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Focus on Europe. New Objectivities 1919–1939 – Göteborgs konstmuseum

12 June–19 September 2021

In the summer of 2021, the Gothenburg Museum of Art presents, for the first time in Sweden, a major international exhibition of realist painting from the interwar period. Focus on Europe. New Objectivities 1919–1939 is a collaboration with the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture on the occasion of Gothenburg’s quatercentenary.

A style of painting that broke with modernism’s development towards abstraction came to the fore in Europe during the 1920s. Instead, it reconnected to a realist idiom harking back to the Renaissance. The artists depicted the world around them, the big city with its modern architecture, modes of transport and funfairs, but also still lifes and portraits. This art movement, which was popular during the 1920s and 1930s, was called Neue Sachlichkeit in Germany, or New Objectivity in English.

The exhibition places Swedish New Objectivity in a broader European context, in which both similarities and national characteristics become apparent. A selection of New Objectivity paintings and works on paper from different countries provides a dynamic overview of the period and its cultural climate.

Works by internationally renowned artists such as Meredith Frampton, Pyke Koch and Christian Schad feature in the exhibition, as well as works by Swedish artists such as Stina Forsell, Arvid Fougstedt and Otte Sköld.

Exhibition catalogue
The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated exhibition catalogue with newly written essays by internationally renowned researchers. You can order or buy your copy in our Museum Store. For more information 

Introductions to Focus on Europe. New Objectivities 1919-1939
Our museums hosts have great interests in art which they want to share. Every day during the summer months, our hosts will introduce the exhibition Focus in Europe. New Objectives 1919-1939. During the European interwar period, a new style emerged called New Objectivity. Rather than reaching beyond reality, the artists of this new style aimed to show it in full clarity. In this way, they broke with modernisms focus on abstract art

Reservations can be made in the reception; the introduction is included in the entrance fee.
Every day at 13-13.15, in Swedish, 15-15.15 in English.

If you come across one of the hosts in the museum or at the reception at other times, we will gladly answer any questions or inquiries.

Admission Focus on Europe. New Objectivities 1919–1939: adults 100 SEK. Free admission for children and young people under the age of 20. Read more about admission and visiting the museum.

The number of visitors in the museum is adapted according to the regulations and guidelines from The Public Health Agency of Sweden. This is to avoid crowding and to ensure that our visitors can keep a safe distance inside the museum and Museum Store. We ask for your understanding in case of waiting time. Read more about your visit and about our restrictions.

During its run, the neigh-bouring institution Hasselblad Center shows the exhibition The New Eye – Interwar Lens Cultures 1919–1939  (28 May–26 September).

Top Image: Arvid Fougstedt, Gerda and Erik by the Window, 1928, (cropped), Gothenburg Museum of Art.

Introduction to the exhibition

Patrik Steorn, Museum Director and Kristoffer Arvidsson, Head of Research provides a short presentation to the exhibition.

Approaches to the exhibition

In this film, Museum hosts Gringgo Solomon, Helena Hedblom and Art Educator Jonna Kihlsten provides different approaches based on the exhibition’s five different themes: The Present, The City, The Home, The Human Condition and The War.

The anniversary exhibition Focus on Europe: New Objectivities 1919–1939  has been realized through a donation from the Stena Foundation.


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