Posts Tagged ‘magne furuholmen’

Magne talks new exhibition and solo album

Magne in front of one of his artworks at Notodden

Magne was at Notodden yesterday, where members of the press had been invited to see a preview of his new exhibition IGNIS which opens this Saturday, 1 June.

The exhibition is held at Telemarksgalleriet, a gallery situated in a converted industrial hall from the early 1900s.

“This is my first solo exhibition here, and it’s really exciting to have my art on display in a room like this – an industrial cathedral – with such a fascinating inner structure. It affects how we install the exhibition”, Magne told newspaper Varden (paywall).

Exhibition poster

IGNIS features a variety of new graphic prints and ceramic sculptures, including an expansion of the chess-theme he’s been exploring in the last couple of years. A large dadaistic chessboard has 32 randomly placed sculptures – or chess pieces – where each one represents a city around the world.

Magne says he’s been inspired by chess world champion Magnus Carlsen.

“I have, like everyone else, been following Magnus Carlsen. That’s made him become a part of my works, except on this chessboard it’s impossible to understand the rules and who has the upper hand. After all, chess is a game where the pieces fight for positioning, conquest and domination. I have given the pieces city names, and the sculptures have been influenced by my own personal associations with those cities.”

Among the sculptures are “Moscow”, “Los Angeles”, “Aleppo” and “Berlin”, which could be interpreted politically, but Magne insists that the audience make their own associations when viewing them.

“I want my exhibitions to be an exercise for the brain. But perhaps the main thing about this exhibition is the large number of works that haven’t been on display before”, Magne says.

He was also asked briefly about his upcoming Christmas album White Xmas Lies, which was recorded earlier this year and is scheduled to be released in December.

“Yeah, I’m preparing a Christmas album – a grim and miserable Christmas with Magne Furuholmen”, he says with a grin.

“It will be an alternative to all the polished Christmas albums that are being released.”

There was also an NRK TV report about the exhibition, which is available here.

IGNIS can be seen at Telemarksgalleriet from 1 June – 1 September.

Magne will also be exhibiting at Rana Kunstforening in Mo i Rana this summer, from 20 June – 20 August.

Magne steps down as chairman for Bergen International Festival

Magne was announced as chairman in February 2016

Magne has decided to step down as chairman for Festspillene i Bergen (Bergen International Festival) later this year, Bergens Tidende reports.

Three years ago, the Norwegian Ministry of Culture appointed him chairman for the period 2016 – 2019.

Although he was recently asked to continue for another three-year period, Magne has decided not to continue because other projects – including a-ha – will take up much of his time going forward.

“It was very flattering being asked to continue as chairman, but it’s true that I won’t be running for re-election for the next period”, Magne tells Bergens Tidende.

There was some initial criticism when Magne first got the position, but that has since largely dissipated.

“The work I’ve done as chairman should be up to others to consider, but I feel we have managed to successfully work our way through a period that started out quite turbulently – and we’re delighted that there’s a positive development and increasing enthusiasm for the festival in general”, Magne says.

Bergens Tidende mentions that the success of “Take On Me” being used in a number of big Hollywood movies over the last few years, means that it’s in the cards that a-ha will be shifting their focus to the USA in 2020.

According to a recent Dagbladet article, the upcoming Hunting High and Low Tour has been extended into a world tour, and a-ha will be doing various legs of the tour throughout next year, up until Christmas 2020.

Magne working on new solo album

Left to right: Thomas Vincent Furuholmen, Even Ormestad, Morten Qvenild, Tor Einar Jensen, Bjarne Stensli and Magne F. (See large version on Karl Oluf’s Instagram)

Magne has been up in the mountains at Norefjell this past week, to work on what seems to be a new solo album. Norefjell is an area where he owns two cabins, and it looks like he may have converted one of them into a recording studio.

He was joined by the whole a-ha backing band from last year’s Electric Summer tour, including the string trio, the only difference being that Ingvild Nesdal Sandnes played the cello instead of Tove Margrethe Erikstad. Magne’s son Thomas Vincent was also there, along with Magne’s ever-present assistant Tor Einar Jensen.

“It’s new Magne F Music. Really good songs!”, Karl Oluf Wennerberg said in an Instagram comment.

According to a Facebook post by catering firm Food Occasion, which delivered food to the recording session, Magne’s solo album will be released sometime in 2020.

Sound engineer Bjarne Stensli was also part of the recording session. He is the former drummer of Harrys Gym, whose original debut album was co-produced by Magne at Kensaltown back in 2006/07 (that version of the album ended up being shelved, as the band re-recorded the whole album themselves).

Several pictures from the recording session at Norefjell have been posted on Instagram by Karl Oluf Wennerberg, Madeleine Ossum and Emilie Heldal Lidsheim.

Magne in 55pluss magazine

Magazine cover

Magne is on the cover of the latest issue of 55pluss, a Norwegian magazine for – you guessed it – people over the age of 55.

Inside there is an 8-page interview about his art career, in which he talks about past projects such as “Payne’s Gray” and “Climax”, as well as new series of artworks including “Stigma” (woodcuts), “Spina” (etchings) and “Queen vs Queen” (sculptures).

The interview was done before the opening of his solo exhibition of new works at Bærum Kunstforening on 3 May this year.

A shortened version of the same interview has previously been published by the online art magazine PLNTY.

This summer, in between a-ha concerts, Magne held three further solo exhibitions around Norway:

23 June – 5 August: “Sorgenfrei”, Galleri Jennestad, Sortland
16 August – 16 September: “Stigma”, Galleri Ismene, Trondheim
19 August – 16 September: “Icon”, Haugesund Billedgalleri, Haugesund

Magne Furuholmen appointed honorary doctor at the University of Agder

Now also an honorary doctor

In connection with its 10th anniversary, the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway, has appointed Magne Furuholmen as one of five new honorary doctors. The recipients are given the honorary doctorates for their “significant scientific or artistic efforts”.

An article on the university website states:

“Magne Furuholmen is one of Norway’s most recognized and versatile artists. He is an innovative and genre-defying artist, and a person that both our staff members and students are inspired by.

With his large international and national network, his wide experience and artistic qualities within several fields of art, he will be a valuable asset for both the University of Agder and our Faculty of Fine Arts.”

When collaborating with the university, Magne will probably be working closely with Karl Oluf Wennerberg, who – in addition to being the drummer for Magne, Apparatjik and a-ha – is an Associate Professor at the Department of Popular Music.

The five honorary doctors will attend the University of Agder’s 10th anniversary celebration at Kilden concert house in Kristiansand on 28 November.

Magne has previously been a guest professor at the The College of Fine Arts in Shanghai, China and is an honorary mentor at the Gutenberg Academy in Germany. He has also hosted workshops at the Hanoi University of Fine Art in Vietnam, at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Germany and at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art in Norway.

In other news, Magne and Queen Sonja were in Aarhus, Denmark on Thursday this week, for the opening of another of their joint Texture exhibitions.

The exhibition at Galerie MøllerWitt in Aarhus received quite a bit of coverage in the Danish press, and here are some links:

DR: Dronning Sonja udstiller med norsk popstjerne
Horsens Folkeblad: Dronningen og popkongen åbnede udstilling i Aarhus
Jyllands-Posten: Norges dronning i fælles kunstprojekt med popmusiker
Lokalavisen Aarhus: Dronningen og A-ha-stjerne viser kunst i Aarhus
Århus Stiftstidende: Rift om Dronning Sonjas kunst
Kongehuset.no: “Texture” i Århus

Magne’s new book ‘Imprints’

Book cover

Magne’s new art book Imprints will be published here in Norway tomorrow, October 4th. The publisher Forlaget Press has posted a picture of him holding the book on Facebook.

The 368-page lavishly illustrated coffee table book documents the process of creating the “Imprints” sculpture park at Fornebuporten and includes around 60 of the poems that formed the basis of the text fragments punched into the various sculptures, presented here in their original form for the first time. The book is priced at 799 kr (£75).

Some info from the publisher:

“Oslo’s Fornebuporten business and residential district boasts its own sculpture park, Imprints, featuring ceramic works by the Norwegian artist and musician Magne Furuholmen.

Furuholmen has created totemic sculptures of glazed and unglazed ceramic on an incredible scale – the largest is taller than 19 feet high – and arranged them around the site, placing some in freestanding positions and installing some in granite pools. Playing with and against the sleek modern architecture of the surrounding Fornebuporten complex, the artist chose self-consciously archaic forms (like amphorae, columns and sarcophagi) and traditional materials and techniques in developing “Imprints.” The sculptures are covered with words, letters and shapes punched or pushed directly into the material surfaces. Imprints documents this amazing project.”

Next Thursday, 12 October, there will be a Norwegian launch of Magne’s collection of limited edition carpets for Urban Fabric Rugs at Expo Nova in Oslo, where he’ll also present the new Imprints book.

The book will probably also be available at his upcoming sales exhibition Literary Constructs at Nes Kulturhus in Årnes later this month, from 21 October – 28 October.

Magne designs pink ribbon pin for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Magne wearing his pink ribbon design pin

This year Magne was asked by the Norwegian Cancer Society to create a design pin based on the international pink ribbon symbol, in connection with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. He follows Norwegian artists such as Nico Widerberg and Camilla Prytz, who have also made pink ribbon design pins in recent years.

Magne’s design pin

“I wanted to somehow remove it from the dolled up and feminine and create something that young guys and old men like me would also like to wear. It felt natural to base it on the woodcut technique, as it has an inherent roughness to it. Since I work a lot with letters and text, that was my starting point. And then I realized that the ‘f’ at the end of my signature is in some ways a ribbon. Only upside down”, Magne says in a new video clip about his design pin.

Magne’s design pin can be purchased from the Norwegian Cancer Society’s web shop (only ships within Norway). The price is 100 kroner, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research. The pin is also for sale at Lindex, Mester Grønn, Vitus Apotek and Kid Interiør. Magne has also recorded a radio ad in connection with this year’s campaign.

“Texture” opening in Bodø

“It’s great to be back in Bodø”, Magne told NRK

Magne was in Bodø last Thursday, March 9th, for the opening of another exhibition of his Texture collaboration with HM Queen Sonja. This is the fifth out of six planned Texture exhibitions in Norway and the UK.

“It’s fun for me to see this exhibition [in Bodø], as it includes some works that haven’t been shown before. Particularly the monotypes, unique prints that we have made together with double signatures, are quite special”, Magne told the audience at the opening in Bodø Kunstforening.

“Some of these works were made in New York, some at my atelier in Asker, some at the Queen’s atelier at Mågerø, some in Helsingborg and some were made in Copenhagen.”

A gallery of pictures from the opening has been posted on Bodø Kunstforening’s Facebook page, along with two video clips of Magne speaking (Video 1 / Video 2).

Press reports from the opening include an article at bodonu.no and a short clip on NRK Nordland‘s local TV news.

The following day Magne made a visit to Kjerringøy near Bodø.

The final stop on the Texture exhibition tour is at Gulden Kunstverk in Steinberg, where it opens on 29 April.

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Sadly, this weekend also brought news that the poet Henning Kramer Dahl passed away on 7 March from heart failure, at the age of 54. He was part of a-ha’s inner circle and knew the band members from early on.

In 1986 Kramer Dahl wrote the book Så Blåser Det På Jorden together with Håkon Harket, which chronicled the beginnings of Bridges and a-ha in the late 70s and early 80s. He would later collaborate with Magne on a number of projects, including Blåtoneboulevardene (1997), Stjerneskutt (2004) and In Transit (2013).

He also co-wrote the song “East-Timor” for Morten’s Wild Seed album in 1995.

Magne, Håkon Harket, Lasse Kolsrud and Fredrik Skavlan have written an obituary about Kramer Dahl in Aftenposten. “We have lost a very special person, an important presence in our lives, and the world has lost a distinctive poetic voice and an extraordinary intellect”, they write in the obituary.

Magne interviewed in Krigsropet

Cover of Krigsropet, #9/2017

Magne is on the cover of this week’s issue of Krigsropet, which is the Salvation Army’s magazine in Norway. Inside there’s a 6-page interview with him about his Imprints sculpture park at Fornebu near Oslo, which opened in June last year.

(Update: The full interview is now also available online.)

The park is comprised of around 50 ceramic elements, including the world’s biggest jars, with many of them incorporating Magne’s own poetry.

“Using those poems is somewhat risky, as they are of a personal, private character. In my way of writing there’s an inherent melancholy. That’s the case with a-ha as well. We look at melancholy as a force, a longing, something that liberates you from something heavy”, Magne tells Krigsropet.

The interviewer mentions how people have pointed out that his writings are often influenced by religion and theology.

“Wondering and searching for meaning is closely related to faith. Shifting between doubt and faith is a necessary principle to embody a message. I have done a lot of reading and I use things from my own upbringing and culture. As a visual artist I visit the churches in every city I go to, to get inspiration. There isn’t much difference between sitting in an atelier or a chapel, transported away from all outside noise. In concentration I find silence. The church room opens the door to contemplation, it creates a room for thought. But I’m more into asking the right questions than finding the right answers. Faith and doubt is something you’re always thinking about”, Magne says.

From Krigsropet, #9/2017

The interview also mentions that new features have been added to the sculpture park in recent months, in the form of clouds of steam that suddenly appear, to make the sculptures appear as living and breathing entities.

“This isn’t a park that shows itself off, instead it’s hiding. Sometimes we have to walk around and search for things. It’s a journey of discovery, and I hope it triggers a sense of wonder.”

As always, Magne is busy with a variety of different projects. In January he spent a week in Denmark with HM Queen Sonja, continuing their collaborative work on graphic prints. Their joint exhibition Texture will continue its tour at Bodø Kunstforening in Bodø (9 March – 2 April) and Gulden Kunstverk in Steinberg (29 April – 21 May).

And this summer he will hold a solo exhibition at Galleri G Guddal in Rosendal (1 July – 20 August).

Magne appears on new Janove Ottesen album

Janove Ottesen and Magne in Bergen, May 2016.
(Posted by Ottesen on Instagram)

Kaizers Orchestra vocalist Janove Ottesen released his second solo album Artisten & Marlene in Norway on 10 February.

According to a review of the album in newspaper Fædrelandsvennen (for subscribers only), Magne makes a guest appearance on one of the songs:

“[The song] ‘I Natt Blir Du Fri’ includes some very a-ha sounding synths, played by none other than Magne Furuholmen.”

The album was recorded at Duper Studio in Bergen last year.

Ottesen posted a picture of himself and Magne on Instagram last year, in connection with the a-ha concert in Bergen in May. He also attended Apparatjik’s Day of the Dead performance the following month.

The 15-track Artisten & Marlene album is available on CD, double vinyl and digitally.

In other news, Magne appeared at the Stockholm Furniture Fair on Friday, to present his new “Imprints” limited edition rug collection. See some pictures from the furniture fair here and here.

For more info on the rug collection, check out a new interview with Magne by Architectural Digest.

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