Oslo’s art scene has been getting a much-needed facelift with the opening of independent galleries and a brand new art neighbourhood in the making. We stopped by the studio of big-time art rebel and writer Matias Faldbakken to find out what he gains from living in the city.
Kunsthall Oslo opened in late 2011 in the city’s new Barcode area and shares a space with the art-book store Torpedo. “Our remit is to present the best of Norwegian and international contemporary art,” says artistic director Will Bradley (pictured, far left). “We have a core audience drawn from the Oslo art scene but because of the range of our programme we have a far more diverse audience than most contemporary art spaces – in Norway, anyhow.”
Key artists and exhibits the space has featured so far include TheMoen (a self-taught graphic artist and Norway’s answer to Robert Crumb) and a Norwegian art and feminism exhibition. “Not only a great show but also one of the most visited exhibitions we have had so far,” says Bradley of the latter.
An indisputable must-see in the city, Standard Oslo is among the key ventures that have laid the foundations for the rising independent art scene in the capital. Run by Eivind Furnesvik, the space represents local and international artists including Matias Faldbakken (see left), American painter Tauba Auerbach and the late Austrian artist Franz West (pictured: West’s installation “Untitled, 2009”).
VI,VII (pronounced Sixes and Sevens) opened last August to support young artists. “We base our shows around what we deem to be the most interesting tendencies to us at the moment,” says director Esperanza Rosales (pictured, on right). To date the space has hosted solo exhibitions by American James Hoff and Norwegian Lars Laumann.