Curated by Karin Hellandsjø, Director Emeritus of the Henie Onstad Art Centre, "Cutting Edges: Nordic Concrete Art from the Erling Neby Collection" presents over 30 key works from major artists in painting, drawing, and sculpture.
A practice that was developed before and after World War II, and devised to avoid ambiguity in the word ‘abstract,’ concrete art is characterized by combinations of simple geometric elements to create autonomous visual realities. First used in 1929 by Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian, internationally recognized artists such as Victor Vasarely, Max Bill, Burgoyne Diller, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Josef Albers became exponents of the practice, which attracted the attention of Nordic artists visiting the Geometric and Concrete art scene centered around the Galerie Denise René in Paris.
Much like their contemporaries in the U.S. and Paris, these Nordic artists became interested in creating concrete and non-objective artworks both social and universal, using pure form and color based on mathematical principles, in line with a new utopian vision. International exhibitions of concrete art also travelled to the Nordic capitals in the early years, leading to a dynamic, influential interaction with art centers in Europe and the Americas that has since continued up until this day.
Artists in this exhibition include Olle Bærtling, Lars Erik Falk and Lars Englund (Sweden); Richard Mortensen and Robert Jacobsen (Denmark); Kristján Guðmundsson (Iceland); Gunnar S. Gundersen, Arne Malmedal, Kristin Nordhøy, Aase Texmon Rygh and Bjørn Ransve (Norway); and Lars-Gunnar Nordström, Sam Vanni, Paul Osipow and Matti Kujasalo (Finland). Works by these artists are distinguished by their use of bright colours and geometric edges.
Cutting Edges will open on October 12, 2019. It will be accompanied by a range of programming, including related art workshops for children.