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Sara Berner Bengtson, CEO at Market Art Fair.

Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger

Categories: Tourist attractions

Sara Berner Bengtsson: My 5 best art tips in Stockholm

Publish date: 5 March 2024

During one weekend in May, the Market Art Fair puts Nordic galleries and art front row and center. We asked the fair's CEO Sara Berner Bengtsson about her best art tips in Stockholm!

Market Art Fair was founded in 2006 by six Nordic galleries for contemporary art. The art convention has grown considerably in the following 18 years. In 2014 the fair was held at Liljevalchs Konsthall, on Djurgården, for the first time (a venue that's been its home ever since). In 2024 the 47 participating galleries and exhibitors have been split up over two locations; Liljevalchs and Spritmuseum.

This year's Market Art Fair coincides with a particularly hectic week in Stockholm, packed with many events and happenings. Several of the city's museums – like Nationalmuseum and Moderna Museet – present new exhibitions, the Stockholm Book Weekend takes place on Södermalm, Taylor Swift has three sold-out concerts at Friends Arena, and art galleries around town join in on the Stockholm Art Week.

We asked Market Art Fair's CEO Sara Berner Bengtsson about her best tips on what to see and do during this week. Fortunately, if you plan on visiting Stockholm later, most of them can be experienced all year round!

  • Market Art Fair – "Naturally I must suggest the Market Art Fair. Mark the 17th and 19th of May in your calendar for this spring's biggest art event. This year we've split the fair into two venues, Liljevalchs and Spritmuseum, and will feature some of the Nordic region's most prominent galleries. As usual, though, all art you'll see is for sale."
  • Moderna Museet – "I'm excited for Moderna Mussets' new exhibition about the American artist Vaginal Davis. It will open the same week as the fair, and from what I understand it's a joint project with INDEX, Accelerator, Tensta Konsthall, MDT (Moderna Dansteratern), and Nationalmuseum. Davis' oeuvre will be explored in different ways, highlighting its many facets; punk, glamour, queer activism, resistance, the fight for equal rights, and happiness."
  • Lunch or fika at a museum restaurant – "It's important to refill your energy when admiring art. Luckily many of Stockholm's museums have lovely cafées and restaurants. The restaurants at Nationalmuseum and The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities are two of my favorites. The café at Färgfabriken is another great spot. Be sure to visit the art hall on the second floor as it always features unique and engaging exhibitions. And if you're between 15 and 22 years old, looking for a creative venue or context, you should check out their youth council."
  • Artipelag – "Anyone willing to venture further out than central Stockholm should visit Artipelag on Värmdö. Currently, they're showing 'No Life Lost' by Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere. Don't miss out on 'Sculpture in Nature', Artipelag's permanent exhibition. The works are scattered along a lovely hiking path in the surrounding forests and meadows and the boardwalk by the seaside."
  • Art in the subway – "Stockholm also has – what is often referred to as – the world's longest art exhibition: our subway system. My personal favorites are Siri Derkert's murals on Östermalms Torg, and Gun Gordillo's neon installation on Hötorget (we'll feature other works by Gordillo at this year's Market Art Fair). The Hötorget station can also be glimpsed in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it-clip in the video for Madonna's 'Ray of Light'. You'll also find temporary exhibitions by contemporary artists on some stations. My station of Gärdet, for example, recently switched from works by Ulla Wiggen to an exhibition by New York-based photographer Jeanette Hayes."