During our three days in Oslo, it was apparent that the Norwegians have a great passion for stimulating art. In previous posts I highlighted the fabulous artwork in our hotel, The Thief, and the incredible Vigeland sculptures in Frogner Park. But there is exciting art everywhere – in galleries and in public spaces.
The Thief is located in the Tjuvholmen area of the city, which is home to the new Astrup Fearnley Museum, a work of art in itself designed by Renzo Piano, renowned architect also responsible for a number of contemporary buildings such as The Shard, the Pompidou Centre (with Richard Rogers) and the Morgan Library in New York.
Free to Oslo Pass holders, the gallery contains some stunning works by Damien Hirst including the famous cow and calf in formaldehyde work, Mother and Child (Divided). There are pieces by Francis Bacon, David Hockney and Jeff Koons. While we were there they had a contemporary exhibition, Biography, by duo Elmgreen & Dragset: challenging installations such as a huge swimming pool with a body floating in the middle (his shoes remaining on the side). Their work continued into the cloakrooms: let’s hope no-one tried to use the urinals in there…
Elsewhere in the city art pops up everywhere – unusual sculptures on the street or in the water.
Here are some of my favourite examples:
|Motorbikes transformed into art.
Known locally as ‘Rudolph the chrome nosed reindeer’
|‘She Lies’ by Monica Bonvicini, a 12m x17m steel and glass structure floating in Oslo harbour|
|‘Titi’ by Jeff Koons|
|‘He’ by duo Elmgreen & Dragset.
A partner for the Little Mermaid? He sits looking out of the window
onto the waters of the fjord.
|‘Moonrise.east.november’ by Ugo Rondinone