Expo Aleby, 1949 – Wilhelm Freddie, Gösta Kriland and Surrealist Magic Art in Stockholm

In: A Cultural History of the Avant-Garde in the Nordic Countries 1925-1950
Kristoffer Noheden
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This essay examines the 1949 exhibition Surrealistisk manifestation (Surrealist Manifestation), which took place at Expo Aleby in Stockholm. Organised by Wilhelm Freddie and Gösta Kriland, assisted by Ilmar Laaban, the exhibition featured works by the Malmö-based group Imaginisterna and other Nordic artists alongside prominent international names, including Max Ernst, Victor Brauner and Jean Arp. The exhibition catalogue indicates that Surrealistisk manifestation was an attempt to demonstrate the presence of surrealism in Sweden and the movement’s continued relevance in general, and to align it with French surrealism’s immersion in myth and magic. The critics were largely dismissive, but testimonials by the participants suggest that Surrealistisk manifestation was a decisive event in the erratic history of surrealism in Sweden.

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