Between 1988 and 2003, when The Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo existed as an independent institution, it acquired the largest collection of Arte Povera works in the Nordic region. Karin Hellandsjø, Senoir Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art during this period, describes how the commitment to Arte Povera was in line with the museum’s strategies to manifest itself as a relevant institution for contemporary art.
The most important work shown at Michelangelo Pistoletto’s solo exhibition in Oslo in 1986 was the Venere degli stracci (Venus of the Rags) from 1967, which consists of a statue of a female nude and a pile of rags. The article takes a closer look at this iconic Arte Povera sculpture, discussing its relationship to classical and neo-classical representations of Venus, and considering its status as a recycled work.
Luciano Fabro's marble sculpture Il Nido was made for Artscape Nordland in 1994. The sculpture is, after the artist's wishes, located far off the beaten track - on the unpopulated island of Vedøya in Lofoten. This article will discuss the background to the artist’s choice of placing the sculpture in an almost inaccessible location. This choice is discussed in relation to Land Art, Fabro’s other works, and his many artistic statements about identity, creativity, experience and about the relationship between art and nature.
Nature is a recurring motif and material in Giuseppe Penone’s oeuvre. This article discusses how Penone’s way of experimenting with the relationship between artistic intentionality and the processuality of natural materials reflects the desire in contemporary posthuman theory to renounce the modern hierarchy between human and non-human entities. Reading Penone’s practice in light of posthuman theory demonstrates how his approach to nature challenges the established comprehension of ‘art as representation’ and the connotations imbedded in the concept of an ‘artwork’.
Art made around 1970 is often said to disregard the pictorial by centring on found objects or conceptual strategies. By focusing on the recurrent motif of minimalization and impoverishment in the art of this period instead of its ‘new forms’ and ‘strategies’, another, less hostile relationship to the pictorial occur. Focusing on the images that paradoxically arise in ‘poor’ or withdrawn art can further change our understanding of the renewed interest in images in late 20th century academia. Rather than an academic ‘project’ regarding our methodological approach to visual phenomena, the ‘pictorial turn’ could be described as an effort to promote the idea of ‘natural images’ over the idea of Art as a primary, if not exclusive, image source.