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Private Gallery Reception – MIA ENELL

March 25 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Private Gallery Reception

MIA ENELL – Large Paintings
The Elfi von Kantzow Alvin Art Award

The American Scandinavian Society Invites you to join us for a reception celebrating the solo gallery exhibition of the Elfi Art Award winner:



Friday, March 25th

5-7 pm Reception

6:15 pm Remarks

Bienvenu Steinberg & Partner (website)
35 Walker Street
New York, NY

Mia will be available to sign copies of her book Large Paintings, published on the occasion of the Elfi Art Award. Complimentary to members of the American Scandinavian Society.

Mia Enell's Painting: MONUMENT & EVERYBODY, 2021 acrylic on canvas, 75 x 92 inches (190.5 x 234 cm)

MONUMENT & EVERYBODY, 2021 acrylic on canvas, 75 x 92 inches (190.5 x 234 cm)

Click to read the full press release (pdf)

Large Paintings, is Mia Enell’s first exhibition at Bienvenu Steinberg & Partner. Enell grew up in a family of painters between Gothenburg, Sweden and Antwerp, Belgium, and graduated from the Nyckelvik Art School in Stockholm in 1987 followed by École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, DNSAP (MFA). Subsequently, she spent a decade in Paris. In the mid-90s, the artist moved to New York where she lives and works. The exhibition consists of six paintings from a larger body of work, produced over the past two years. A selection of drawings will also be on view. Enell is best known for paintings and drawings that depict the eccentricities of her inner life. “In traditional Scandinavian fashion, Enell summons the dark humor of her Swedish roots in order to grapple with expressing that which is typically somber. When Enell flattens the imagery of taboos on her canvas, they become comic parables and make truth more digestible”. (Alaina Claire Feldman in “Mia Enell, Large Painting”, a catalog published in conjunction with the exhibition. Alaina Claire Feldman is the Director and Curator of Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College, City University of New York.) Visions and haiku-like phrases inspired by dreams and the life of the unconscious are at the heart of Enell’s work. A strange relationship of word and image is in play. Her paintings seem to freeze images from an ongoing flow of free association: a horse covered in eyes, a split meat-bed, a woman in deep pain, a crying tree, a flock of flying butts… “I often wake up late at night with clear visions or words that later develop into a painting. At times the work is automatic. The paintings are distilled and simplified, but open up if you spend time with them. When finished they take on a bold presence, a “oneness” (Mia Enell, 2022). Her characters stare at us, seemingly caught in a dilemma of uncertainty, unsure about their place in the world. The monumental figures seem to all be women. “Is that because I am also a woman or because women are emerging from under something that has kept them down for a long time?” Enell wonders. There is hope that one will recover a lasting emotional connection that won’t be denied nor rendered invisible. Through her carefully defined colors and shapes, all on one plane without using perspective, Enell renders the unconscious hyper visible, an elephant in the room.

Mia Enell’s work has been shown internationally. Select exhibitions include: Drawing Biennial, Drawing Room, London (2021); Emmanuel Barbault Gallery, New York (2018); C.O.D. (Center for Openness and Dialogue), Tirana, Albania (2018); Arena Vestfossen, Norway (2013); Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden (2011); Third Streaming, New York (2011); Colgate University Museum, Hamilton, New York (2006); Hellenic Museum, Chicago, IL, UP&CO, New York and London (2008, 2004, 2002); The New York Public Library (2006); Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, WA (2004); Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain, Sète, France (1999); Caisse des dépôts et Consignations, Paris (1999); Espace Paul Ricard, Paris (1999); Independent Center for Art & Photography, Paris (1997). Select collections include: FNAC, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Statens Konstråd, National Public Art Agency, Stockholm; Collection Teto Ahrenberg, Switzerland. She is a recipient of The Elfi von Kantzow Alvin Art Award (2021) and The American-Scandinavian Society, Cultural Grant Award (2004).

The Elfi von Kantzow Alvin Art Award is awarded to a woman visual artist with outstanding talent, vision and perseverance with strong ties to one of the 5 the Nordic countries. Instituted by the American Scandinavian Society in 2019, the Elfi Art Award honors and continues in the spirit of Elfi’s deep commitment for Scandinavian artists and the Scandinavian community in New York for over 60 years. As an accomplished artist, costume, set and interior designer, Elfi founded the Art Program of the American Scandinavian Foundation on 73rd street in 1978 and continued with the American Scandinavian Society. She curated 85 exhibitions featuring more than 250 artists from the 5 Nordic Countries for over 38 years on behalf of these organizations. She was committed to giving Scandinavian artists a chance to be seen and exhibited in NYC. Elfi was known as ‘the fairy godmother of Scandinavian artists’ and for her multitude of contributions to Scandinavian culture in the US, was awarded a gold medal from the King of Sweden as well as the Finnish Order of the Lion, and honored by the Danish American Society.


March 25
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Bienvenu Steinberg & Partner
35 Walker Street
New York, NY 10013 United States
646 489 8342