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SEB supports Nordic contemporary art in collaboration with Market Art Fair

"The great thing about art is that it can enrich your life simply by its existence, and through our collaboration with SEB, more people can open their eyes to the world of art," says Sara Berner Bengtsson, CEO of Market Art Fair.

Since 2023, SEB has been a partner of Market Art Fair, an internationally recognised art fair that focuses on Nordic contemporary art.

William Paus, Head of Private Wealth Management & Family Office, SEB
William Paus, Head of Private Wealth Management & Family Office, SEB

”Many of the bank's customers are interested in art - both as a personal passion and as an investment object. Through our collaboration with Market Art Fair, they get access to fantastic expertise and a network we would not otherwise be able to offer them,” says William Paus, head of the Private Wealth Management & Family Office division, PWM&FO.

Sara Berner Bengtsson says that she is happy to have a three-year cooperation agreement in place with SEB since last year.

“You can reach so many more people with a long-term mindset. And even if the art fair itself obviously is the highlight of the year, we can do so much more together through a partnership. For example, we are planning to take our visitors to SEB's premises in Solna to enjoy the bank's incredible art collection.”

Sara Berner Bengtsson, CEO of Market Art Fair. Photographer Jean-Baptiste Béranger.
Sara Berner Bengtsson, CEO of Market Art Fair. Photographer Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

Contemporary art was presented in a historical setting

Another collaboration is the unique art exhibition held last November in SEB's bank vault on Kungsträdgårdsgatan.

“The exhibition was a fantastic mix, where contemporary art was presented in a historic setting among bank vaults and brass. It was appreciated by gallerists and artists as well as invited customers and employees at SEB. It was also mentioned in several magazines, including the fashion magazine Vogue,” says William.

SEB and Market Art Fair are also nominated for the Swedish Art & Business Award, which is awarded annually by the Association of Culture and Business for the best collaboration between business and culture.

Since its inception in 2006, Market Art Fair has become one of the most important platforms in the Nordics for contemporary art. This year, there are 47 galleries and over 100 artists represented at the fair, which is held at Liljevalch's Art Gallery and at Spritmuseum in Stockholm.

“The art we show is selected by a very competent committee and is of a high standard,” says Sara.

“And the great thing about art is that it can enrich your life just by its existence – you don't have to own it to enjoy it. But those who choose to own art can do so for investment purposes and at the same time gain access to beautiful works to brighten up your everyday life. Regardless of the reason, the art buyer is involved and supports cultural life. And the international art market is huge – turnover is $68 billion this year alone.”

Many of the bank's customers are interested in art - both as a personal passion and as an investment object. Through our collaboration with Market Art Fair, they get access to fantastic expertise and a network we would not otherwise be able to offer them.
William Paus
Head of Private Wealth Management & Family Office, SEB
 Market Art Fair 2023. Photographer Jean Lapin.
Market Art Fair 2023. Photographer Jean Lapin.

William Paus emphasises the importance of acting as a facilitator for customers interested in art through this type of collaboration.

“Our goal is to help them navigate the art world and create meeting places for our art-collecting customers.”

Sara says the SEB partnership means fantastic Nordic art market support.

“To be able to offer people a high-quality cultural life, the arts must cooperate with the business world. That's how it is everywhere, and the biggest international art fairs – in Basel, New York and London – all have strong banks as partners attached to them. But I think it’s important to remember that art is much more than decorative paintings. Sure - a beautiful work can brighten your life - but art can also be a kind of alarm clock that comments on its contemporaries and shows things that cannot always be described in words.”

Sara says that during the pandemic, many people discovered art and culture's important role in their lives.

“Meeting points and meeting places are so important. However, meeting places are not created by themselves. It takes people who get involved and invest to create opportunities to reach more people. And with our collaboration with SEB, we will be able to do just that and enrich more people's lives,” says Sara.

SEB sponsors the Market Art Fair

SEB sponsors the Nordics' leading fair for contemporary art, Market Art Fair 17-19 May. Hear more about the event and the selected artists exhibiting (in Swedish).