This year, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is celebrating its 30th anniversary. To mark this significant milestone, the museum is undertaking an extensive exhibition titled Before Tomorrow. Museum director Solveig Øvstebø said the exhibition is a kind of dialogue between artworks. Don’t miss this opportunity in Oslo, the capital of Norway.
Early in the 1960s, ship broker Hans Rasmus Astrup assembled a collection that emphasized on artists, rather than historical periods or stylistic trends. He is considered one of the world’s most active and influential collectors. Astrup passed away in 2021, leaving the extensive Astrup Fearnley Collection in its entirety to Stiftelsen Hans Rasmus Astrup. The celebration of the museum’s anniversary is also a tribute to the founder, who, with his generous gift, made his collection available to everyone.
In May 2001, Hans Rasmus Astrup paid almost six million US dollar for a larger-than-life gilded statue in porcelain made by the American artist Jeff Koons. It’s also a part of this exhibition. Learn more about it by clicking the image below.
Oslo is now a major cultural capital with many world famous art museums. Among others, the Edvard Munch Museum, the National Museum and the Henie Onstad Museum. Click the images to learn more about them.
The Edvard Munch Museum
The National Museum
The Henie Onstad Museum
The Astrup Ferner museum building complex, designed by LPO architects and designers, opened to the public in the autumn of 1993 and encloses an area of about 2500m². Director Øvstebø said during a press preview that the interior design of the building complex is a challenge when curating exhibitions. With its many rooms of different sizes and walls with varios types of angles, it’s easy to just let it be a vehicle for exhibiting artworks and objects.
Ideally, an exhibition space should be considered as content rather than container, often with the intentionality of a «total work of art». In my opinion, curators Owen Martin and Solveig Øvstebø have succeeded in making a flow between the many different sections, displaying over 100 artworks.
Øvstebø started her new appointment as the museum´s Executive Director and Chief Curator in May of 2020 after seven years as Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. She followed Gunnar B. Kvaran who has led the museum since 2001.
Canadian Owen Martin comes from Norval Foundation in Cape Town, where he was director and chief curator. He has organized several major exhibitions there. He has co-curated Before Tomorrow together with Øvstebø.
The exhibition Before Tomorrow contains artworks by several artists you probably never heard of. And that’s another reason to visit this exhibition. Many under-recognized artists get their due here.
When I asked Øvstebø how they discover up and coming visual artists, she answered, “Finding art made by not established artists happens in dialogue with other artists. It’s always like that.”
Hans Rasmus Astrup said, “It’s vital that art isn’t locked away. It needs to be shown and experienced. We have to learn from it.”
In this exhibition you can see, experience and learn. Don’t miss it.
Before tomorrow is on exhibit through 8 October 2023.
Dialogue Between Artworks in Oslo, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): “My Private Sky” (2001) by Norwegian artist Børre Sæthre.
All images © Tor Kjolberg