Artist’s Book Exhibition in Hagan “From A to Z – Artists’ Books in Würth Collection”
Time: 3-7 July 2022
Location: Oslo, Norway
Journey No. 111
In the internet I found wonderful exhibition of an artist’s book in Norway. In Norway, from where I started my travels abroad, after the collapse of the soviet union. In 1991, three years after I graduated the Vilnius Art Institute, I was invited to participate in Lithuanian art exhibition “Myter og Legender” in Bergen, dedicated for the “Day of Restoration of the State of Lithuania” (February 16th, 1918). My first trip from Vilnius through moscow to Oslo and Bergen…
The exhibition “From A to Z – Artists’ Books in Würth Collection” near Oslo, in Hagan, intrigued me because it presents original artist’s books from the beginning of the 20th century, like “Almanach – Der Blaue Reiter” 1912, and some new artist books, like Sabine Hoffmann. An artist Sabine Hoffmann several times participated in our International Artist’s Book Triennials. In 2000 she with her husband arrived in Vilnius for installing her beautiful wall artist’s book and for the opening of the 2nd International Artist’s Book Triennial Vilnius 2000.
So, I decided to visit Oslo again after 31 years, and to see the classical artist’s books in reality. But I had to wait till the new Museum of Edvard Munch and new National Museum will be opened in Oslo.
In July, with the help of Erasmus, we went to Oslo.
On the 4th of July we visited the artist’s book exhibition “From A to Z – Artists’ Books in Würth Collection” in Hagan, near Oslo. It is a beautiful and modern Gallery in the nature near Oslo. Collection has wonderful artist’s books of such artist’s book creators like: A.R. Penck, André Masson, André Breton, Benjamin Péret, Eduardo Chillida, Franz Marc, Franz Ringel, Félix Labisse, Günter Grass, Günther Uecker, HAP Grieshaber, Hans Arp, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Herman de Vries, Hermann Hesse, Jean-Paul Sartre, Klaus Zylla, Markus Lüpertz, Max Liebermann, Maximilian Barck, Pablo Picasso, Paul Éluard, Robert Desnos, Sabine Hoffmann, Salvador Dalí, Sophie Tauber-Arp, Thomas Bernhard, Victor Brauner, Wassily Kandinsky, Wilhelm Beuerman, Yvan Goll.
The Gallery Würth present also Dieter Roth. He is a great but not very well known artist. And it’s a shame, because he’s just an amazing artist who has influenced so many artists. German-born Swiss artist Dieter Roth (1930-1998), best known for his artist’s books, prints, sculptures, and works made of found materials, including rotting food stuffs. He was a pioneer of contemporary artist’s book.
On the 5th of July we visited The National Museum in Oslo. “The museum offers a range of exhibitions showing Norwegian and international art”. The Museum has maybe the best paintings of Edvard Much like “The Scream” 1893, “Madonna” 1894, “The Girls on the Bridge” 1901, “Self-Portrait with the Spanish Flu” 1919 and other. “The Scream” is very good art work, which original is very sensitive and absolutely different from what we know from the internet, where it looks very commercial.
6th of July. The last Museum in Oslo for us was the museum “Munch”. What we can say about this Museum… It had to be the symbol of Norwegian art, representing Norway’s most famous artist – Edvard Munch. But, the museum is poor in architecture both inside and out, where you don’t want to return. Who designed this hopeless structure? Who cares. Bad things have no authors. From outside is like soviet building “decorated” with asbestos slate, from inside like a cheap supermarket with small illogical spaces.
But near museum “Munch” stands a wonderful Oslo Opera House (Norwegian Opera & Ballet) built in 2007. “This was precisely the intention of the firm of architects behind this iconic design, Snøhetta, which wanted to make the roof a platform accessible to all and in so doing create a new public space in the centre of Oslo. A parallel wish was to create a new landscape that would draw together the natural beauty of Oslo Fjord and the city.” It is really public space where are many people, I would say many happy people. Fantastic building. The building attracts all people with its simplicity and beauty. The Opera House is beautiful both as a whole, like a huge white iceberg, and in every detail, be it a bench in a corner, a door handle or the entrance to the toilet. Everything is thought out, everything in one style. This is Architecture.
And how not to remember another amazing architectural masterpiece, where architecture becomes a sculpture in a space “Research and diagnostic center” in Lisbon, created by architects: Charles Correa & Charles Correa Associates.
In Oslo we visited a famous Norwegian writer and the expert on the artist’s book – PhD Vilborg Stubseid Hovet. We had many discussions on an artist’s book, art and life. She wrote books on illustrations in a book and on an artist’s books. In 2018 Mrs. Vilborg Stubseid Hovet was on the opening of the 8th International Artist’s Book Triennial in Vilnius, where again we had many discussions on the linguistic aspects of an artist’s book title and what the artist’s book actually is.
Prof. Kestutis Vasiliunas
© Dieter Roth Estate Courtesy Hauser & Würth
© Gallery Würth
© Photos: Kestutis Vasiliunas
© Artist’s Book Creators 2022