A Different Way of Seeing spans more than a century of distinctively Swedish art from 1877 to 1990, highlighting paintings, mixed media and additional works from artists including modernists Lena Cronqvist and Sven "X-et" Erixson. These and other artists paved the way for the groundswell of talent coming out of the Nordic region today. Many had studied in Paris and returned with new skills and avant-garde ideas that fired a commitment to renew Swedish art. The exhibition is on loan from the acclaimed Sam and Ann Charters Collection of Swedish Art housed at the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, with support from Julie Hohman.
The Charters, celebrities in their own right, were U.S. activists who moved to Sweden in 1970 and began collecting art. Sam Charters was a prestigious music producer and writer who helped launch the 1960s’ U.S. blues and folk music revival, influencing artists like Bob Dylan. Ann Charters, who will visit ASI on October 2 for the exhibition party, is a professor of literature at the University of Connecticut who is internationally recognized for her scholarship on the Beat Generation and Jack Kerouac. She is published in the local Coffee House Press’ Beats at Naropa anthology.
Together, they gathered an impressive array of art that reflected Sweden’s shifting values and perspectives, and the belief in the positive influence of nature contrasted with rising industrialization.
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