The Swedish Underground Exhibition

presented by Boo-Hooray

The exhibition is included with your Book Fair ticket. It is open during show hours in the exhibit room Saturday and Sunday September 8-9.

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The Swedish Underground Exhibition is the largest-known assembly of artwork and photography produced by the leading Swedish and Scandinavian artists of the 1960s and 1970s counterculture. All the major artistic voices are represented here, including Carl Johan De Geer, Marie-Louise De Geer, Lena Svedberg, Lars Hillersberg, and Öyvind Fahlström. At the center of the exhibition is Carl Johan De Geer. The Swedish artist and photographer was one of the leading figures of the 1960s underground scene in Stockholm. Born in 1938, he grew up on a country estate with his grandparents, and entered art school in the late 1950s. In the 1960s De Geer began taking photographs with his Leica M4, capturing the monotone grit of everyday Swedish life, preserving a culture where Stockholm bohemians of the time lived, raised families, and made art. De Geer’s photography serves as the visual record of this era of societal and cultural upheaval in otherwise conservative Sweden. As De Geer matured over his career, he became accomplished not only as a photographer, but as a filmmaker, silkscreen printmaker, painter and illustrator, novelist, and vibrant textile designer and pattern maker. His textile designs became the decor of many bohemian homes of the 60s, and thereby the backdrops to many of De Geer’s own photographs. De Geer, like many artists of the time, became associated with Galleri Karlsson, started in 1964 by Bo Karlsson, which became the epicenter of the Swedish countercultural movement, exhibiting artists such as De Geer and his wife, Marie-Louise De Geer, an accomplished artist in her own right, Lars Hillersberg, Lena Svedberg, Ulf Rahmberg, Anders Petersen, and Ture Sjölander. The gallery hosted art events ranging from painting, photography, installations, Swedish Lettrist stylings, happenings, and jazz concerts. Karlsson took a much lower cut than any other gallery in Stockholm, furthering its popularity. Galleri Karlsson achieved considerable notoriety in April 1967 when the De Geers exhibited a collection of confrontational silkscreens to an opening-night audience of artists, radicals, politicians, members of the press, and Swedish nobility. In 1968 De Geer, Svedberg, Hillersberg, Rahmberg, and Leif Katz became involved with the leading Swedish underground publication of the time, Puss magazine. Progressive in both the political and sexual realm, Puss quickly became a satire-driven art zine that incited rancor among both liberals and conservatives, employing anti- capitalist and anti-USA rhetoric while at the same time focusing on the increasingly political correctness of the left. The work of Lars Hillersberg (1937-2004) often employed humor and caricature to controversial effect in his own political cartoons. Öyvind Fahlström served as New York correspondent, covering the city’s underground art scene for the zine, which continued publication until 1974. The greatest political artist associated with Puss was Lena Svedberg (1946-1972). A compulsive draftswoman, she usually avoided gallery shows, making her work difficult to sell; and her motifs became so disturbing as to further limit those who appreciated her work at the time. Svedberg committed suicide at the age of 26. De Geer’s documentary, “I Remember Lena Svedberg,” is a masterful and melancholic tribute. The exhibition contains several original Svedberg artworks, as well as reproductions in prints and publications such as Puss. The Swedish Underground Exhibition is one of the finest examples of the cultural shifts in postwar art, illustrating the conflux of high and low; popular and fine; performance and the image; and the periodical as work of art.

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"Why is the Swedish Underground Important? I Don't Speak Swedish!"

A Tour of the exhibit by Johan Kugelberg
Sunday September 9th 2:00 pm

Free with pre-registration HERE

Johan Kugelberg founded Boo-Hooray in 2010 to formalize the archival work he had started years earlier as a collector and enthusiast. He has created comprehensive collections in the fields of punk, hip hop, and counter-culture, focusing on printed works, ephemera, photography, and book arts. He teaches and hosts symposiums at Yale University, Cornell University, and Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. He has lectured at the University of Wisconsin, the Grolier Club, New York Public Library, Century Club New York, Union League Club New York, University Club New York, the Hayward Gallery in London, and the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Johan is a board member of the grassroots non-profit 8-Ball Community.

Most archives that Boo-Hooray work on result in exhibition staged by Boo-Hooray. In addition to his work at Boo-Hooray, Johan has curated major exhibitions for the Hayward Gallery in London, Galleri Operatingplace in Stockholm, Colette Paris, Hysteric Glamour and United Arrows in Tokyo, New York Public Library, White Columns and Milk Gallery in New York. Johan has also served as a curator and consultant in pop culture fields for auction houses, including Christie’s (where he curated the Punk/Rock sale in 2008, the first major auction sale devoted to Punk), Sothebys and Phillips De Pury.

Johan has also been writing, editing, and publishing books since 2005. As author and editor, Johan’s books include Born In the Bronx (Rizzoli), The Velvet Underground: New York Art(Rizzoli), Jack Smith – Wait For Me At The Bottom of The Pool (Boo-Hooray),In All Our Decadence People Die (Boo-Hooray), Enjoy The Experience: Homemade Records 1958-1992 (Sinecure), Beauty Is In The Street: A Visual Record Of The May ’68 Paris Uprising (Four Corners), Brad Pitt’s Dog (Zero Books). Johan was awarded the ForeWord Silver Medal for Music in 2010 for The Velvet Underground – New York Art. He was nominated for the NYPL Books for the Teen Age award in 2008 for Born In The Bronx and for the London Design Museum’s 2012 Designs of the Year Awards for Beauty Is In The Street.

Most recently Boo-Hooray has formed a partnership with Anthology Editions to uncover and fashion cultural narratives as books, music collections, online experiences, and exhibitions.  

Johan’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Rolling Stone, BBC News, Vice, Pitchfork, Esquire UK, NPR, the Huffington Post, Arts & Antiques, The Guardian, Libération, Mojo,Details, Print, HUGE, Free & Easy, and Austin Chronicle.

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