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Five young and up and coming Scandinavian artists you should experience

As a countdown to Stockholm Art Week, we let art profile Jonas Kleerup guide you to the new names to discover from our region.

Words Jonas Kleerup

Five Scandinavian artists, all born 1985 or later.

Ragna Bley (1986, OSL Contemporary)

Swedish-born Ragna Bley is based in Oslo where she is represented by OSL Contemporary. Her large dreamlike canvases have an abstract language that feels almost organic and chemical. Her work could be seen at the important Modernautställningen-show at Moderna Museet last year and she has a solo show at Malmö Konsthall coming up later this year.


Constance Tenvik (born 1990, Loyal Gallery)

A Norwegian artist based in Berlin. Last year at the Market Art Fair she showed her series ”The Knights” (pictured) which is based upon a medieval tournament. But in Tenvik’s version the knights consists of slim, colourful sculptures made of steel and fabric. Each knight’s particular shield colour is emphasised in different texture and fabric. She is represented by Loyal Gallery and this spring also included in Kostyál’s large group show “Malmö Sessions” in May.


Joakim Ojanen (1985, Christian Larsen, The Hole)

The latest contemporary art star from Sweden. Ojanen has quickly gotten international representation with gallerists in Paris, Cologne, Los Angeles and last month had a solo show at the hippest of all galleries — The Hole in New York. It’s his colourful ceramic cartoonish figures and paintings that no one can resist. He has described his own art with the words figurative, tragicomic and approachable.

Anna Zacharoff (1987, Standard, Vilma Gold)

The marine life underwater is what capture Anna Zacharoff’s mind. As a child, she was nicknamed The Lobster and somehow the life aquatic has fascinated her in many ways. Her fragile canvases create the infinity of the ocean but with subtle paint strokes on empty canvases. She studied at the highly respected Städelschule in Frankfurt and now has representation by important players like Vilma Golden in London, Standard in Oslo and Bianca d’Alessandro in Copenhagen. During Stockholm Art Week she will have a solo show with Issues Gallery’s pop-up space behind Restaurant Hillenberg.


Yngvild Saeter (1986, AndréhnSchiptjenko)

The ex-model was born with a heart condition that during an operation that went wrong caused her heart to stop for a few moments. During her near-death-experience, her brain transported her to a safe place, a paradise hall surrounded by shields and abstract helmets for her protection. The combination of this experience with her interest in films of superheroes has given her the inspiration for her sculptural work that uses shield-like motorcycle parts in fantastic combinations. Her work can be seen at Market Art Fair this year with her gallerist Andréhn-Schiptjenko.


If you’re going to Stockholm Art Week, a place not to be missed is social space Alma in the city center. That’s also where Jonas Kleerup will hold a lecture on Friday, April 12 on the subject ”How the contemporary art works”. Free entrance. Starts at 5 PM. Address: Nybrogatan 8

Ragna Bley.
Constance Tenvik.
Joakim Ojanen.
Anna Zacharoff.
Yngvild Saether.
Jonas Kleerup.