Astrup Fearnley Collection: New Acquisitions

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Oh shining star testify, 2016–2019

Every year the Astrup Fearnley Collection grows through the acquisition of new works, which expand upon existing positions and incorporate new practices. In 2023, 29 works by 22 artists were added.

Astrup Fearnley Museet expanded and complemented the Collection’s focus on significant artistic positions through the acquisition of historical works from the 1970s and 1990s. Many more recent works were also acquired, reflecting developments in contemporary art scenes locally and globally. These artists come from Norway and Sápmi, as well as several European countries, Iran, Palestine, South Africa, the USA, and Venezuela.

The acquisitions cover many different practices, among others, figurative, abstract, and conceptual painting, including works by artists such as Alvaro Barrington, Georgia Gardner Gray, Liza Lacroix, Silke Otto-Knapp, Laura Owens, Mikael Lo Presti, and Julia Rommel.

Included among the paintings are two of the last works which Norwegian artist Leonard Rickhard completed before his passing in January. They are currently on display in his extensive solo exhibition Between Construction and Collapse. The painting Tenksom modellflybygger (Thoughtful Model-Plane Constructor), 2019–2023 is part of a series of works depicting the model-plane constructor. This is one of Rickhard’s iconic motifs, which he painted repeatedly beginning in the 1980s. The monumental work Klaustrofobisk øvelse ved den tredje kabelen (Claustrophobic Practice at the Third Cable), 2023 was commissioned specifically for the largest hall in Astrup Fearnley Museet. The work demonstrates how Rickhard never stopped challenging and elaborating on his painterly project. Measuring 4 x 5 meters, it was composed in response to the museum’s exhibition architecture.

Many of the new acquisitions are conceptually oriented photographic and sculptural works—often concerning themselves with political and social matters. The museum is very pleased with having acquired works from, among others, Nairy Baghramian, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Jared Ginsburg, Robert Grosvenor, Mike Kelley, Sandra Mujinga, Camille Norment, and Richard Rezac.

The multichannel video installation by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme titled Oh shining star testify (2016–2019) was acquired in 2023. It was included in the exhibition An echo buried deep deep down but calling still, which was on display from 10 March to 28 May 2023 at Astrup Fearnley Museet. The artist duo, living and working between Ramallah and New York, demonstrate a persistent concern with how societies navigate the consequences of oppressive political systems. Oh shining star testify suggests how incidents of violence, while often documented, are nonetheless easily erased from the public sphere. In her summary of 2023 in art, Kunstkritikk editor Mariann Enge wrote: “Abbas and Abou-Rahme’s exhibition resembled one big vote of confidence in the power of art and poetry and its resilience.” The exhibition was recently nominated for the Norwegian art critics’ Kunstkritikerprisen 2023.

Leonard Rickhard, Claustrophobic Practice at the Third Cable, 2023

List of all works acquired in 2023:

Basel Abbas (b. 1983, Cyprus) and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (b. 1983, USA)
Oh shining star testify (2016–2019)

Lutz Bacher (1943-2019, USA)
Yamaha, 2010

Nairy Baghramian (b. 1971, Iran)
Dwindler_Prone_up, 2018

Alvaro Barrington (b. 1983, Venezuela)
Yellow Hibiscus, September 2023, 2023

Trisha Donnelly (b. 1974, USA)
Untitled, 2019–2021

Rose Finn-Kelcey (1945–2014, England)
Here is a Gale Warning (1971, printed 2011)
Untitled: Boxing Glove and Bubble #2, 1970–2019
Untitled: Boxing Glove and Bubble #1, 1970–2019

Georgia Gardner Gray (b. 1988, USA)
Minors, 2022

Jared Ginsburg (b. 1985, South Africa)
Hanging Drawings XXV, XXVI, XXVII (extracts from installation at Maitland Institute), 2020–2023

Robert Grosvenor (b. 1937, USA)
Untitled, 2022

Rachel Harrison (b. 1966, USA)
The Classics, 2019

Mike Kelley (1954–2012, USA)
Black Soul, 1991

Liza Lacroix (b. 1988, Canada)
for the audience. 1927–2023, 2023
Funeral song 1–6, 2023

Britta Marakatt-Labba (b. 1951, Sweden)
I samtal, 2022
Gränslöst 1, 2022

Sandra Mujinga (b. 1989, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Kóko 2089, 2023

Camille Norment (b. 1970, USA)
Everything but Noting, 2023

Silke Otto-Knapp (1970–2022, Germany)
Untitled (Versammlung I)
Untitled (Versammlung II)
Untitled (Versammlung III), 2022

Laura Owens (b. 1970, USA)
Untitled, 2023

Mikael Lo Presti (b. 1989, Sweden)
Bastard Song, 2023

Richard Rezac (b. 1952, USA)
Untitled (22-05), 2022

Leonard Rickhard (1945–2024, Norway)
Tenksom modellflybygger, 2019–2023
Klaustrofobisk øvelse ved den tredje kabelen, 2023

Julia Rommel (b. 1980, USA)
Wins and Losses, 2023  
Port Lavaca, 2023

Børre Sæthre, My Private Sky, 2001. Exhibition view, Before Tomorrow. © Astrup Fearnley Museet, 2023. Photo: Christian Øen.

Astrup Fearnley Collection

The Astrup Fearnley Collection is one of Europe’s most comprehensive collections of international contemporary art.