NOAR Nordic and Baltic contemporary art platform

Fall is back. And so is a variated exhibition schedule in Oslo. Even as the Norwegian fall often feels grey and dull, some of the exhibitions will be anything but. Twisted sculptures, menstrual blood, beautiful drawings, and of course, no Norwegian fall without the National Annual Autumn Exhibition. Here are five exhibitions I look forward to in Oslo this fall.

Hanne Grieg Hermansen

“Photometrics”

Tegnerforbundet 15.08-15.09

The fall season begins softly with the already quite established drawer Hanne Grieg Hermansen at Tegnerforbundet. By softly I mean, it is beautiful, it is peaceful, and it is absorbing, in a feel-good way.

There is something so stimulating about viewing the works of a technically skilled drawer. This is the exact reason why I look forward to this exhibition. Using pencil and colour-pencils, Grieg Hermansen draws different kinds of landscapes, like motifs from forests in the Oslo-area.

See more exhibition views on Tegnerforbundet Facebook

She describes her practice as a discovery of the relationship between drawing and photography, how they differ in time-consumption and labour, as well as their relationship to reality. It supposedly is about light. Light in photography transferred to drawing.

I believe this will be an exhibition available to many, as technical drawing seems to appeal to people of all kinds. As realistic painting and drawing have been dismissed by a lot of art professionals over the last artistic epoch, I think it is about to make its reappearance. And I think this exhibition is a good example of just this. After all, it is hard not to be impressed by the extraordinary dedication and the good eye for details.

 

Jan Freuchen

“Skjermdump”

Norwegian Sculptor Society 24.08 – 06.10

A cooler and more conceptual exhibition opening in August is by a quite steady figure in the Norwegian art field, Jan Freuchen. His practice is wide, spanning from painting, sculpture, collages, books, essays, videos, to curating. Freuchen owns his own publishing house too, “Lord Jim Publishing”, publishing several other Norwegian artists.

His expanded practice witnesses on a very inclusive attitude towards the arts. He is a great artist himself, with works that I would describe as cool, playful and aesthetically pleasing. But as a curator and publicist, he spends much of his time and effort presenting the works of other artists, both established and emerging. A quite generous and likeable approach to the arts, I would say.

My positive attitude towards his practice makes me look forward to his new exhibition at the Norwegian Sculptor Society, opening on August 24.

The name of the exhibition “Skjermdump”, meaning screensaver, might indicate more of a “post-internet”-oriented exhibition. Or at least linked to popular culture in some way. As the name of the venue is the sculptor society, let us assume it is some form of sculpture. Post-internet sculpture?

The Norwegian Sculptor Society provides no information about the exhibition, but I am either way very excited to be updated on Freuchens vivid artistic practice.

 

Maria Pasenau
“Pasenau and the Devil”
Fotogalleriet 31.08-12.10

The future looks bright for the 25-year-old Norwegian photographer Maria Pasenau. She pretty much slapped the system in the face as she sold six of her works to the Norwegian National Museum earlier this year, after never having been accepted to the academy. But great success does not end there. On August 30th she opens her first solo show at the leading venue for contemporary photography in Oslo, Fotogalleriet. So let us say it has been a pretty good year for the young photographer.

The exhibition will undoubtedly be a blast as there is nothing timid about Pasenaus work. There is menstrual blood, pubic hair, spit, bruises and glossy objects of consumer culture. Nothing is too intimate to show.

I often find myself both in shock and in respect of the shamelessness, portraying herself and her friends in all kinds of unflattering positions, with or without clothes. At least they are unflattering according to the beauty standards of today. But they do not exist in the work of Maria Pasenau. It is liberating, but it also allows the viewer to feel how incorporated these standards are in our heads and bodies.

I am sure that the exhibition will push the comfort zone of even the most liberal mind, but I am also sure that the exhibition will be one that people will talk about for years to come. So be sure not to miss it.

 

Høstutstillingen/ The National Annual Autumn Exhibition

Kunstnernes Hus 07.09 – 13.10

Even as the participants of this year’s National Annual Autumn Exhibition has not yet been made official, it is already definitely a must-see. The exhibition has existed for over 130 years and is probably the most important annual art exhibition in Norway. It is like a month-long celebration of new, Norwegian art.

Anyone can apply, whether an artist or plumber or housewife and a jury consisting of six professional artists put together an exhibition in agreement. With so little criteria, the jury sure has a lot of options. This year they received the total amount of 2344 applications and have ended up with 74 of them. 74, still anonymous, participants.

This year’s jury is the same as last year, and last year the overall theme seemed to be nature. Will they continue on this path, or will it be a completely different approach this year? No matter what the answer is, it is, in general, a very variated exhibition that embraces a lot of different mediums and techniques. A little something for everybody.

 

Anders Holen, Marthe Ramm Fortun & Hans Borchgrevink Hansen

Kunstnerforbundet 19.09 – 20.10

Anders Holen proved himself to be both extraordinary creative and technically skilled with his contribution to the exhibition “Sun and Spring in January” at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Contemporary Art earlier this year. His twisted, realistic, white plaster sculptures depicted figures from adventures and art history, known and unknown, with contemporary objects such as USB cables, braces and lighters. It was chaos yet so tidy. It was classic yet contemporary. It was familiar yet foreign.

In September Holen’s work can be seen in the beautiful exhibition space of Kunstnerforbundet, together with his artist colleagues Marthe Ramm Fortun (a performance artist), and Hans Borchgrevink Hansen (a wall-based artist). Their different mediums could result in a complex exhibition, that will be confronting, full of imagination and quite pleasurable to watch. Worth a visit.