The foundation of Astrup Fearnley Museet is the collection, which is one of Norway’s most comprehensive private collections of international contemporary art. The Astrup Fearnley Collection dates back to the 1960s and has since then focused on individual works and artists rather than ism’s or historic periods.
The collection comprises works of artists who have created their own visual language using images and objects demonstrating great originality and high quality, artists who have had a profound impact on the development of international contemporary art in the last fifty years. Until the 1990s, these artists were often based in Europe and the USA. Thus we find key works by artists such as Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Damien Hirst and Anselm Kiefer in the collection. Since the turn of this century the collection has focused on younger American contemporary artists, including Ryan Trecartin / Lizzie Fitch, Trisha Donnelly, Frank Benson and Juliana Huxtable among others. Today the most innovative artists can be found as readily in China, Thailand, India and Brazil, as in New York or London. The current selection reflects this reality of global art, and includes works by Cao Fei, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Subodh Gupta and Thiago Martins de Melo, to mention only a few. Viewed in its entirety, the collection reflects the diversity that has dominated art for the last fifty years. Many of the works have a figurative and narrative character. The artists address our reality and issues relevant to our times in the form of a visual commentary, in an accessible and spectacular manner – often with an undertone of sharp social criticism.
The Astrup Fearnley Collection comprises nearly 1500 artworks where a rotating selection of these works are shown to the public. Talk to one of our knowledgeable museum hosts, who will be happy to tell you more about our art!