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Now on view

  • Kim Simonsson - Sleeping Moss Woman & Two-headed Rabbit
  • Kim Simonsson - Moss Girl
  • Kim Simonsson in his studio
  • Kim Simonsson - Moss Girl head
  • Kim Simonsson - Voodoo Moss Boy
  • Kim Simonsson - Voodoo Moss Boy
  • Kim Simonsson - Girl with Golden Eyelashes
  • Kim Simonsson - Girl Jumping on Tile
  • Kim Simonsson - Girl with Two-Headed Rabbit
  • Kim Simonsson' Moss People at ASI

The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson

Apr 20, 2018 to Jul 15, 2018

The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson

April 21July 15, 2018

Check out the local press coverage from MPR and Star Tribune!

Sculptor Kim Simonsson of Fiskars, Finland, crafts innocent, yet beguiling life-sized figures of child and animals in “moss-covered” ceramics, often found in natural settings that lead the viewer into an imaginative, fairytale-like world inspired by the forests of Finland.

The American Swedish Institute exhibition is a captivating display of more than 35 selections of Simonsson’s work on view in ASI’s contemporary Osher Gallery, and throughout the historic Turnblad Mansion. The artworks can be assembled into various compilations depending on the space, so the ASI setting will really transform into the Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson.

Selected as one of Artnet’s “Nine Fascinating Objects” at 2016 Design Miami, the “Moss People” sculptures are the result of a unique technique combining stoneware, paint and green nylon fiber, which gives the figures their smooth and mossy surface. Every sculpture is handmade and created in the artist’s studio in Fiskars Village.

In his book “Tales of the Moss People,” Simonsson explains, “the name refers to children’s innate, sensible camouflage. The moss green figures blend perfectly into their natural surroundings, just as a soft carpet of moss covers the ground, rocks and tree trunks and acts as a sort of protection. In the Moss People world, lost and disconnected children, evoking different characters, gather in a Shaman Party, choose leaders and end up creating false idols.”

Simonsson’s work illustrates the Moss People community, with reason to believe that the children living in the forest have experienced difficult rites of passage as part of their growth and development. If you had to draw comparisons, Simonsson’s works evoke an emotional sense of a world concocted from a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Lord of the Flies with a splash of Peter Pan and the Hunger Games. The children and animals he depicts are at once whimsical and evocative, yet lonely and, yes, slightly disturbing. They exude a sense of determined strength. “As I carried on, I could be sure what mattered the most was with me,” says one.

As the story goes, Simonsson almost became a soccer player but, while biking to a practice one day, he lost his football boots and decided to become an artist. He entered the Department of Ceramic and Glass at the University of Arts & Design and was thereafter captivated by the three-dimensional possibilities of clay. In 2004, he was awarded the Young Artist of the Year prize and invited to work as guest artist for the Art Department Society of Arabia, the famous Finnish ceramics maker. His work has been exhibited around the world in locations including New York, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Belgium and Korea.

The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson

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SUPPORTERS: The exhibition project is presented with support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and Karin Larson. Special thanks to ASI contributing members and donors, whose contributions help make our programs, exhibitions and community work possible. Hospitality Sponsors include the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot.

Minnesota artist activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.

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