Jørgen Craig Lello
Thora Dolven Balke
Ole Martin Lund Bo
Gardar Eide Einarsson
Jan Hakon Erichsen
Anna Sigmond Gudmundsdottir
Ane Mette Hol
Maren Juell Kristensen
Norsk samtidskunst. Young Norwegian contemporary artists, most with an impressive academic education, seem more concerned with object-based rather than process-oriented art. Most work from post-conceptual premises and realize their artistic ideas through sculptures, architecture/installations, videos, sound works, photographs and paintings. Most artists in this exhibition work with a narrative pictorial language, often including text references and pictograms firmly rooted in everyday memories and popular culture.
After Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art first directed its attention towards up and coming American artists, through the exhibition ‘Uncertain States of America’ (2005), and this last autumn devoted an exhibition to some of the youngest Chinese contemporary artists, the time has come to look at things closer to home and to put together a presentation of Norwegian contemporary art.
Through the last decade we have witnessed a steadily increasing globalization of contemporary art. Artists throughout the world focus on research problems with similar contents, forms and artistic languages, even if not exactly the same. Norwegian artists are acknowledged as being part of a larger artistic milieu – a milieu in which they, with increasing enthusiasm, have become more visible and active participants.
Young Norwegian contemporary artists, most with an impressive academic education, seem more concerned with object-based rather than process-oriented art. Most work from post-conceptual premises and realize their artistic ideas through sculptures, architecture/installations, videos, sound works, photographs and paintings. Most artists in this exhibition work with a narrative pictorial language, often including text references and pictograms firmly rooted in everyday memories and popular culture. Some reflect over the appropriation of pictures, objects and art-historical references, others focus on perception and the physicality of objects. Another tendency is to explore the metaphysical and mystical realm. Yet in spite of the copious variety and forms of expression, in almost all the artist one finds a critical closeness to society and a will to create meaningful, socially relevant art.
Participating artists are: Jesper Alvær/Isabela Grosseová, Thora Dolven Balke, Siri Berqvam, Kyrre Bjørkås/Rune Andreassen, Ole Martin Lund Bø, Bjørn Båsen, Jan Christensen, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Ida Ekblad, Jan Hakon Erichsen, Matias Faldbakken, Jan Freuchen, Ivan Galuzin, Anna Sigmond Gudmundsdottir, Ane Mette Hol, Håvard Homstvedt, Lars Kjemphol/Espen Henningsen, Maren Juell Kristensen, Hjørdis Kurås, Ingvild Langgård, Jørgen Craig Lello/Tobias Arnell, Trine Lise Nedreaas, Martin Skauen, Eirin Støen, Stian Ådlandsvik and Øystein Aasan.
Aiming to arrange a dynamic exhibition concept the museum has invited young curators to create ‘exhibitions within the exhibition’. From this starting point, we have reserved one central exhibition room in the museum and called it ‘the Guest Room’. It will be devoted to temporary exhibitions under the aegis of artist-driven, non-commercial galleries. Throughout the exhibition period we will present exhibitions by Bastard (based in Oslo) curator: Anders Smebye (12 Jan. – 27 Jan.); Blunk (based in Trondheim) curators: Lina Berglund, Kristoffer Henriksson, Freia Uta Beer, Aylin Tangen Soyer and Anna Bonnevier (31 Jan. – 10 Feb.); Rakett (based in Bergen) curators: Åse Løvgren and Karolin Tampere (14 Feb. – 2 March); and Rekord (based in Oslo) curators: Thora Dolven Balke, Ingvild Langgård and Eirin Støen (6 March – 23 March). These galleries have a ‘carte blanche’ to present what they see as the most interesting and significant contemporary Norwegian art. In this way the exhibition will extend beyond the curator’s initial intentions, and will, for short periods, add surprising glimpses into Norwegian contemporary art that were not initially planned as part of the exhibition.
Bastard presents the exhibition Monumento Mori (12 Jan.-27 Jan.), which deals with monumental changes; death, regeneration and metamorphosis. Participating artists are: Marte Johnslien, Lina Viste Grønli, Anders Smebye, Lars Laumann, Jan Bünning and Simon Rühle.
Based on an idea of presenting ‘the Norwegian art world’ in a larger context, we have also included a book project in the exhibition. The book shop ‘One for the Books’, curated by the artist Marte Johnslien, will present and sell ‘artist books’ and other Norwegian and international books. The selection is both by and about Norwegian contemporary artists.
A catalogue is being published, which presents the exhibition through texts and pictures. These include ‘artist statements’ and articles written by young Norwegian artists, curators and critics: Power Ekroth, Erlend Hammer, Trude Iversen, Kjetil Røed, Leif Magne Tangen and Line Ulekleiv.
In addition to these authors, we present a general overview of ‘how young Norwegian artists survive’: Ingrid Pettersen elucidates the intricacies of stipends, aid schemes and subsidies in relation to young Norwegian contemporary artists, and Ida Sannes Hansen presents an overview of Norwegian contemporary art and the commercial galleries involved in it.
The museum is arranging a series of lectures and panel discussions addressing the relation between the newer Norwegian contemporary art and ‘the global artworld’, ‘the new critics’, ‘private collectors’, ‘the National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design’ and ‘the alternative art space’.
The curators for the exhibition are Gunnar B. Kvaran, Hanne Beate Ueland and Grete Arbu.
Astrup Fearnley Museum
Dronningensgate 4 - Oslo