Current exhibitions

“Reflection is the first step towards art” - Tora Vega Holmström

Tora Vega Holmström, Gosse med snäcka, 1918, Moderna Museet. Photo: Tobias Fischer/Moderna Museet

10 September 2022 - 29 January 2023

This autumn, the Thiel Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Stockholm since 1945 of the ground-breaking modernist Tora Vega Holmström (1880-1967). Her practice is dominated by powerful portraits and expressionist experiments. On a trip to Finland in 1912, Holmström experienced a colouristic liberation. In her own words, “Reflection is the first step towards art.” From then on, paintings such as Strangers (1913-14) and Outside a Music Cafe, Biskra (1929) earned the artist national renown, and even a small international breakthrough after they were shown in London and Paris.

This exhibition began with Carl Wilhelmson’s painting Målarinnor (1902) in our collection, an allegory on the gravity, uncertainty and battle of being an artist, portraying Holmström together with her student friends Adelheid von Schmiterlöw and Hanna Borrie. The trio, who had Wilhelmson as their teacher at the Valand Academy in Gothenburg, called themselves “The Three Musketeers”. Holmström is the only one of the three who was to make a career as an artist. This exhibition seeks to highlight an exciting oeuvre, relating it to, and commenting on, the collection of the Thiel Gallery, where only nine out of a hundred artists represented are women.

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