Press release -
Sun and Spring in January – Next Generation in Norwegian Contemporary Art
In this exhibition, Astrup Fearnley Museet focuses on a new generation of Norwegian contemporary artists who represent a great diversity of conceptual premises and visual expressions. In addition to the artists, the project presents a new generation of Norwegian art writers, as well as drawing attention to the art collector as a constructive part of the Norwegian contemporary art scene. A unique link is made between them; Six young artists are connected to a respective art writer and art collector. The trios create a framework for the project that forms the basis for an interesting and important dialogue between artists, writers and collectors.
The exhibition is a collaboration between Astrup Fearnley Museet and Talent Norge (Norwegian Talents). The museum has been responsible for the curating and the organisation of the exhibition, while the artists and critics received generous financial support from Talent Norge.
In the exhibition we have chosen to highlight the diversity that characterises the Norwegian art scene, as represented by the following artists: Miriam Hansen, Johanne Hestvold, Anders Holen, Henrik Olai Kaarstein, Mercedes Mühleisen and Constance Tenvik.
Miriam Hansen experiments with plants and organic elements in her object-based installations, introducing the smell, mythology and narratives of plants. Johanne Hestvold reinvents modernist forms and materials in the age of computer drawings, giving a new poetic flair to abstract sculptures. Also, a sculptor, Anders Holen assembles figures cast in bronze to make poetic but enigmatic narratives. Henrik Olai Kaarstein is a painter who confronts collages of coloured forms with images of body parts, evoking sensuality and fetishism. The video artist Mercedes Mühleisen has created an animated sculpture based on the book Marvels of Pond-life by Henry James Slack from 1861 that narrates a meticulous description of microscopic creatures found in the water of a pond. Constance Tenvik presents an installation loosely based on a novel by Xavier de Maistre, A Journey Around my Room, from 1794, bringing the spectator into an imaginary space that presents a mixture of sculpture, costumes and theatre.
Each of the artists are presented through an important text by Ina Hagen, Ingrid Halland, Simen Joachim Helsvig, Maria Horvei, Nora Joung and Nicholas Norton. The writers have each in their own way opened the artistic mechanisms and content of the works and put them into a wider context. The writers’ place in the exhibition is equal to that of the artists in terms of the experience and reading of the works.
The collectors with whom we have collaborated are Clarksons Platou / Peter M. Anker, Knut and Cecilie Brundtland, Bettina Ford Jebsen, C. Ludens Ringnes Stiftelse / Christian Ringnes, AKO kunststiftelse / Nicolai Tangen and Talent Norge. Throughout art history, collectors have played a significant role in supporting artists. In recent years in Oslo they have become more visible, acting not only as an economic support system, but also as protagonists in the formation of a consensus surrounding the artists on the local art scene.
Curators: Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff
The exhibition project is supported by Fritt Ord
The exhibition's graphic identity is made by Mimosa Studio
Astrup Fearnley Museet is a private museum of contemporary art and has since its opening in 1993 been one of the most important art institutions in Oslo. The museum moved to Tjuvholmen in 2012, beautifully located by the Oslo Fjord in a building designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. The museum shows changing exhibitions by leading international and Norwegian contemporary art and houses the Astrup Fearnley Collection. The collection is one of Norway’s most important and extensive private art collections, with iconic works by artists like Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer and Jeff Koons.