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The Sten A. Olsson Scholarship for Culture – Göteborgs konstmuseum

Silver shells, embroidered shelters and basketball nets standing on the ground. Once again it is time for the winners of the Sten A. Olsson Scholarship for Culture to present their work in an exhibition at the Gothenburg Museum of Art. This year, the participants are Lotta Antonsson, Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson and Fredrik Åkum. 

The exhibition featuring the winners of the Sten A. Olsson Scholarship for Culture opens on December 3 in the Stena Gallery. As usual, it includes several works by each artist, of which some are newly produced and never shown before.

During the past twenty years, the Sten A. Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture has awarded a large number of education scholarships to talented people working with art, music, theatre, dance, literature, design and scenography. Since 1996, a number of important artists have received the prize and followed the tradition of exhibiting at the museum in conjunction with this. The recipients are awarded 150 000 SEK each and the purpose of the scholarships is to allow already established artists to develop further.

This year’s exhibition is rich in variation and presents painting, silver, photography, collages and textiles by three well-known artists from three different generations – Lotta Antonsson, Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson and Fredrik Åkum.


Lotta Antonsson (b. 1963) works chiefly with photography and collage. In the exhibition, she also shows a series of new works in silver, crystal and silk. Several of the new works are spinoffs of the collage concept, broadly defined, and displacements and translations of materials.

“At the beginning of the 1990s, Lotta Antonsson belonged to the generation of young photographers, most of them women, who changed Swedish photography in a fundamental way and established photo-based art in Sweden. They shifted from the dominant male view finder to a consciously feminist gaze, from object to subject, from provocation to legitimate demand. From courageous self-revelation to an open commitment to society.  As a teacher, Lotta Antonsson has also been important for many art students and younger colleagues. She has not been content with the positions that she has reached; rather, she has constantly moved forward, continuing to question and challenge not only her surroundings but also herself. For her firmly grounded and technically well-founded practice and for her restless innovation, Lotta Antonsson has been awarded a 2016 Scholarship from the Sten A. Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture.”

For Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson (b. 1979), textile materials are the starting point in her artistic work. The home, and homelessness, have been important themes in her latest works. Here, she shows a number of paintings from recent years together with a completely new work, namely an embroidered wind shelter.

Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson’s detailed images tell stories about everyday situations that tip over into something else, something alien and mysterious. They are about humanity, things and nature, but above all about the vacuum and desolateness between them. The artist uses dream-like discontinuities and fusions of different elements to undermine familiar scenes, luring us to get lost in places that we thought we knew. On the one hand Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson appears as an uncompromising interpreter of modern loneliness, but on the other hand she also creates images that bring us together as viewers, united by a shared, gripping experience. For her singular and engaging work in textile art, Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson has been awarded a 2016 Scholarship from the Sten A. Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture.

Fredrik Åkum (b. 1987) is a painter and exhibits several series of new works. Often they investigate the boundaries of an image and how much an image can take before it is transformed or disappears. Specifically for the exhibition, the artist has produced a series of sculptures in the form of upside down basketball nets that stand on the floor.

“The art of Fredrik Åkum covers a broad range of creative expressions: from painting and sculpture to fanzines, installations and textile prints. His repetitions and retakes create a translucent and fragmentary visual world that is easy to lose oneself in. The gaze of the viewer is immediately drawn in by vegetation and figures that hover between abstraction and representation, between everyday experience and the unthinkable. One of the pervasive themes in Åkum’s oeuvre is inconstancy, and by combining the exactitude of the moment with slow and arbitrary aspects, he demonstrates the capacity of art to enrich reality. For an artistic practice that is rich in variation, and that lays bare the contours of existence with mysterious luminescence, Fredrik Åkum has been awarded a 2016 Scholarship from the Sten A. Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue in which all the winners are presented based on personal meetings with the author, which provides a unique insight into each artist’s oeuvre. The catalogue is available at the museum store from the exhibition’s opening and onward.

The exhibition is open until February 19, 2017.

Illustration: Ola Ingvarsson

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