The ultimate guide to 2022’s must-see exhibitions in Scandinavia

By Lola Froebe

Photo: Alex Delfanne

Mark your calendar with Vogue Scandinavia’s handpicked selection of exhibitions to see this year around Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Finland

While some museums and cultural institutions are currently closed due to local restrictions, there is still a lot to look forward to in 2022. In fact, Scandinavia’s art world will be bustling this year with an array of top-notch exhibitions and events. From modern to contemporary works by coveted Scandinavian artists and era-defining international heavy weights to immersive experiences and virtual realms, this is a call to align your annual holiday planning with the major art treats this year.


Below are our picks for the exhibitions of the year ahead:


'Intimacy' at Designmuseo Helsinki

Juslin Maunula_2021_A Floating Surreal World

A Floating Surreal World (2021) by Juslin Maunula.

While there is ongoing chatter about Copenhagen and Stockholm as the creative power hubs of fashion and design, Helsinki could seem quiet in comparison. This is somewhat mistakenly though, as it is home to Aalto University, one of the most prestigious art and fashion schools in the world, and renowned design studios such as Marimekko, Artek and Iittala. Now, Designmuseo in Helsinki shines a light on Finland’s leading influence on innovative fashion with their exhibition 'Intimacy'. Positioned between the junction of “novel politicisation and digital disruption of fashion”, the show explores the kinship between the digitalisation of fashion and how we perceive the clothes we are wearing. Featuring more than 40 established and emerging Finnish fashion designers and brands such as Ervin Latimer and Henna Lampinen, the exhibition is a definite directory to Finland’s cutting-edge design talents.

'Intimacy' is on view until March 13, 2022 at Designmuseo Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland.


'Light & Space' at Copenhagen Contemporary

James Turrell, Ganzfeld APANI (2011)

Ganzfeld APANI by James Turrell (2011) . Photo: Florian Holzherr

Copenhagen Contemporary is stepping into a universe of light, colour and space with its biggest exhibition to date, 'Light & Space', spanning across all five exhibition halls. While Refshaleøen is always worth a trip, thanks to its unparalleled nature and exquisite food spots like Lille Bakery and La Banchina, now is your time to really give it a go as some of the most influential contemporary artists come together under one roof. James Turrell, Doug Wheeler, Helen Pashgian, Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, Bruce Nauman, Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson and Jeppe Hein explore the presence of light – its beauty, its reality, its violence. By filling the room with colour, the audience’s eyes and minds are flooded with sensation, unleashing vivid feelings and emotions. Featuring historical and new works from the American light and installation art movement as well as European artists, the show invites you to pause, take a moment and dwell.

'Light & Space' is on view until September 4, 2022 at Copenhagen Contemporary in Copenhagen, Denmark.


'Made on Earth – Tony Cragg' at Heart Herning Museum of Contemporary Art

Tony Cragg_Points_of_View

Points of View by Tony Cragg.

Among art connoisseurs, Heart has always been a worthwhile jaunt to the middle of Jutland. Only remember the last big collective exhibition Heart 10, featuring works from the museum’s collection such as Joseph Beuys, Lilibeth Cuenca and Alicja Kwade or 'And Everything Was True', the first solo exhibition of art and fashion world’s darling Chloe Wise in 2019. This year, you should book your train ticket to see 'Made on Earth', the first retrospective of Great Britain’s great sculptor Tony Cragg in Denmark. Since the 1980’s, Cragg has created both simple and complex organically shaped sculptures inspired by the macro and micro structures found in nature. Reminiscent of caves, rocks and wide sand landscapes, his works internalise an imminent tone of movement and alteration while remaining perfectly still and static.

'Made on Earth – Tony Cragg' is on view from January 22 until August 21, 2022 at Heart Herning Museum of Contemporary Art in Herning, Denmark.


Lap-See Lam's 'Dreamers’ Quay, Dreamers’ Key' at Bonniers Konsthall


Lap-See Lam. Photo: Oskar Omne

Scandinavia’s art world offers an intriguing yet nowhere near enough acclaimed lineup of talents and Swedish artist Lap-See Lam is one of them. As winner of the most recent Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter’s prestigious cultural prize, the solo show is sure to be one of Stockholm’s cultural peaks this year. Using vanguard technology like 3D-scanning, animation and VR, Lam examines the Cantonese diaspora in Sweden through film and installation. 'Dreamers’ Quay, Dreamers’ Key' takes the viewer on a journey from 1970s Chinese restaurants back in time to European Chinoiserie and the early economic relations between Canton and Sweden, making it a memorable experience.

Lap-See Lam's 'Dreamers’ Quay, Dreamers’ Key' is on view from February 9 until April 3, 2022 at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, Sweden.


'I Call It Art' at The National Museum Oslo

National Museum Of Norway

Photo: Iwan Baan

Undoubtedly, 2022 is full of highlights – which might be topped by this one. Scandinavia is gaining yet another art refuge as The National Museum in Oslo opens its doors on June 11. The new museum will be the largest art museum in the Scandinavian countries, featuring classic, modern and contemporary art as well as design and architecture with more than 5000 works. 'I Call It Art' will be the inaugural exhibition, showing more than 150 contemporary artists and artist groups from Norway while exploring the timeless question of why some works are perceived as art while others are not.

'I Call It Art' is on view from June, 11, 2022 at The National Museum in Oslo, Norway.


Nan Goldin at Moderna Museet Stockholm


Sirens by Nan Goldin. Photo: modernamuseet

Artist Nan Goldin, who was born in 1953, is widely recognised for her sincere, deeply intimate photographs that tackle topics like sex, obsession, drugs, LGBTQ+, the HIV crisis and death. Now, for the first time ever, the retrospective at Moderna Museet in Stockholm presents Goldin as a film maker. “I never wanted to be a photographer. I always wanted to be a filmmaker. I found a way to make films out of still images. Making slide shows gives me the luxury of constantly reediting to reflect my changing view of the world,” says Goldin about the show. Encompassing slide shows, moving image, video installations, sound and voice, the show’s mission is no less than embracing Goldin’s vision of how her work should be experienced – which is sure to make a punchy encounter.

Nan Goldin is on view from October 22, 2022 until February 26, 2023 at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.


Ásmundur Sveinsson and Rósa Gísladóttir at Reykjavík Art Museum

Rósa Gísladóttir

Photo: Rósa Gísladóttir

Reykjavik is not only worth a visit due to its striking nature and intriguing music scene. As a matter of fact, it is also home to a variety of remarkable artists and sculptors – Rósa Gísladóttir being one of them. She is widely known for her plaster sculptures, using numerous materials and references from architecture and cultural history, for which she won the prestigious Gerður Award in 2020. At Ásmundarsafn, she will present her work at Reykjavík Art Museum in conversation with Iceland’s great sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson who was among the pioneers of Icelandic sculpture and one of the artists who introduced novel ideas in the 20th century. His work can be found in public places all over the country. The exhibition opens a contemporary perspective on his heritage and an insight on Iceland’s dazzling art landscape.

Ásmundur Sveinsson and Rósa Gísladóttir is on view from February 12 until August 7 at Ásmundarsafn, Reykjavík Art Museum in Reykjavík, Iceland.