Urgent Museum Notice

Charlotte Gyllenhammar

A light-skinned adult woman with slightly curled blonde hair and a green top smiles while standing in front of several people in shadow.

Charlotte Gyllenhammar at the opening of Revival, 2017; Photo by Yassine El Mansouri

Born in 1963

Today, her body of work reflects her aptitude for mediums including sculpture, installations, and photo-based art. While varied in form, her works have a common intention. They invite us to grapple with dualities all people confront—femininity/masculinity, freedom/captivity, security/endangerment, life/death—and elicit a mood of disquiet.

In Gyllenhammar’s hands, recognizable subjects are subjected to unusual treatment. Trees, interior spaces, women, and children are depicted upside down. Slumbering men are voyeuristically captured on film. Everyday objects are exploded expressly to be displayed in their destroyed state. The dissonance created by representing the familiar in an unexpected, even unsettling, way is intended to affect viewers on intellectual and emotional levels.

Inversion and suspension are recurring motifs in Gyllenhammar’s art. The artist first experimented with flipping perspectives in Die for You (1993), when she displayed a 120-year-old oak tree upside down over a street in Stockholm.

Metaphors play heavily in Gyllenhammar’s work. Trees become surrogates for time, children for innocence, upturned figures for vulnerability, the act of sleeping for complicity or death.

Her work has been featured in more than 30 solo and 60 group exhibitions internationally, including the 2015 Shanghai and 2011 Venice Biennales. Her works are in public parks and museum collections across Europe and in the U.S.

Artist Details

  • Name

    Charlotte Gyllenhammar
  • Birth

    Gothenburg, Sweden, 1963
  • Phonetic Spelling

    shar-LOH-(tuh) YILH-ehn-HAH-mahr

Works by Charlotte Gyllenhammar

Fall III

Fall III depicts a well-dressed woman hanging upside down. Shot from below the figure’s body, the woman appears enveloped in flowing fabric that could be protecting, entrapping, or consuming her.

“The image of the woman hanging upside down with her skirt over her head came to me as a vision,” says Charlotte Gyllenhammar. “It felt too violent to expose her in...

Large, glossy color photograph of a light-skinned woman hanging upside-down directly above the viewer. Her arms hang loosely above her head, enveloped in diaphanous white skirts billowing around her, set against a black background, creating a flower-like appearance.