MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson, a new exhibition at the American Swedish Institute, showcases sculptor Kim Simonsson of Fiskars, Finland, who crafts beguiling, evocative and otherworldly life-sized ceramics figures, including those he calls “Moss People.” A kneeling girl talking to a two-headed bunny and a girl with a feather headdress and a boombox, backpack are contemporary creations that invite viewers into a fairytale-like world inspired by Finland’s primeval forests. The exhibition, Simonsson’s Minnesota debut and Midwest is now on view through July 15, 2018. Nearly 35 selections of Simonsson’s work are on view in the American Swedish Institute’s (ASI) contemporary Osher Gallery, and throughout the historic Turnblad Mansion.
The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson continues the American Swedish Institute’s year of The Handmade. Simonsson combines a ceramic heritage with the contemporary influence of eastern Nordic pop culture. Instead of the usual casting of sculptures, he takes his work further by sculpting many of his pieces by hand using a unique technique that coats stoneware with a green nylon flock, which gives the figures their smooth and mossy surface. His “Moss People” figures were selected as one of Artnet’s “Nine Fascinating Objects” at 2016 Design Miami, and Finnish designer Kaj Kalin describes his creations as “spirits of dangerous toys.” The sculptures are created in the artist’s studio in Fiskars Village, an arts and design enclave west of Helsinki. Simonsson’s distinctive work has been exhibited globally and been collected by more than 20 museums and foundations around the world, in addition to being shown at galleries and art shows in New York, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Belgium and Korea.