Quick! What’s the first thing you think about when you think about Sweden? If it’s not IKEA, smorgasbords, or cold winters, then it’s probably Absolut, the vodka brand whose bottle inspired 850 works of Pop art from 1986 to 2004. Now, 70 of the best of those works of art are to be featured at the Spiritmuseum.Located in Stockholm on the island of Djurgården in some restored, 18th century shipping sheds, the Spiritmuseum is actually a relaunch and relocation of the former museum “Vin & Sprithistoriska,” a museum dedicated to Sweden’s drinking culture. The centerpiece of the relaunch is an exhibition entitled “Face It!” which features art from the iconic Absolut Vodka campaign. Included in the exhibit are works by Andy Warhol, whose “Absolut Andy Warhol” painting in 1986 sparked the worldwide advertising campaign; Keith Haring; Damien Hirst, and many other artists from Sweden and beyond. “Face It!” will be on display until January 2013.
Two other exhibitions join the Absolut exhibit in the Spiritmuseum relaunch. “Sweden: Spirits of a Nation” takes on the “bittersweet relationship between Swedes and alcohol,” with displays on Sweden’s alcohol production, prohibition, taxation, and recreation. Temporary exhibit “Finally Friday,” which will run through November 2012, will be divided into three rooms: Home, The Pub and The World of Dreams and Expectations. Beyond the galleries, the museum’s new digs also includes space for a tasting room, bar, restaurant and open-air café.