Restless Gestures in Oslo

Restless Gestures in Oslo

When Swiss entrepreneur Hubert Looser (79) got tired of business, banks and expectations he became an avid art collector. Now he lends a large part of his collection to the National Gallery in Oslo. The exhibition “Restless Gestures” is on display until 7 January 2018.


Restless Gestures in Oslo
Hubert Looser in Oslo

American art is the main attraction in the National Gallery in Oslo this year. is showcasing. Earlier the graphic exhibition “The Great Graphic Boom” was on display, and the exhibition, “Restless Gestures – Works from Hubert Looser’s Collection” was officially opened this week, consisting of paintings, sculptures and graphics.

«I sold the shares in my company and began collecting art to learn» he tells Daily Scandinavian. “I prefer quality to quantity, and I decided to collect backwards in time, from present time and back to the 1930s. I concentrated on three movements; Surrealism, Impressionism and Minimalism.”

Restless Gestures in Oslo
Doric Breath, by Sean Scully. Mr. Looser told us that the artist knew that Looser liked red colors.
Restless Gestures in Oslo
Archair Stooge, by John Chamberlain. Painted and chromplated steel

The exhibition is organized in four chapters and demonstrates how different attitudes towards artistic gesture has contributed to forming Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and more recent abstract art.

Herbert Looser was a businessman from 1964 to 1992, as shareholder and CEO of ELCO

Looser Holding and Walter Rentsch Holding. His art collection is considered one of the most important private modern art collections in Europe.
The exhibition in Oslo displays works of among others, David Smith, Willem de Koonig, Cy Twombly, Al Taylor and Fabienne Verdier.

artistic gesture has contributed to forming Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and more recent abstract art.
Hubert Looser explains the scupture Hostess made in bronze with black patina, by Willem de Koonig

“It is an immense pleasure and a unique opportunity to host this exhibition, not least since the art collection of the Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Hubert Looser is considered one of the finest private collections of its kind in Central Europe. It tells the story of some of the most important movements in 20th century art in the United States and Europe, with works by some of the best known artists of the time,” writes Sabrina van der Ley, Director of Contemporary Art at the National Museum, Oslo, in her introduction to the catalogue.

After the exhibition in Oslo, his art collection will be donated to Kunsthaus Zürich.

The exhibition is curated by Ingvild Krogvig.

Restless Gestures in Oslo, written by Tor Kjolberg

Feature image (on top):Hubert Looser in front of Tempête de flux (2007) by Fabienne Verdier

All photographs by Tor Kjolberg, except the selected photographs below, taken by Mr. Hubert Looser during the opening in Oslo.

Hubert Looser in front of Tempête de flux (2007) by Fabienne Verdier
From left to right: Archaic Stooge by John Chamberlain, Head III and Hostess, both 1973, by Willem de Koonig
Restless Gestures in Oslo
Archaic Stooge (1991) by John Chamberlain
Restless Gestures in Oslo
Head III (1973) by Willem de Kooning
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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.