ASI’s Newest Exhibition Is Björk-Tested, Lady Gaga-Approved

Minimalist watercolors meet wearable origami

Heads up! There’s a cool new exhibition at the recently reopened American Swedish Institute: Papier, featuring the handmade paper works of Swedish artists Bea Szenfeld and Stina Wirsen.

Szenfeld’s sculptural couture fashions are runway knockouts. (No surprise, both Björk and Lady Gaga are fans.) The designs incorporate thousands of individually folded pieces of paper sourced from Swedish forests. The garments are hand-cut and held together with origami magic and/or string, thread, glue, and tape.

Wirsén’s elegant watercolors and simple line drawings are the perfect complement — her vision and experience shaped through the beloved children’s books she illustrates and more than two decades of working at Sweden’s largest morning paper, drawing political subjects, author’s portraits, and more.

“This exhibition is about being alive in a human body,” says Wirsén. “It’s about beauty and aging. It’s about flesh and bone.

She continues, “And most of all, it’s about paper. Paper is our material. It’s a love story about handicraft, about thousands of hours of drawing, sewing, and thinking.”

Papier is on display through July 11, but museumgoers must reserve tickets in advance and follow other 😷 protocols while visiting.

Sweet tip: It’s semla season at FIKA. If you crave these seasonal Swedish cream buns as much as we do, be sure to call your order in before heading over to the museum. Those things move like hot cakes!

American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis, MN; 612-871-4907.