Oslo has a gained a new canal, a new beach and a new sculpture park with the relocation of the Astrup Fearnley Museum to Tjuvholmen in a magnifiscent new building, an architectural masterpiece, designed by Renzo Piano in co-operation with Narud-Stokke-Wiig. It is his first building in Scandinavia and it is quite a signature he has left in Oslo. Located by the fjord the building, all 3 actually, has the shape of a boat and is made of wood with glass roofs that looks like sails. We are fortunate enough to see the distinctive roofs from our kitchen window and hence excited to visit at the earliest opportunity – the opening for the public on last Saturday.
My husband did a smart move and became a art club member the evening before, to secure our quick entry and we were surprised to find the queue so short just before the opening hours. But then we are used to queuing for popular London exhibitions and timed tickets. So we were probably one of the few that thought it was a lot less busy than we had imagined. Apparently Renzo Piano was eagerly awaiting people’s reaction and hiding out of sight to observe. I am sorry to say that I did not spot him only the museum’s talented Islandic director Gunnar B. Kvaran showing our newly appointed minister of culture, Hadia Tajik, around.
The museum is privately owned and is one of the most important collection of contemporary art in Oslo. It has impressive masterpieces by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koon, Cindy Sherman, Bjarne Melgaard and Tracy Emin among others. The current exhibition “To Be With Art Is All We Ask” a title that sums up the museum’s passion and purpose, according to the director. I recommend you visit to study the captivating art, the building that seems to move with its surroundings giving you numerous new vistas through the building parts and windows, and last but not least; the location. For more info and stunning photos see their website afmuseet.