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TransGlobe Publishing, Ltd.
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Price: £55.00

Nordic Contemporary
Art from Denmark, Finland, Iceland,
Norway and Sweden

Editor: Hossein Amirsadeghi
Executive editor: Sophie Braine
With essays by Patricia Berman, Charlotte Bydler, Hanna Johansson
Hardback, 29 x 25 cm, 364pp.
With over 830 photographs

The Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – were for many decades the template cultures of the modern West, defining a free, well-organised sociopolitical system built on seemingly solid financial footing. The recent crash of Iceland’s banking system and the worrying rise of the radical right in Sweden have, interestingly enough, done little to dislodge international appreciation of the Scandinavian way of life and of Nordic culture generally. While times of uncertainty and political upheaval often provide fertile foundations for groundbreaking art, apparently well-balanced and comfortable societies can offer the perfect platform for the development of a free creative spirit or force the asking of important questions. In turn, such rebellions from the norm can lead to unexpected outbreaks of radical self-expression.

While the Nordic countries are inextricably linked to one another by geography as well as socio-economic and political history and an undeniable cultural affinity, their artists, and the work they produce, are necessarily individual and firmly embedded in the international art scene. Nordic contemporary art is globally recognised, with major figures appearing in both monographic and thematic exhibitions from New York to Beijing. Furthermore, following on from their tradition of collecting over the past two centuries, connoisseurs from the Nordic countries are continuing to assemble highly sophisticated collections of contemporary work. With a widespread reputation for their mature appreciation of the arts, their innovative design output harking back to the early twentieth century, and their emerging fashion houses, the Nordic countries have a strong tradition of iconic style and remain at the cutting-edge of creativity.

Nordic Contemporary presents profiles of nearly 150 of the most important Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish figures and institutions active on the art scene today, including artists, curators, galleries, critics and collectors. Extensively illustrated and based on the most up-to-date research, Nordic Contemporary provides a unique, invaluable survey of current trends and key players, including such internationally renowned figures as artists Eija-Lisa Ahtila, Karin Mamma Andersson, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ólafur Elíasson, Matias Faldbakken, Bjarne Melgaard and Danh Vo; major private institutions and foundations including the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Bonniers Konsthall, Kistefos Museum, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Wanås Foundation and Zabludowicz Collection; established museum directors Daniel Birnbaum, Gunnar B. Kvaran, Lars Nittve and Poul Erik Tøjner; and more emerging talents, for example Ida Ekblad, FOS, Klara Lidén and Fredrik Varslæv.

Nordic Contemporary also features three essays surveying recent decades of artistic output both from a regional and an international perspective. Nordic Contemporary, like the other volumes in TransGlobe’s highly acclaimed contemporary-art series, is a must read for anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of the contemporary culture of the Nordic countries.

Hossein Amirsadeghi is a long-time publisher, writer, editor and creative entrepreneur with a recent focus on the world of contemporary art. A Middle East specialist, he has written, edited and published many books on a wide range of subjects relating to the region. More recent art books include Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art, New Vision: Arab Contemporary Art in the 21st Century, Unleashed: Contemporary Art from Turkey, Frozen Dreams: Contemporary Art from Russia, Contemporary Art Brazil, Korean Art: The Power of Now, Contemporary Art Mexico, Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and their Studios and Art Studio America: Contemporary Artist Spaces,
all published by Thames & Hudson. He is currently working
on London Burning, as well as surveys of contemporary art
in Japan and Africa.

Patricia Berman is Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg Professor of Art at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and Professor II at the University of Oslo. Her publications have included Edvard Munch and Women: Image and Myth (with Jane van Nimmen, 1997); James Ensor: Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889 (2002); In Another Light: Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century (2007, 2013); and Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America: A Centennial Retrospective 1912|2012 (2011).

Sophie Braine received a BA in History of Art from University College London and went on to study Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, also in London. She worked for Christie’s in the Impressionist & Modern and Post War & Contemporary departments, as well as in 19th-Century European Art, becoming a Director and, later, Head of Sales for the Nordic Art & Design sales, which she inaugurated. She has lectured internationally for Christie’s and for the Fine Art Fund.

Charlotte Bydler, PhD, is research leader of the Cultural Theory stream at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies, as well as a lecturer in Art History at the School of Culture and Education of Södertörn University in Huddinge. Her publications have included The Global Art World, Inc.: On the Globalization of Contemporary Art (2004) and Regionality/Mondiality: Perspectives on Art, Aesthetics and Globalization (co-edited with Cecilia Sjöholm, forthcoming).

Hanna Johansson is an art historian at the University of Helsinki; she also teaches at the Aalto University and at the University of the Arts Helsinki. Previously she was a senior lecturer and post-doctoral researcher at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Her research focuses on contemporary art’s relationship to nature and the ecosystem as well as on art’s ability to convey thought. She is a board member of the Pro Arte Foundation Finland, which produces the IHME Contemporary Art Festival.

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