I Missed Great Exhibits in Norway this Summer

A blockbuster summer at breakneck speed: I can hardly believe how much has occurred in the past three months. And yet, I wish I had planned a Norway trip. I missed out on three fabulous tapestry exhibits.

Jan Groth. Course and Volume. Stavanger Art Museum, May 6-September 4, 2022. Groth was an important contemporary Norwegian artist who died in March of this year. From the exhibit description: “Although Groth is most well-known for his monumental tapestries with a white line on a brown-black ground, in later years his lines took the form of monumental wall drawings and free-standing sculptures. In the exhibition Course and Volume, we present four new wall drawings created specifically for the rooms in the museum, a selection of key tapestries and sculptures, and drawings and archival material.” I’ve seen Groth’s tapestries in Bergen and Minneapolis, but I would have enjoyed seeing this comprehensive exhibit.

Jan Groth, “Sign.” Owned by MIA, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Photo: Robbie LaFleur. I wrote this post about it in 2018.

Synnøve Anker Aurdal. Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo. May 21-September 4, 2022. I look forward to getting the book that the museum will be releasing in connection with the exhibit. Anker Aural was grounded in a deep knowledge of Norwegian weaving. During her career from the 1940s through the late 1990s, her work was increasingly abstract and modernist. Of those I’ve seen personally, my favorite tapestry is Enda flere byråkrater [Even More Bureaucrats]. It has clever and colorful geometry and a message. Look at the variation in the abstraction of the neckties–subtle, cool. I’m sure I would find more favorite tapestries if I could get to Norway in the next week to see the show.

Synnøve Anker Aurdal. Even More Beaucrats, 1993.

Unweaving the binary code – Hannah Ryggen Triennale. Trondheim Art Museum. March 25-August 7, 2022. I missed the show, but Christine Novotny was able to attend and wrote this wonderful review for the Norwegian Textile Letter: Anti-Monument: The 2022 Hannah Ryggen Triennial.

Hannah Ryggen, “Prodigal Son.” Photo: Christine Novotny

And the new Nasjonalmuseet building opened this summer! It will be fun to see the Baldishol Tapestry in a place of honor in the first gallery. There is a well-crafted virtual tour of the museum on YouTube. Here is a clip of the area with tapestries of Hannah Ryggen.

Screen shot from the museum’s virtual tour.

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