Moderna Museet | Stockholm

THE MELANCHOLIC, even eschatological perspective that finds a brooding cloud in clear daylight may well describe a Nordic sensibility that needs to be retired as mere cliché—but curator Magnus af Petersens’s recent show titled “Eclipse: Art in a Dark Age” at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm suggested that that time has not yet come. An interesting choice for the museum’s fiftieth anniversary celebration, the exhibition was meant to capture the zeitgeist’s mood of cataclysm as a shared premise not only of life but of cultural production.

“Eclipse” was efficient in its task, including thirty-seven signature works by Lucas Ajemian, Michaël Borremans, Nathalie Djurberg, Ellen Gallagher, Paul McCarthy and Damon McCarthy, Mike Nelson, Anri Sala, Dana Schutz, and, brilliantly, the novelist Tom McCarthy. Tellingly, Petersens illustrated his catalogue essay with Goya’s mournful 1799 etching El sueño

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