Words Micha van Dinther and Magnus Wittbjer
Curated by well-known dynamic designer duo Simon Davies and Tomas Cederlund, part of the Absolut Art collection is now showcased at Spritmuseum. The art pieces that the successful vodka brand commissioned for marketing purposes during the 1980’s and 1990’s are playful, flamboyant and extravagant, and thus very much in tune with Davies’ and Cederlund’s signature style.
The Absolut Art collection consists of paintings and photos as well as trendy clothing, furniture, cutlery, rugs and lamps conceived by prominent designers of the era. According to legend, the idea to merge booze and art came through a fluke – Andy Warhol apparently fell in love with the bottle when Absolut was first introduced in the US and consequently expressed a strong desire to “do something with it.” Warhol went to work creating a boldly-coloured painting of the clean and crisp design of the original in the fashion of the much-reproduced outline of the face of Marilyn Monroe. The following year Keith Haring wanted to put his mark on the trendy Scandinavian bottle, which, over the years was illustrated by artists and designers such as Dan Wolgers, Louise Bourgeois, Damien Hirst, Helmut Newton and Sylvie Fleurie to name a few. Today there are over 850 pieces in the Absolut Art Collection.
The name of the Cederlund/Davies exhibition is Less is more…NOT! and the idea behind it is to show how the limitless, decadent, extravagant and over-the-top 1980’s turned into a more introspective, serious and morally conscious society, suffering from a lingering hangover. Less is more…NOT! is a retrospective exhibition of the collection, taking the viewer on a journey through the 1980’s and 1990’s art scene, disco balls, Studio 54, the AIDS epidemic, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the advent of the Internet.
Less is more…NOT! is shown at Spritmuseum in Stockholm between April 25 and September 6.