Synnøve Anker Aurdal

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In summer 2022 we will present an extensive exhibition of work by Norwegian textile artist Synnøve Anker Aurdal.

 

Synnøve Anker Aurdal (1908 – 2000) was one of Norway’s most prominent textile artists, and her deep knowledge of both Norwegian weaving tradition and the contemporary arts made her a pioneer within the field. Through her oeuvre she moved from traditional craftsmanship and arts and crafts into the visual arts, where she emerged as a central figure and contributed greatly to the recognition of textiles as a form of artistic expression. Anker Aurdal worked in a modern style and incorporated the non-figurative as a central element in her work.

Anker Aurdal was educated at the weaving school run by the sisters Karen and Ragnhild Prestgard in Lillehammer and at the Statens Kvindelige Industriskole in Oslo from 1932 to 1934. In 1941 she had her debut with an exhibition at Kunstnerforbundet. The artist created several public commissions, including Høyseteteppet (1958-61) in Håkonshallen in Bergen (with Ludvig Eikaas and Sigrun Berg) and Norway’s gift to Iceland for its 1100th anniversary in 1974. In 1982 she represented Norway at the Venice Biennale. Several of Anker Aurdal’s key works can be found in the Astrup Fearnley Collection, and we look forward to sharing them with our audience.

 

Image: Synnøve Anker Aurdal, Mennesker møtes, 1974. ©Synnøve Anker Aurdal/BONO 2021

 

Nicole Eisenman – Giant Without a Body

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Installation views:

Josh Kline – Antibodies

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The exhibition Antibodies addresses the precariousness of life and work in a predatory neoliberal society where instability and crisis describes not only labour, but our very existence as a species. Kline’s installations, sculptures, and videos are works of critical science-fiction that speculate on the radical possibilities of the near-future—potential dystopian and utopian transformations of politics, economics, technology and biology in the coming years and decades. Kline’s fictional visions of the future are extrapolated from phenomena shaping today’s reality ranging from surveillance and police brutality, to social and economic inequality, and the value and future of human work in an era of increasing automation.

Kline is among the important young artistic voices that has emerged in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, addressing the human condition in a global, late-capitalist reality that is characterised by rapid technological development, socio-economic upheaval and a rapidly accelerating global climate catastrophe. His artistic practice is powerful, prescient and poses vital questions about a world on the brink of both possible ruin and rebirth.

 

Curator: Therese Möllenhoff


About the artist: 
Josh Kline (b. 1979, Philadelphia, USA) lives and works in New York. His art has been exhibited internationally, including in solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Modern Art, London; and 47 Canal, New York. In 2019, his work was included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial; New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and The Body Electric at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Kline’s work is in the permanent collections of Astrup Fearnley Museet; Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; and the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, The Guggenheim in America, among others.

R.B. Kitaj – Diaspora

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Kitaj was American, but lived almost 40 years in England. His art developed in the London art scene beginning in the 1960s, when a dynamic generation of young artists took painting into a new direction by exploring impulses from both the figurative tradition and popular culture. Their vision sparked off the considerable international interest in painting that flourished in the 1970s and 80s. Kitaj has been associated with the ‘School of London’ generation, a label that never referred to a specific group or style, but was used in connection with a number of painters preoccupied with the figurative aspect of painting at a time when abstract art had dominated the art scene for a long time. Kitaj was one of the most prominent figures in the British art scene and also had a major impact on the development of British pop art. This was the context in which Kitaj developed as an artist, and although his art may be associated with the trends in figurative painting and British pop art, the most important influence on his art was a sense of not belonging, Diaspora, spawning an oeuvre in which symbols and references of visual, literary, historic and personal origin are brought together into colourful, narrative and complex compositions.

Kitaj has an important presence in the Astrup Fearnley Collection, which contains some of his most outstanding works. In this exhibition we present a selection of these works, together with works from other Norwegian collections, in an exhibition that reviews Kitaj’s contribution as a historical artist, but also as one whose works still resonate with those of younger generations of artists.

Curators: Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff

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Bjarne Melgaard – Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection

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Bjarne Melgaard has already achieved a unique position in Norwegian and international art with his expressive paintings, drawings and sculptures. Melgaard’s distinctive style and provocative themes have made ​​him a controversial yet highly respected artist. The exhibition shows works from the past 19 years and represents all periods of Melgaard’s oeuvre.

Astrup Fearnley Museet rotates on a regular basis the works on display from the collection. With this solo exhibition in the collection, we initiate an a new exhibition series in which we’ll present and highlight some of the most important artists in the collection. These exhibitions will be shown in Building 2: The Collection, and will have a duration of three months. Members of the Art Club are invited to the exhibition openings which are always held the evening before the exhibition opens to the public.

Curators: Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff

The next exhibition in the collection will be an exhibition with works by R.B. Kitaj, opening February 28th.

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Jens Johannessen – Collage / Décollage

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Johannessen has an important presence in the Astrup Fearnley collection which contains of some of his most outstanding work.

The exhibition focuses on Johannessen’s use of collage techniques and decollage. The main focus is on the “cut images” that Johannessen developed from the 60s and onwards, the works he developed in the 60s and 70s with iron stencils and in the 90s with paper stencils. Together, this shows how Johannessen developed both the collage technique and the picturesque medium by using and integrate already existing motives in the painting.

Curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff

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Richard Prince – Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection

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During the 1970s, the artist Richard Prince turned to the content of lifestyle magazines, cataloguing clichés and stereotypes and transforming them into the iconography of his own work. Rephotographing photographs from these publications, or re-framing photographic elements, he questioned the notion of intellectual property, a radical artistic gesture at the time. As a descendent of Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, and after Pop art had magnified critical interest in consumerist culture, Prince’s “rephotographs” could be seen as a cynical representation of reality, and as a piercing inquiry into the ethos of the American vernacular. His work was not just about copying and the act of appropriation: it was also an existential gesture made by a realist artist, speaking through a figurative language of his relationship to his subject matter. Such works sealed his reputation as a leading manipulator of social and cultural symbols.

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Cindy Sherman – Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection

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The American artist Cindy Sherman (b.1954) is one of the most important American “Appropriation” artists that revolutionized the international contemporary art in the end of the 70ties. These artists borrowed ideas, processes, images or pre-existing objects by exposing them as they are, or by transforming them and re-contextualizing them to give them a new meaning. Cindy Sherman re-enacts feminine stereotypes of art, films, and advertising in photographs in which she stages herself wearing various, often burlesque, disguises.

This exhibition, entitled Cindy Sherman in the Astrup Fearnley Collection, presented a selection of works from our collection showing her ground breaking photographs from the late 70ties and the development of her art until these recent years.

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Nate Lowman – Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection

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Nate Lowman (b. 1979) moves within the American art world, and consumer and media society more generally, continually rearranging the visual signifiers he encounters. He gathers the raw materials for his art from news, popular media and art history and digests them through his own reading, thoughts and feelings. Mixing images of famous and ordinary people, including his own relatives, he creates narratives by means of vast collages made on the wall and single paintings. Allowing one signifier to slip into another, he conjures a multiplicity of possibilities and a rich, open-ended story. This art of selecting, curating, orchestrating and manipulating mirrors contemporary American society.

The exhibition includes many of Lowman’s important works from the past 14 years, ranging from silk prints and sculptures to his distinctive alkyd paintings and large wall collages, combining material appropriated from popular culture with his own paintings and sculptures.

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Dan Colen – Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection

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This exhibition of works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection brings together a corpus of Dan Colen’s paintings made from oil, chewing gum, confetti, flowers and lemon juice, as well as sculpture, photograph and film. Embodiments of moments that have taken on aesthetic form, the works present fragmented stories told in the first person about the artist and his immediate environment. They are dialogues with society and commentaries on art history that often reference political issues, mixing high and low cultural values.

Over the last decade, Colen has developed a coherent body of work that uses hyperrealism, trompe l’oeil and illusionism as its points of departure, and which refuses to be dictated by expectations of one unified artistic language. These technically accomplished works become subtly cynical when references to popular culture meet art-historical precedents. The hyperrealistic pictorial language intricately combines reality with fantasy, and religious metaphysics with Walt Disney and graffiti.

Colen is part of the art scene that developed around New York’s Lower East Side at the beginning of the new century. Informally known as the ‘Bowery School’, it also included artists such as Nate Lowman, Aaron Young, Ryan McGinley, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Banks Violette, Dash Snow, Agathe Snow, Hanna Liden, Lizzie Bougatsos and Adam McEwen, who all in one way or another share an engagement with their city and with urban culture in general. Their narratives – with their savvy, sincerity and social alertness – revolve around the social fabric that determines contemporary life.

The Astrup Fearnley Collection contains key works spanning 12 years of Dan Colen’s oeuvre. The exhibition shows a selection of his experimental and hyper-realistic paintings, sculpture, installation and film.

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