The works in the Sara Hildén Foundation’s of foreign art reflect the international trends of their respective periods. The collection visually chronicles the story of European modernism and the changing tides of art history spanning the period from Georges Rouault’s 1905 watercolour Harlot to the turn of the millennium. The content also reflects how the version of art history conveyed by the collection was shaped by the choices of its collector, Professor Sara Hildén.
The Sara Hildén Foundation’s of foreign art consists of nearly 600 paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphic works.
1960s: Informalism, geometrical abstract art, kinetic art
Informalism was a 1960s European art movement emphasizing freedom and immediacy of personal expression and the primacy of the artist’s emotional reality. Informalism is represented widely in the Sara Hildén Foundation Collection by artists such as the influential French and Spanish masters Pierre Soulages, Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier, Rafael Canogar, Roger Bissière, Alfred Manessier and Antoni Tàpies, Germany’s Hans Hartung, China’s Zao Wou-Ki and the Italian sculptor Luciano Minguzzi.
A competing 1960s movement was geometrical abstract art, which took inspiration from Cubism. Favouring harmony, orderly composition, clean-lined forms and flat colour planes, the movement is represented in the collection by Josef Albers, Max Bill, Alberto Magnelli, Richard Mortensen and Serge Poliakoff. Through the addition of perceptible movement, geometrical art was taken to new dynamic heights by artists such as Hungarian-born Victor Vasarely, the Hungarian lumino-kinetic artist Nicolas Schöffer, and Argentina-born Julio Le Parc.
1970s: New Realism and other figurative movements
New Realism and other figurative movements emerged in the 1970s. The collection offers many samples of this period, including works by the French New Realists Arman and Jean-Olivier Hucleux, Bulgarian-born Christo, the Chilean photorealist Claudio Bravo and American artists Edward Kienholz and George Segal. Arman and the latter two artists physically transplanted reality in museums in the form of found objects and assemblages.
Modernist classics and contemporary art
Although Sara Hildén’s primary ambition was to assemble a collection of contemporary art, she was also an admirer of modernist classics. The contemporary collection is rounded out by a rich compliment of early modern masters such as sculptors Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore, painters Francis Bacon, Victor Brauner, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Delvaux, Paul Klee, Aristide Maillol, Joan Miró, Giorgio Morandi, Georges Rouault, Graham Sutherland, Nicolas de Staël and Yves Tanguy, and modernist classics such as Pierre Bonnard, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger and Pablo Picasso, whose work provides an enlightening glimpse into early 20th century art history.
1980s and 1990s: Rounding out the permanent exhibition
In the 1980s and 1990s, the collection was further expanded with the goal of rounding out the permanent exhibition with a rich, coherent, and visually balanced compliment of new works. Artists added in the 1980s included Claude Viallat, Frank Stella and Pierre Buraglio. After the death of Professor Sara Hildén, the foundation’s board of trustees has continued her work. New artists added in the 1990s included Jean-Charles Blais, Enzo Cucchi, Tony Cragg, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Susana Solano and Bernard Venet.
2000s: Contemporary highlights
New works accessioned in the 2000s have focused on topical contemporary trends, mainly in painting and sculpture. The latest additions include A. R. Penck, Jacob Dahlgren, Ross Bleckner, Marc Swanson, Andreas Eriksson, Berta Fischer, Jason Martin, Mariko Mori and Daniel Jacoby. Many recent acquisitions have been made in conjunction with exhibitions featuring artists such as Sean Scully, Richard Deacon, Wilhelm Sasnal, Subodh Gupta, Ellen Gallagher and Erwin Wurm.