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Papier - Bea Szenfeld and Stina Wirsén

Feb 06, 2021 to Jul 11, 2021

Papier - Bea Szenfeld and Stina Wirsén

In a juncture between art and fashion, two renowned Swedish artists meet in a mutual affection for the handmade and paper.

The exhibition Papier – opening at American Swedish Institute on February 6, 2021 - unites Bea Szenfeld’s spectacular sculptural paper-fashions with Stina Wirsén’s evocative illustrations.

Bea Szenfeld, born in 1972, is a Swedish artist and designer known for her experimentation with unconventional material and fabric. In recent years, she captured global attention of the world transforming paper into high fashion or ‘paper couture.’

Bea continuously pushes the convention of both paper and fashion; some pieces are origami folds, others consist of thousands of individual pieces put together. Her garments can be found in art galleries, fashion magazines, and have been worn by the likes of politicians, musicians and fashion icons including Lady Gaga and Björk.

Papier features a dozen of Bea’s wearable pieces, plus an object-based piece titled, “Grief.”

Stina's expressive drawings and illustrations set the scene and act as a colorful backdrop to Bea’s work.

Stina Wirsén (b. 1968) is today one of the most well-known illustrators in Sweden. Her illustrative work is vast and varied, from high fashion to children’s books. The visual world of Stina Wirsén is simple in its elegance and expressive in its nature. Her drawing style may be blunt and spontaneous, but is certainly unmistakable.

ASI visitors will have the unique opportunity to experience both Stina’s high fashion illustrations in Papier as well as the whimsical, imaginative world of her children’s books in the ASI Family Gallery, Water Sky and Me.

Stay tuned for updates regarding the opening and virtual experiences around this stunning exhibition. While Bea and Stina likely will not be in Minneapolis for the opening, due to COVID-related travel restrictions, ASI will be working to share more about these amazing artists.

Papier originally was exhibited at Lidköping ArtHall in Sweden. The Midwest debut at ASI has been made possible in collaboration with the House of Sweden, Embassy of Sweden in Washington D.C., which hoted the exhibition in February 2020. 


  • Bea Szenfeld was born in 1972 in Poland, and lives and works in Stockholm. Using paper, scissors, tape, staples, needle and thread, Szenfeld creates pieces that are both bold and delicate. Her paper couture garments have been worn by such superstars as Lady Gaga and Björk and can be found in art galleries and fashion magazines as well as on Nobel Prize guests, artists and politicians. The craftsmanship, together with her daring design language, creates works that point backwards and forward in time.
    “There’s something about paper that I just love. It is unpretentious and folksy. We go great together.”  —Bea Szenfeld
  • Stina Wirsén was born in 1968 in Sweden and lives and works in Stockholm. She is one of Sweden’s best-known illustrators. Wirsén’s work spans fields including fashion, commercial advertising, illustrations for the daily press, magazines and public art. She is acclaimed for writing international children's books which have also been turned into movies and videos. Wirsén was the in-house illustrator for the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter from 1990–2010. She is also a playwright and a set/costume designer for the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. In addition, she has been granted awards including Expressen’s Heffaklump Award for children’s literature, the Elsa Beskow Plaque, Nordiska Tecknare’s Award and Svenska Tecknare’s Kolla! Award.  
    “No doubt my two decades as an illustrator for Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s largest morning paper, has shaped me.” – Stina Wirsén

Stina Wirsén and Bea Szenfeld

Stina Wirsén and Bea Szenfeld
Stina Wirsén and Bea Szenfeld

Ticket Info

All admission requires advanced registration.
Admission is free for members, but registration still required.
Admission & Registration

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Major support provided by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Karin Larson, and ASI’s members and donors.

The exhibition’s media partner is the Star Tribune.

The Midwest debut of Papier at ASI has been made possible in collaboration with the House of Sweden, Embassy of Sweden in Washington D.C. Papier originally was exhibited at Linköpinn ArtHall in Sweden.

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

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