8 March – 12 Augsut 2012
A caricature captures the features and body language of a recognizable figure. It is often intended to be humorous, but not always. It exaggerates typical characteristics and peculiarities without going too far. An elegant but pointed drawing style softens the irony of the image, and our smiles of recognition mitigate its more awkward, perhaps hurtful aspects.
This exhibition charts the evolution of caricature in Sweden. In the beginning, caricatures were meant for private consumption, appearing mainly in diaries and letters. The new printing technologies of the 18th century made mass printing possible and brought caricature into the public arena. With the growth of the picture press in the 19th century, caricature became a force to be reckoned with. Being caricatured was considered a sign of celebrity status. The lithographic technique also enabled a more personal drawing style and a level of artistry that set the standard for future caricaturists.
Caricature was long considered a male preserve, but the early 20th century saw female artists start to make a name for themselves, particularly in theatrical caricature. After a period in which caricature had served chiefly as political commentary on the leader pages, it re-emerged as a hot topic when cartoons of the prophet Mohammed appeared in 2005.
The exhibition features drawings, prints and digital images by artists including Johan Tobias Sergel, Carl August Ehrensvärd, Gustaf Wahlbom, Albert Engström, EWK, Annie Bergman and Stina Eidem.