An hour and a half by car outside Oslo, there is a museum and gallery called Kistefos. It was originally a wood pulp mill, but has now been turned into a place for art and sculptures along with the museum for the old industry. They are famous for their sculpture garden, and has over 40 sculptures by significant contemporary artists.The river Randselva runs through the area, and this fall they opened a new and spectacular art gallery that would serve as a bridge across the river as well as a gallery. It was opened by Queen Sonja of Norway on the 19th of September. The crownprince of Denmark was also there, because the architect was from Denmark. I was so lucky as to visit the place the following Saturday. And it was a great experience. People say that this museum and gallery now moves from regional to national and also to international, because the opening drew a lot of foreign journalists. And it is no wonder, it is truly spectacular. I will share with you some of the pictures I took. The weather could not have been better, it was sunny and warm.
Inside and out
When we came in to the gallery, there was an awe from everybody. It was so very different from anything else in the gallery world. Everything is white, everything is made of wood. Even the floor, and that is a good thing for feet and backs. The lines, the light and the nature outside makes this quite unique. But some of thee walls are not straight up, naturally, so there will be a challenge hanging pictures.
The first the guide showed us were the toilets. The architect had said that a spectacular gallery also must have spectacular toilets. And it was! First we walked down to the river, and somebody watching us from outside? The toilets were special with projected pictures on the wall to our surprise. But I forgot to take a picture of it.
The Twist opens with two artists. The main artist is Howard Hodgkin. And he is the artist the owner and founder of this gallery started to collect. Several of the artworks are in his possession. Hodgkin unfortunately died two years ago, and he was a very private artist. His trademark is that he always needs more space than the canvas offers, so therefore he paints on the frame. I have always liked his paintings, maybe because of this very strong and clear colours. I actually had an article about him in Kunst for Alle many years back.
The other artist, Martin Creed, is one of very few contemporary artist that Hodgkin admired. Why? Creed’s work encompasses theatre, dance, film and music, alongside more traditional fields of painting and sculpture. He makes art that looks as if it does not mean anything. For instance does he wear many hats on top of each other, chairs are put on top of each other, cactus in a row, a lamp in front of a window, etc. A few strange paintings, a simpel drawing, neon light words to mention something.
While we were there some performance artists danced to the paintings and did piano playing, not a musical piece, but just tones. Yes, it was a happening.
Here are a few of Martin Creed’s works:
The sculpture park
After having visited the Twist, the area around the museum is inviting and a joy to wander around in. The many sculptures are interesting, inspiring and stunning. Especially the fountain that is like a labyrinth with lots of mirror pillars. It makes so many fascinating angles and expressions, especially when the sun shines. The sculpture is called Path of silence by the artist Jeppe Hein.
I will close this report from Kistefos and the Twist with a few other sculptures from the park.
The first is called River Man, by the artist group A. Kassen. This is a piece of work created by physics, chemistry and nature. To create this piece, liquid bronze was poured directly into the river. As thee bronze hit the water, it immediately set, creating unexpected and abstract shapes formed by the conditions of the river.
Then we have the sculpture Bent Mind by Tony Cragg. This is a stunning piece that changes its shape as you walk around it. But you will see strange faces from many sides.
The last picture is of Octopus by Bjarne Melgaard. It was made for an exhibition at the Astrup Fearnly Museum in 1998 and was then part of a larger installation.
I really hope you get a chance to visit Kistefos and The Twist. It is truly worth the trip!
When the fall comes, my painting courses start. And I am glad to have students both in the advanced and the beginner category . It really gives me a lot of pleasure to convey some of what I have learned through the years and through my art practise. I will finish this blogpost with a photo of thee final stage of the piece I posted last time. Please help me with the title!
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