Lars Lerin Watercolor Exhibit at the American Swedish Institute

March 10, 2016


Above: Watercolor of two chairs by Lars Larson (image from American Swedish Institute; copyright the artist).

Ever since January 23, 2016 friends have been asking me if I've been to the Lars Lerin exhibit and when I say I haven't (I've been swamped with work) they tell me to get over there right away.

The exhibit is at the American Swedish Institute until May 22, 2016.

I was able to go there the other day with some artist friends and it was AMAZING.

Many of the watercolors are large double elephant sheets of 300 lb. watercolor paper HUNG WITHOUT GLASS.

That's right. NO GLASS.

If you are interested in watercolor painting, even casually I suggest you get over there right now, and then plan to go back again and again. 

I've been back two more times, and have other return dates written in my calendar.

There is also a video showing on the second floor and you'll get to see him working.

Of course I enjoy the fact that he paints specimens in natural history museums, but he also creates paintings of cityscapes and…well you just have to go and see them, that's all I can say, except that he really understands shape, volume, and contrast.

Why are you still reading this? Why aren't you on your way over there?

Just to sweeten the deal—the paintings are being hung throughout the stunning Turnblad Mansion (circa 1908) which is the home of the American Swedish Institute. It's a stunning Park Avenue mansion that didn't get divided up into offices or other purposes. You need to spend time just enjoying the building.

In fact, make a day of it and eat lunch at the cafe on site!

Have fun.

And if you don't live in Minneapolis, just a heads up, this is the perfect time to come to Minneapolis and visit. Plan for a week before May 22, so that you can return each day to view the exhibit. While the exhibit will travel elsewhere this is the only venue that has been given permission to hang the art without glass.


Why aren't you already on a plane!

Join the ASI to support such great exhibits.

And look at the other great art and fixtures throughout the Turnblad Mansion.

Really—are you still sitting at your computer? I just don't know what's up with you?!

    • Kerstin Engström
    • March 11, 2016

    So happy that you found and liked Lars Lerins watercolours. He is one of my favourites. Much in his paintings of houses and nature is for me very Swedish. It’s great to hear that his art is appreciated on other places around the world.

  1. Reply

    Kerstin, he is very revered HERE! this is actually his second exhibit at the ASI, the other was quite some time ago, but it isn’t for lack of trying.

    I’m so glad that you enjoy his work. I think it’s stunning.

    I think people up here respond to it so much because a lot of the work looks like it was made in Northern Minnesota. (We did have a lot of Scandinavians settle here generations ago.) Oddly too the chair series resonates with people here—I went to a lecture at the ASI before seeing the exhibit and there were all sorts of elderly Swedish ladies sitting there who knew all about Lersin and his various places of residence, and everyone was responding to these chair paintings.

    Also, I nearly collapsed from joy when I heard that he has his own TV talk show. There is something so marvelous about that.

    • Miss T
    • March 12, 2016

    Roz, you know I totally flipped over this exhibit. I’ve been twice, and I’m going again in a couple of weeks.

  2. Reply

    Great video tour of his work for those who can’t make the museum show. I cast it on my tv. Will watch again it is amazing. If u can cast it to a big tv. The paintings are enormous. Some eight feet long. Check out this video on YouTube:

  3. Reply

    Roz do you know if the exhibit is touring the US and if so where. Can’t find a listing. Thanks

  4. Reply

    Miss T check out the video tour of a different exhibit Margaret found just below.

  5. Reply

    Thanks for finding this link Margaret! I have been watching YouTube offerings of interviews and such all in Swedish and they don’t have these views of the images so this is a great link to hold on to!

  6. Reply

    Margaret, I’m sorry that I don’t know if it will tour in the US elsewhere. I only know that in the lecture I attended they said this would be the only location given permission to hang without glass.

    I would contract the SAI through their website, they might be able to tell you because they’ll be packing it up and sending it out.

    The SAI exhibit is not as large as the one in the video. I didn’t watch the full video yet (as I’m running late this morning) but only fast fowarded through a couple minutes and saw some bits that aren’t in the exhibit.

    And there are the issues of setting. THe Turnblad house is AMAZING and while that doesn’t detract from the art it does take your eye to other things while going from piece to piece and so your eyes might linger on something else before going on and it will make your eyes perhaps more tired than a normal gallery setting.

    I hope you get to see his works in person sometime.

    • Carol
    • March 14, 2016

    Thanks for reminding me about this exhibit – I went on Saturday after reading this post. Amazing work, all of it – the big pieces and the smaller pieces (grasses bent in the snow, tea cups and saucers). And our office is taking a field trip to see it next week, so I get to see it again!

  7. Reply

    Watching that YouTube again. It’s awesome!! Oh no and I orders some elephant sheets of arches from cheap Joes. ??

  8. Reply

    I’ve been three times and am going so many more before it leaves. I just love his work. I’m very excited about it. I’m glad you get to go more than once. (I joined the SAI on my first visit so Icould go back any day I felt like it.)

    How about that building???!!!!!!

  9. Reply

    Margaret, you’re incorrigible. That’s too funny.

    • Carol
    • March 15, 2016

    I know!!

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