Stockholm

Moderna Museet

Entrance to Moderna Museet
Entrance to Moderna Museet

After I walked cross the bridge leading to the island that Stockholm’s Moderna Museet is on I came to a street lined with trees, bushes and grass. Automobile traffic was sparse. Birds chirped cheerfully. At least, they sounded cheerful to me, but I’m not particularly familiar with bird emotions.

In short, it was a pleasant stroll to Morderna Museet, which, if you’re not too wimpy a walker, you can do easily from the center of Stockholm.

Moderna Museet was one of the few tourist attractions in Stockholm that I went to where the name was not translated into English on either the English pages of its web site or on the English half of the signage there. I guess that’s because English speakers are likely to guess from the Swedish name that it is a gallery of modern art. If so, they will have guessed right.

Sculpture at Moderna Museet
Sculpture at Moderna Museet

Because it’s a modern-art gallery, it should come as no surprise that there are some sections that contain many artworks that convey intense meanings and philosophical truths to our deepest inner selves—meanings and truths that can be perceived and interpreted by only the the most effete of aesthetes, which doesn’t include me. Not even close.

In one small room with a comfy couch a frightfully avant-garde video with many weird images, along with many not-so-weird images, some of which were still pictures and some live action, was projected on a wall. The voiceovers accompanying the video included differ speakers speaking mostly non-rhyming “poetry” that I think addressed social issues. Either that or it was a promotion for an exceptionally bizarre, artistic reality show. I’m not sure which.

There were also a bunch of other equally avant guard videos scattered throughout the gallery.

Portrait of Helge Rode by Edvard Munch
Portrait of Helge Rode by Edvard Munch

This is not to say that abstract, avant-garde and avant-garde abstract works monopolized the gallery. Far from it. There were also many paintings, photographs and sculptures of recognizable people, places and things to keep me grounded.

One of those non-abstract paintings was a portrait of a Danish author, Helge Rode, painted by Edvard Munch. (There’s a photo of that painting on this page.) When read the tag next to it and saw that the painting was by Munch all I could think was, “Why the hell isn’t Rode screaming? I thought Munch did only screams.” Alright, it’s true. I’m not much of an art scholar. The closest I come is being able to spell the word art.

When I was at Moderna Museet, it housed a temporary exhibition called Nils Dardel and the Modern Age, which occupied a large room. It was dedicated to the the works of a Swedish artist named, not surprisingly considering the title of the exhibition, Nils Dardell.

View from inside Moderna Museet
View from inside Moderna Museet

There is a window in the gallery that I would imagine provides a beautiful view of one part of Stockholm when the weather is nicer than it was when I was there. However, due to laws of physics and tautologies, the weather wasn’t nicer when I was there than the weather when I was there, so I can’t say for sure.

The earlier paragraphs in which I joked about the more abstract and Bohemian of the works at Moderna Museet notwithstanding, I enjoyed my visit. The gallery, but particularly that avant-garde pieces, induced peak funky grooviness in me.

Been there? Done that? Do tell.