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Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo opens September 29

Norway’s most important contemporary art museum, the new 90 million Euros Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo, designed by Renzo Piano, will open to the public on 29 September 2012.

Astrup Fearnley Museet Photo: Nic Lehoux

The new museum is already being hailed as one of the outstanding new museums worldwide. Located on a landmark site on the edge of the fjord and divided into two halves separated by water, the museum is a spectacular architectural addition to the waterfront, constructed out of wood with a dramatic double curved glass roof.

One building houses the museum’s permanent collection and the other will house temporary exhibitions, a café and shop. In addition, the museum has its own bathing beach and Sculpture Park stretching along the shores of the fjord. Renzo Piano has also designed a viewing tower to provide magnificent views across Oslo.

The museum covers an area of 7,000 sq m on the headland of the new waterfront district of Tjuvholmen, and is surrounded by many new galleries, restaurants and a hotel.

The museum is launched with To Be With Art Is All We Ask, an exhibition of selected works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection by some of the world’s most innovative contemporary artists. The sail-form roof that characterizes the new building conditions the shape of the display rooms, creating a sequence of spaces of various sizes and heights that challenge the works of art and influence the layout of the exhibition. Walking through the galleries the visitor will be aware of a continuous interference between the art objects or installations and the architecture, emphasizing their flowing multi-semantic nature. The exhibition has a chronological layout, a mise-en-scene that not only contextualizes the works, but allows the spectator to compare and evaluate the differences and similarities between what each of the artists was doing at the same moment in time. It also confirms a phenomenon that was not present in other historical periods and is unique to the art of our time: despite the fact that the world continues to be made up of diverse cultural zones, international contemporary art has a universal language.

Astrup Fearnley Museet is a privately owned contemporary art museum, founded in Oslo in 1993 to house and display the Astrup Fearnley Collection, Norway’s most important contemporary art collection, dating back to the 1960s. The museum is funded by two philanthropic foundations established by descendents of the Fearnley shipping family. The Collection includes works of Norwegian and International Contemporary Art, and focuses on individual works and artists including major works by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Olafur Eliasson, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Cai Guo-Qiang among many others.

Renzo Piano is one of the world’s leading architects, best known for his work with Richard Rogers on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, as well as the Beyeler Museum in Basel and the extension of the Morgan Library, New York. His iconic new building in London, the Shard, has already become one of the city’s best-known landmarks.

Astrup Fearnley Museet
Strandpromenaden 2
0252 Oslo, Norway

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