Michael Johansson

On display until 11 February 2018

From Sunday 8 October, Museum Voorlinden will be exhibiting the work of Swedish artist Michael Johansson (1975). Johansson’s methodology is one of collecting, organising, stacking, and puzzling. The everyday objects that he brings together are given new form and context in his sculptures and installations. In addition to a number of existing works, the museum will also showcase a 40-square-meter, site-specific work, created especially for this exhibition. For this project, team Voorlinden put themselves in Johansson’s shoes and collected all kinds of objects, which Johansson will use to create a new, wall-to-wall artwork. Besides work in the cabinets, visitors will be surprised by the artist at unexpected locations in and around the museum.

Photo: Gustaf Waesterberg

Johansson uses commonplace, often second-hand objects in his playful artwork. He combs through jumble sales and second-hand shops for old televisions, transistor radios, video recorders, and other equipment and items to collect. He then organises them by colour and brings them together in one new object. His artworks are often described as ‘real-life tetris’. He constructs these sculptures not only for museum exhibitions around the world, but also in public spaces, such as in alleys or doorways.

In his work, Johansson is inspired by coincidences in everyday life, such as the same colours and patterns in objects, two people passing each other wearing the same outfit or a parking garage full of red cars. During his visits to flea markets, he is fascinated by the possibility of coming across duplicate or nearly identical objects. His artistic practice focusses on the same principle: the need to combine recognisable objects and, in doing so, creating something unique.


Michael Johansson was born in Trollhättan and lives and works in Malmö, Sweden. From 2002 to 2005, he studied at various art academies, including the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee and the Royal College of Art in Stockholm. Johansson shows his work in group and solo exhibitions around the world and is included in various private and museum collections, including the Voorlinden collection.

The Michael Johansson exhibition can be seen at Museum Voorlinden from 8 October 2017 to 11 February 2018. In addition, the museum will feature an exhibition of American artists Shio Kusaka and Jonas Wood from 30 September to 7 January.


image description

Michael Johansson

This exhibition is on display from 8 October 2017 until 11 February 2018

Director Suzanne Swarts: Johansson collects histories, as it were: the objects that he uses were once acquired and discarded by someone, and they already have a life behind them. Johansson gives them a second life. Collecting and organising objects captures people’s imagination. We all try to bring a certain amount of order to the world around us.