The Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, one of the most notable private museums in the Nordic countries, was founded on 9 October 1993, and is now celebrating 25 years. It’s an exciting period when the contemporary art museum in Oslo is celebrating 25 years.
As a part of the celebration, the Astrup Fearnley Museum has given five selected young Norwegian artists the opportunity for a long-term exploration of their works and production towards a major exhibition at the museum in January 2019. Each artist is followed by a writer of the same generation.
The writers will produce a comprehensive text for publication in the exhibition catalog, and thereby launch a new generation of distinctive artistic voices both in Norway and as a part of the international art scene.
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Artists, writers and art collectors
The selected artists are Miriam Hansen, Johanne Hestvold, Anders Holen, Henrik Olai Kaarstein, Mercedes Mühleisen and Constance Tenvik.
The selected writers are Ina Hagen, Ingrid Halland, Simen Joachim Helsvig, Maria T. Horvei, Nora Joung and Nicholas Norton.
Five art collectors are attached to the project as contributors together with Talent Norway. The collectors’ contributions include support for the production and purchase of the artist’s work. The collectors are Clarkson Platou at Peter Anker, Knut and Cecilie Brundtland, Bettina Ford Jebsen, C. Ludens Ringnes Foundation represented by Christian Ringnes and AKO Art Foundation represented by Nicolai Tangen.
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Contemporary Art Museum in Oslo Celebrating 25 Years
The original Astrup Feranly collection consisted of works of Norwegian and international contemporary art collected by the shipping magnate family the Fearnleys. The initiator of the collection, Hans Rasmus Astrup, first took interest in French art, then moved on to German expressionism and later to young British artists. The Astrup Fearnley collection is now considered one of the northern Europe’s leading collections of its kind.
The Astrup and Fearnley families have included accomplished businesspeople and artists for several generations. They have been known as philanthropists with a long tradition of supporting artists and collecting art.
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Controversial art has always been a natural part of the museum
Among the works that was added to the collection is the installation Mother and Child (Divided) (1993) by Damien Hirst, which was quite controversial at the time, considering that it consists of glass-walled tanks that contain the two halves of a cow and a calf, each bisected and preserved in formaldehyde.
When Queen Sonja formally opened the museum in 1993, she emphasized in her speech that this was “art which had been selected with no government intervention, other than a simple desire to share it with others.”
All images by Jon Arne Foss
Contemporary Art Museum in Oslo Celebrating 25 Years, written by Tor Kjolberg