleriet
Oskar Bergman. Blommor mot guld, private collection. Photo: Per Myrehed
Oskar Bergman, Björkar och vitsippor, 1946, private collection. Photo: Per Myrehed
Oskar Bergman, New Moon, 1910, watercolor. Photo: Thielska Galleriet
Oskar Bergman, The Sacrificial Grove II, 1905, oil on canvas. Photo: Thielska Galleriet.
Oskar Bergman, Snow, 1908, pencil. Photo: Thielska Galleriet