Archive for the ‘Art projects’ Category

Norse mythology inspires Magne’s latest project

At work in his art studio in Asker

Magne recently opened two solo exhibitions in the Ålesund area on June 13th; Extra Super Plus at Khåk Kunsthall in Ålesund and Völuspá in the visitors center at Alnes Fyr.

Völuspá is believed to be the world’s longest graphic print, with a length of 25 meters. It’s inspired by the famous 10th century poem of the same name from the Poetic Edda, and in particular the first English translation of it from the 1800s. Here is a picture of Magne in front of Völuspá.

“I’ve visited Alnes before, and have dreamt of hanging such an image on this particular wall since I first came here. You may call it Corona-madness, the idea of creating such a large continuous graphic print from one roll of paper. It took five printmakers five days to make it, followed by a month of drying. I am very pleased to see it up on the wall now. An entire roll of this paper is 90 meters long, so perhaps that will be the ambition for my next project”, Magne told newspaper Sunnmørsposten (paywall) with a laugh.

Details from Völuspá

“These are two seperate exhibitions, but there is a dialogue between them. The exhibition at Khåk has been carefully planned, and includes a selection of works that I’ve been working on for the last one and a half years, and during the entire corona period. It’s a large exhibition and the most important for me this summer. The exhibition at Alnes is inspired by me binge-watching Vikings and a fascination for the tales in old norse literature, combined with the fact that this area carries a lot of history from that era”, Magne says.

Extra Super Plus includes a selection of oil paintings, woodcut monotypes, ceramic works and a smaller, 4-meter version of Völuspá. It will remain open until August 15th. An online exhibition catalogue is available here. The main version of Völuspá at Alnes Fyr can be seen until August 8th.

The day before, June 11th, another Furuholmen exhibition opened as part of the Petter Dass literature festival in Alstahaug. A video of the opening, with Magne joining via videolink (at 18:50), has been posted on Vimeo.

There is also a new video about Magne’s printmaking process, posted by Queen Sonja Print Award, which can be seen on Facebook.

And another summer exhibition of his art will be held at Galleri Sagesund in Tvedestrand from 18 July – 8 August.

Magne to take part in literature festivals

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In connection with the Norwegian Festival of Literature, Magne will hold a retrospective solo exhibition called “Monologue” at Galleri Zink in Lillehammer from 25 May – 13 June.

As this year’s festival artist Magne has chosen a selection of sculptures, paintings and graphic prints that have been influenced by literature.

Ahead of the opening, Magne will join musician Morten Qvenild for an artist talk with Marte Spurkland at Verdensteateret in Lillehammer, on 25 May from 16:00 to 16:50.

“Magne Furuholmen and Morten Qvenild have previously worked together on music projects, now they meet again to talk about how they relate to literature and its influence on their artistic work”, the festival website says.

Tickets for the event are available from litteraturfestival.no, along with digital festival passes which will presumably give access to a live video stream.


Then, from 11 – 13 June, Magne will be this year’s festival artist during the biennial Petter Dass literature festival in Alstahaug. This was supposed to happen last year, but was postponed due to Covid.

The exhibition is held at the main building of the Petter Dass Museum and the opening will be streamed online at petterdass.no on 11 June from 18:30.


Recently Magne has also been busy creating custom artwork for the restaurant Schlägergården, located at Lilleaker in Oslo, which is set to reopen with renowned chef Björn Svensson as the new owner once the Covid-restrictions are lifted.

“I’ve really studied the history of this place, and my artwork will contain stories and symbols that are connected to it. It’s a great place and with Björn as the chef I think it will attract people from a wide area”, Magne told local newspaper Akersposten last week.

Magne and Queen Sonja open new exhibitions

Queen Sonja and Magne, 27 August 2020
(Screenshot from NRK)

Magne and Queen Sonja were at the Soli Brug Gallery yesterday, for a press preview of two new exhibitions that are opening today.

This time they are not exhibiting together, as in 2016, instead they each present a new solo exhibition. Magne’s is called Ornament, while the Queen’s is called Utsnitt. In total there are around 150 new pieces.

Magne has been an artistic mentor for Queen Sonja for a number of years now, and their joint projects have brought them to Denmark, Sweden and the USA. Last month they were on a trip to Northern Norway.

“We have travelled around together, and it’s really fun and inspiring for me to listen to him”, the Queen told the press yesterday.

“And it’s inspiring for me to see that it’s possible to have this level of energy when you’re past your fifties”, Magne (57) jokingly told the Queen (83).

“I was surprised to see how many new works she’s made, including a number of excellent graphic prints. So it’s great to see that she is continually coming up with new and interesting things.”

The Queen commends Magne on the new colourful works he’s got on display:

“I’m familiar with parts of Magne’s production, but this time I’ve noticed new and interesting details, including more use of colours. That’s something we’ve discussed, because he’s been more focused on a darker pallette.”

“The truth is rather that I used colours more sparsely when the Queen and I worked together in the past”, Magne replied. “Her use of colours has inspired me.”

See a selection of photos from the exhibitions on Soli Brug’s Facebook page here and here. The exhibitions are open from 28 August – 20 September.

Links:
Aftenposten: Dronningen og Magne Furuholmen inspirerer hverandre – åpner utstillinger sammen
NRK TV: Dronningen og Furuholmen stiller ut på Soli Brug

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 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’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 presents new exhibition and art book with Queen Sonja

Magne and Queen Sonja in front of one of the prints they have made together

Magne and Queen Sonja in front of one of the prints they have made together

Magne was in Bergen last weekend, to present a joint exhibition with Her Majesty Queen Sonja. The two of them have been collaborating on a new series of prints over the last year and a half, which has resulted in an exhibition called Texture.

Their work on Texture started in New York in April 2015, when they did three days of experimenting at the Universal Limited Art Editions workshop on Long Island.

“The Queen and I met about thirteen years ago at one of my exhibitions”, Magne said in an interview with Scandinavian Traveler last month. “I found her curiosity inspiring. She is dedicated in ways I rarely see in others, with an elastic and inquisitive mind. It was her curiosity that formed the basis of our artistic relationship.”

“Her personality and dedication to printmaking has allowed me to relate to her as a colleague and not as a queen. When we collaborated on prints, there was never any need to establish a set of roles. At the same time she wanted me to give her honest feedback”, Magne told A-magasinet on Friday, which featured a 12-page article about the project.

As well as opening the exhibition, they could present a brand new coffe-table book about their artistic collaboration called Grafikkens vinger. The Norwegian edition of the book, which features text by Lars Saabye Christensen, can be ordered from bokkilden.no. The book will also be released internationally.

The Texture exhibition is on display at Grieghallen in Bergen until 3 September, and can later be seen in several other cities:

– Galleri Ismene, Trondheim (23 September–23 October 2016)
– The Paul Stolper Gallery, London (27 September–23 October 2016)
– Ålesund Kunstforening, Ålesund (5 November–4 December 2016)
– Bodø Kunstforening, Bodø (9 March–2 April 2017)
– Gulden Kunstverk, Steinberg (22 April–14 May 2017)

Video clips:
Working on Texture – official video
Vestlandsrevyen – from the opening in Bergen (starts at 8 minutes)

Articles:
NRK Hordaland     Bergens Tidende     Dagbladet
Aftenposten     Budstikka     Kongehuset.no     TV2/Kongebloggen
Paris Match     A-magasinet (subscribers only)

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