verk + art

Johannes Hägglund
In our showroom
4 February – 30 April 2021

  • Untitled, 2017

    Johannes Hägglund

    Oil and pencil on canvas

    Height 195 cm
    Width 245 cm

    Price 45 000 SEK

    Requests

    If you want to buy or have questions, please contact Simone Schmid

  • Untitled, 2017

    Johannes Hägglund

    Acrylic and oil on canvas

    Height 210 cm
    Width 210 cm

    Price 40 000 SEK

    Requests

    If you want to buy or have questions, please contact Simone Schmid

  • Untitled, 2017

    Johannes Hägglund

    Acrylic, oil and pencil on canvas

    Height 210 cm
    Width 280 cm

    Price 50 000 SEK

    Requests

    If you want to buy or have questions, please contact Simone Schmid

Johannes Hägglund

The first exhibition at VERK´s showroom presents large, energetic paintings by Johannes Hägglund that oscillate between figuration and abstraction. The beautiful patterns, in their distinct green colour palette, are reminiscent of the oversized leaves of exotic plants, which also are the source of inspiration for this series. With a love of materiality, energy and movement, these artworks examine the possibilities offered by painting.

Johannes Hägglund (b. 1993) is part of a young generation of Swedish artists who investigate the classic medium of painting. He earned his master´s degree from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 2020. Even before graduating, he enjoyed well-received exhibitions in Sweden and abroad, and has been awarded several grants. In 2021, his work will be exhibited at Falsterbo Konsthall, among other venues. Johannes Hägglund lives and works in Stockholm.

The exhibited paintings represent Hägglund´s entry into the Swedish art scene a couple of years ago. With their size and their strong colors, they demonstrate a self-confident attitude. Moving between the figurative and the abstract, they stand their ground and draw us into the inner space of painting.

It is the energy of the composition and the brush strokes, mirroring the artist´s movements in front of the canvas, that constitutes the soul of the artworks. Hägglund is more interested in painting itself, and especially the act of painting, than in what is depicted. Most often, he works in series choosing a visual world that serves both as a starting point and a limiting frame for the artistic process.

In contrast to digital techniques, Hägglund´s body of work indicates a genuine interest in the artist´s hand and in craft. Consequently, he works with all parts of the process himself, starting from manufacturing frames, stretching and preparing the canvas, painting, and finally resulting in the completed artwork. All parts are important for the creation process, but it is in the moment of painting the artwork is “born”.

As viewers, we can easily decipher art historical references in Hägglund´s visual language, as well as a wink to contemporary aesthetic expressions. However, the paintings are unburdened from specific contexts and storytelling. We get the opportunity to load them with our own associations, or alternatively experience them as a symphony of color and form. Details can both be interpreted in a figurative way, or instead as a reminder of the process of painting. In this way, the artist skillfully interweaves different layers of the painting´s narratives. 

We have consciously chosen an artist who mirrors VERK´s values and the first steps in connection with the launching of our brand. Both the furniture collection and the art are characterized by a passion for material and handcraft, as well as the courage to take on challenges and demonstrate strong presence. Here, the artwork´s abstract vegetation represents a new start and breeding ground, thinking big from the very beginning.

Johannes Hägglund is born 1993 and lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. He studied at Gerlesborgsskolan (Stockholm) and continued his education at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, from which he obtained his master´s degree in 2020. His work has been shown at i.a. Jakobsbergs Konsthall (Jakobsberg, Sweden), Galerie Forsblom (Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland), Liljevalchs Spring Exhibition (Stockholm, Sweden), and the Royal Art Academy (Stockholm, Sweden). He is represented in public collections, among them Dalarna läns landsting (Sweden) and EMMA (Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland), as well as in private collections.

VERK + ART

In addition to our furniture, you can also experience contemporary art at Verk’s showroom in Södermalm, Stockholm. Our collaboration with art curator Simone Schmid has paved the way for dialogue with both new and established artists. She selects art that raises issues and invites dialogue. In opening our doors to art, we are placing ourselves in a new context. We hope to be able to offer art lovers a new way of seeing furniture, and design enthusiasts an entry point to contemporary art.

The showroom exhibition

Runs from 4 February to 30 April
Showroom open Monday to Friday
10:00-12:00 / 13:00-16:00


Hornsgatan 79
118 21 Stockholm

Simone Schmid
Art curator

Simone Schmid is an established name on the Swedish art scene. She worked as director of Wetterling Gallery for many years before becoming a freelance curator and has extensive knowledge of both Swedish and international contemporary art. She will select art for Verk’s showroom that invites dialogue and raises issues close to the company’s heart. We can look forward to four exhibitions per year with openings, personal viewings, lectures, talks and exciting interactions between design and art in various forms. Welcome to a new way of experiencing and buying art!

What made you choose to work with Verk?

– We share a vision. The keywords are quality, long-term, sustainability. The product is never disconnected from a larger context but is connected through values, environment, economy, aesthetics, culture and other complex concepts. A lot of companies don’t take this into account. 

What makes Verk’s showroom a good place for art?

– Art needs new contexts to continue to be relevant and visible to a larger group of people. It cannot be taken for granted that the state and public institutions will continue to give the support they do today forever. There must be stronger ties between art and the business world. Verk’s showroom is also a great place to display art, with nice walls and large windows. People can be a little afraid of approaching art – they don’t know how to behave – so the interior context takes the drama out of the encounter. Art needs no interpretation hanging in a showroom, but can simply be, and be experienced. 

What kind of artists can we look forward to meeting?

– We’ll be exhibiting high-quality contemporary art with a connection to Sweden. The curiosity, uniqueness and uncompromising attitude of the artists must match Verk’s. They should not follow trends but have their own language. The artist’s hand must be discernible, and the works must enter into a dialogue with Verk’s collection. I focus on craftsmanship, ideas and quality, but all genres are welcome. 

What’s the most fun about this project?

– Hard to say. For my part, the job has just started! But it will be fun to test a new art platform, and to be able to the give artists I believe in a leg up in a new format. 

Does your work on this project differ from how you usually work?

– When you work with art, all projects are different. A big part of the job is to grasp people, to understand their vision and turn it into an exhibition. It’s fantastic that Verk has chosen to integrate art into its brand from the outset. This is common abroad but sadly not so much in Sweden anymore. Having art as a sounding board is a brave and long-term investment. It’s my job to find art that supports it. 

Why do you work with art?

– I work with art because art is a mirror of reality without having to stick to reality. Art can test hypothetical ideas, push boundaries, question truths and then bounce back to reality. It’s like a lovely, big experiment set. Art embraces all aspects of life – the highs and the lows. It’s wonderful and inspiring to work with.