The Drawing Room

February 15 - December 14, 2014
Curator: David Neuman

Magasin III presents some seventy drawings from its unique collection. Works on paper are often uncensored and seldom reworked—capturing the spontaneous and direct expression of the artist. The exhibition will feature a wide range of work dating from the mid-1800s to drawings completed just a few weeks ago. Visitors also have the opportunity to sit down in the exhibition space and contemplate the visual reality, just like in old-fashioned “drawing rooms.”


Over the years, Magasin 3 has created exhibitions that present large-scale work by international artists for the first time. One could even venture to say that it has become something of our hallmark. Our collection includes hundreds of works by some of the most interesting artists of our time. Parallel to the acquisition of large-scale works for which we are best known, I have also pursued a long-standing interest and systematically collected works on paper.

One might think that the intimate scale of a moment captured on a sheet of paper stands in stark contrast to the colossal expression of an installation or large sculpture. That is not how I see it. I have always found it incredibly exciting to encounter both established and newly discovered artists through works on paper, or in simpler terms, drawings. There is an immediacy, an uncensored speed and above all a sense of exploration to be found in such works—drawings open the door to what makes each artist unique.

The drawings collection at Magasin 3 has considerable breadth, not only because it spans almost 300 years, but also because it shows creation at its best. In my experience, the creative act exists beyond time and space. The questions, the observations, and the intensity of these works show with brutal clarity how mankind has forever been occupied with similar issues, which I find so liberating.

A common thread found in The Drawing Room is the relationship between the id (self) and nature. Naively, one could ask ‘what came first,’ or ’what matters most?’ Does mankind through our observations create nature? Or does nature (even abstractly) provide ‘everything’ for mankind? The interplay between these forces was my starting point in the selection of drawings for the exhibition. A few drawings that render our civilization have snuck in, but the content and framework is really set by these two powerful forces.

In order to make apparent the thought process behind The Drawing Room, I ventured to hang the drawings in an unconventional way, breaking the historical chronology and allowing the visual information to steer the installation itself. As a result, the same artist sometimes turns up in different parts of the room. It is an incredibly pleasurable way to work.

Favorites? A question one always tries to avoid. To me, all works in The Drawing Room are the best there is – both those created a very long time ago and those drawn yesterday.

All the same, if you listen to a conversation I had with the outstanding actor Lena Endre,* I may let go of my ethical reasoning a bit and let a few of my favorites shine.


David Neuman, Museum Director

*Available for download. In Swedish only.