January 24 through April 6, 2013
3rd Floor Galleries, free admission
The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) and Gallery TAIK present New Wave Finland: Contemporary Photography from the Helsinki School, an exhibition featuring the work of young photographers and video artists from Finland’s distinguished Helsinki School. Established in 1995, the Helsinki School comprises selected alumni and faculty from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (formerly the University of Art and Design, Helsinki) and is internationally recognized for its innovative approach to photography and inspiring roster of artists. Co-curated by Timothy Persons, curator of Gallery TAIK, and ASF consulting curator Pari Stave, the exhibition brings together over 40 recent works by nine of the School’s early to mid-career artists, of both emerging and international caliber: Pasi Autio, Joakim Eskildsen, Tiina Itkonen, Hannu Karjalainen, Kalle Kataila, Anni Leppälä, Niko Luoma, Riitta Päiväläinen, and Mikko Sinervo.
Considered one of the premier photography schools in the world, the Helsinki School is not defined by a specific discipline, nationality, or geographic region. Rather, it represents an approach – an innovative way of thinking that has evolved out of a process of teaching at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Here the camera is simultaneously a conceptual tool and thinking eye; each generation of artists is encouraged to reinvent itself and push the boundaries of the photographic process.
The Helsinki School is similarly distinguished by a collective spirit and support that goes beyond the studio to include an exclusive built-in, permanent exhibition space in Berlin – Gallery TAIK. The gallery is led by founder and curator, Timothy Persons, who is also Director of Professional Studies and a Senior Lecturer at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Helsinki School artists – now numbering in the 40s – are introduced to the international community through Gallery TAIK, as well as a rigorous process of promotion and publication.
The nine artists exhibited in New Wave Finland illustrate the diversity of the School’s distinctive artistic and pedagogical approach. Curator Persons elaborates: “What distinguishes the Helsinki School artists is their ability to use the photographic process as a conceptual tool. Collectively, their ideas are as varied as their raw materials, yet all seemly share a fascination with the passage of time through the measurement of light and self-reflection. The shared dialogue between students, teachers, and alumni has formed the foundation for an open environment that has produced four volumes of the Helsinki School books and over 60 individual publications worldwide. Aalto University's School of Arts, Design and Architecture is committed to finding new innovative approaches to address education in the future. The Helsinki School is a good example of how an educational model became an international standard by encouraging its students to close their eyes to see.”
Pasi Autio (b. 1974, Vaasa, Finland): In his video works, Pasi Autio explores the connections between conscious and unconscious thought — specifically, the complex network of conscious and involuntary functions that make simple human activities—like walking—possible, and yet at the same time difficult to fully understand. Autio graduated with a BA in Photography in 2000 from the Institute of Design, Lahti Polytechnic. In 2007 he received an MA in photography from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Autio has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Finland, Sweden, Germany, and France. The artist lives and works in Helsinki.
Joakim Eskildsen (b. 1971, Copenhagen, Denmark): Primarily interested in exploring the visual poetry of identity and place, Eskildsen’s work is painterly and intimate – a thoughtful survey of the six different homes his family has lived in over the last six years. After serving as an apprentice in 1992 for the Royal Court photographer Rigmor Mydtskov, he moved to Finland in 1994 to study the craft of photographic book-making under Pentti Sammallahti at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Eskildsen earned his MA from the institution in 1998. His publications include Nordic Signs (1995), Bluetide (1997),iChickenMoon (1999), which was awarded Best Foreign Title of 2000 in the Photo-Eye Books & Prints Annual Awards, the portfolioal-Madina (2002), made in collaboration with Kristoffer Albrecht and Pentti Sammallahti, and the highly-regarded book The Roma Journeys (2007). Eskildsen currently lives and works in Berlin.
Tiina Itkonen (b. 1968, Helsinki, Finland): Chosen as the Young Photographer of the Year in Finland in 2003, Itkonen began her photographic studies in 1992 at the Turku School of Art and Communication and received her MA in 2002 from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Itkonen first traveled to Greenland in 1995 for her studies; the empty and tranquil beauty of Greenland and its icebergs, rather than the island’s remote exoticism, informs and dominates her work. She has had numerous solo exhibitions both in Finland and abroad. Itkonen’s works reside in numerous permanent collections around the world, including the Statoil Art Collection in Norway, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, DZ-Bank Collection in Frankfurt, and the Finnish Museum of Photography. The artist lives and works in Helsinki.
Hannu Karjalainen (b. 1978, Haapavesi, Finland): An interdisciplinary artist whose concept of film and photography intersects and intertwines, Karjalainen makes video and visual art, with a marked influence by the cinema. In his recent work, Karjalainen explores the ways in which color is coded and branded, particularly for commercial purposes. By de-contextualizing colors from their respective brands, he uses them and their attached meanings as tools to investigate the world. He has participated in numerous video screenings, festivals, and group exhibitions since 2001 in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Karjalainen graduated with an MA from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2005. He lives and works in Helsinki.
Kalle Kataila (b. 1978, Helsinki, Finland): Kataila’s work is based around concepts of landscape, awareness, and personal stories. His photographs, contemporary illustrations of the sublime, call to mind 19th-century Romantic landscapes: solitary, melancholy subjects stand in awe of nature’s spectacle. In 2010 he received his MA in Photography the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Kataila has exhibited with artists from the Helsinki School at the National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen (2011), Daegu Biennale (2010), École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (2008), and the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki (2007). His works are in permanent collections at the Helsinki Art Museum and the Finnish State Art Collection, as well as in several private and corporate collections in Europe and the United States. The artist lives and works in Helsinki.
Anni Leppälä (b. 1981, Helsinki, Finland): Anni Leppälä’s photography exists in a realm of contradictions and metaphors, where dream-like narratives toy with ideas of memory, nostalgia, and the intersection of the momentary and the constant. There is a child-like nature about her work – executed through traditional forms of photography like portraiture, landscape, and interiors – with currents of symbolism running throughout. Leppälä graduated from Turku Arts Academy/Polytechnic in 2004 and continued her MA studies at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. From 2001 onwards, she has participated in various group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. In 2010 Leppälä was named Finland’s Young Artist of the Year and consequently held a solo exhibition at the Tampere Art Museum. Her work is found in numerous collections in Finland, France, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. The artist lives and works in Helsinki.
Niko Luoma (b. 1970, Helsinki, Finland): Primarily interested in light and its movement, Niko Luoma’s work focuses on energy and is about the process as much as it is about the result. He combines mathematics and geometry, symmetry and chaos – both found in nature. Over the past ten years, Luoma has repeatedly found new ways to manipulate and challenge the photographic process: his use of multiple exposures – sometimes numbering in the thousands – layered on single negatives creates a map of time and chance. In essence, he “draws” with light. He studied photography at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, the SMFA School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the New England School of Photography, Boston. The artist has participated in numerous group exhibitions, as well as held solo exhibitions. In 2003 Luoma started teaching photography at the University of Art and Design, Helsinki (renamed Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2012) and lives and works in Helsinki.
Riitta Päiväläinen (b. 1969, Maaninka, Finland): Päiväläinen creates site-specific photographic sculptures using discarded clothes from second-hand shops and flea markets. The old garments carry silent, unknown stories that are brought to life by the landscape, subtly distinguishing between absence and presence, memory and personal history. She lives and works in Helsinki.
Mikko Sinervo (b. 1981, Helsinki, Finland): Sinervo takes as his starting point the optical term “afterimage” – the visual apparition generated by the overstimulated eye. In his works, saturated, pulsating bodies of color read as a visual metaphor for the persistence and changeability of memory. In 2010 Sinervo received his MA in photography from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Since 2004 he has participated in numerous exhibitions throughout Europe and the U.S. His works are part of the Colleción Olor Visual, Barcelona and the Kouri Collection, New York, as well as selection of private collections. Sinervo is included in the catalogue Edge of Vision – The Rise of Abstraction in Photography (Aperture Foundation, 2009). Earlier in 2012 he was nominated for the Victor Fellowship Award. Sinervo lives and works in Helsinki.
Gallery TAIK was established in 1995 in Helsinki, Finland. It is the primary gallery for those selected artists who now make up what is known as the Helsinki School. Gallery TAIK has grown into one of the leading photographic galleries in northern Europe with its permanent exhibition space situated in Berlin’s Mitte since 2003.
Gallery TAIK regularly participates in several international art fairs and actively works with publishing houses in creating books and touring museum exhibitions for its primary artists.
Its creator and director Timothy Persons is also a senior curator for the Kulturhuset in Stockholm and the Danish National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen.
New Wave Finland Audio Tour
Use your cell phone to learn more about New Wave Finland! Hear co-curator Timothy Persons, curator of Gallery TAIK, share his thoughts on a work by each artist and guide you through this vibrant exhibition.
Call 212.514.0013 to begin the free audio tour (no cost except your minutes).
Making the Familiar Strange
Join art educators from Pratt Institute for new art workshops inspired by the exhibition New Wave Finland: Contemporary Photography from the Helsinki School.
Inspired by Helsinki School artists’ approach to photography, kids focus on new ways of looking at subjects using materials like graphite, cameras, and scissors.
The Shimmer of Possibility:
Lyle Rexer, professor at the School of Visual Arts and author of The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography (2009), discusses the Helsinki School’s contribution to the expanded field of contemporary photography.
On the Helsinki School
New Wave Finland co-curator Timothy Persons leads Helsinki School artists Anni Leppälä and Saana Wang in a conversation on their photographic processes, the Helsinki School, and new currents in international contemporary photography.
New Wave Finland: Contemporary Photography from the Helsinki School is organized by The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) and Gallery TAIK and made possible by the generous support of The FRAME Foundation, the Consulate General of Finland in New York, and Aili and Austin Flint. Additional support for the exhibition comes from The Bonnier Family Fund for Contemporary Art; The F. Donald Kenney Fund for the Visual Arts; and The Elle Leppälä Kronquist from Kuru, Finland, and William Kronquist from Narpes, Finland, and Dr. Laura Kronquist Mesaros Memorial Endowment Fund of The American-Scandinavian Foundation. Finnair Cargo has generously provided additional assistance with shipping.
- New Wave Finland Press Release (PDF)
- New Wave Finland Programs Release (PDF)
- New Wave Finland Fact Sheet (PDF)
- New Wave Finland Image Sheet (PDF)
Monday, February 27 through Saturday, April 7, 2012
Exhibition Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 am – 8 pm; Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm,
Victor Borge Hall Lobby
The year 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the Nordic Council Literature Prize, the highest honor awarded for a work of fiction produced in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as well as Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Åland Islands, and Sami language areas. A beacon of cooperation between the Nordic countries, the prize is awarded annually to a novel, play or collection of poetry, short stories or essays that meets high literary and artistic standards. The exhibition profiles prize winners of the past 50 years—including Tomas Tranströmer, Per Petterson, Naja Marie Aidt, Sjón, Jan Kjærstad, and Sofi Oksanen—accompanied by editions of their work.
Organized by the Nordic Council.
The exhibition opens in conjunction with Northern Influences: Americans Look at Great Nordic Writers. See also LECTURES & LITERARY PROGRAMS section.
Tuesday, March 13 through Saturday, March 24, 2012
Hours: Tuesday, March 13 – Sunday, March 18, 12-6 pm &
Tuesday, March 20 – Saturday, March 24, 12-6 pm
3rd Floor Galleries, Free admission
In recognition of the centenary of the birth of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish Institute and The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) present: To me there’s no other choice – Raoul Wallenberg 1912-2012, an exhibition about the rescuer of tens of thousands of Jews, on display in New York on March 13-24.
Armed only with his bravery and moral courage, the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. Throughout 2012 – the centenary of Raoul Wallenberg’s birth – the exhibition To me there’s no other choice - Raoul Wallenberg 1912-2012 will travel all over the world. March 13 to 24, it will be presented at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America in New York. In conjunction with the Holocaust Remembrance Day, the exhibition will also be on view at House of Sweden in Washington DC on April 19-30.
About the Exhibition
To me there’s no other choice is created as a journey to tell the story of a man whose choices in life made him an immortal icon. The exhibition features three distinct stages: Raoul Wallenberg’s childhood, his heroic efforts during the final stages of World War II and lastly, a meeting with some of the people whose fate was decided by Raoul Wallenberg. Today, these survivors are old and among the last of their generation able to recall one of the darkest chapters in the history of humankind. The exhibition is a platform for dialogue on issues about tolerance, democracy and personal courage. It will have arrived from Budapest, where his heroic deeds took place and where the exhibit was first launched, and will travel around the world during the course of the year to locations including Washington DC, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Toronto, and Ottawa.
About Raoul Wallenberg
A diplomat and businessman, Wallenberg was appointed second secretary of the Swedish diplomatic mission in Budapest in June 1944. His assignment was to launch a rescue operation for Jews. By issuing protective Swedish passports and renting buildings, “Swedish houses,” where Jews could seek shelter, and by personal interventions repeatedly risking his life he saved tens of thousands of lives.
Few Swedes have received as much international acclaim and attention as Raoul Wallenberg. In 1981, he became the second after Winston Churchill to become an honorary citizen of the U.S.
To me there’s no other choice - Raoul Wallenberg 1912-2012 has been produced by the Swedish Institute on behalf of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and in collaboration with the Living History Forum. The exhibition is jointly presented in New York by the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the ASF.
Thursday, March 29 through Saturday, July 28, 2012
3rd Floor Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 pm
(Starting June 14: Thursdays until 7 pm)
The American-Scandinavian Foundation celebrates the 100th anniversary of its Fellowship program with an exhibition featuring the work of three recent grant recipients -- Stephen Hilyard, Simen Johan, and Lydia Anne McCarthy – who have emerged as innovators in the field of contemporary landscape photography. The exhibition offers a unique look at hybrid photographs where disparate and sometimes dissonant images are woven together to create new, hypothetical landscapes.
The exhibition explores the ways in which the photographers access, engage, and even exploit unique elements of Nordic terrain and climate for expressive effect. Through various techniques of photographic manipulation, the artists construct landscapes at once familiar and alien, natural and artificial, ultimately calling into question perceptions of reality and artifice.
The photographs, taken from discrete series of work originating out of the respective artists’ ASF Fellowship experiences, underscore the importance of international study to the arts. The ASF Fellowship Program is the Foundation’s longest-standing commitment to cultural and educational exchange and, over the last 100 years, has awarded over 5,500 fellowships and grants to Americans and Scandinavians.
Exhibitions of Contemporary Art at Scandinavia House are made possible by the generous support of The F. Donald Kenney Fund for the Visual Arts and The Bonnier Family Fund for Contemporary Art.
W.G. Collingwood & Einar Falur Ingólfsson
September 29, 2012 through January 12, 2013
From Mt. Helgafell, June 14, 1897, 1897
Watercolor, 20 x 28 cm.
The National Museum of Iceland.
From Mt. Helgafell (27.06.2009), 2009
C-print, 32 x 38 cm.
Courtesy of the artist.
In Vatnsdalur Valley, July 18, 1897, 1897
Watercolor, 14.5 x 19.5 cm
The National Museum of Iceland.
In Vatnsdalur Valley (03.08.2008), 2008
C-print, 100 x 125 cm
Collection of Listasafn Reykjavíkur/Reykjavík Art Museum.
Close to Vellankatla in Thingvellir, August 10, 1897, 1897
Watercolor, 19 x 27.5 cm
The National Museum of Iceland.
Hrafnagjá in Thingvellir National Park (11.08.2009), 2009
C-print, 32 x 38 cm
Courtesy of the artist.
Hlíðarendi in Fljótshlíd, August 4, 1897, 1897
The National Museum of Iceland.
Hlíðarendi in Fljótshlíd (15.07.2009), 2009
C-print, 32 x 38 cm
Courtesy of the artist.
The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) announces a unique exhibition tracking the great, medieval narratives of Iceland – known collectively as the Íslendingasögur, or the Sagas of Icelanders – through the 19th century watercolors of British artist W.G. Collingwood and the personal, documentary photographs of renowned Icelandic artist Einar Falur Ingólfsson. The first of its kind in the United States, the exhibition explores the inimitable visual dialogue forged between Collingwood and Ingólfsson – working over a century apart – and highlights the significance of the sagas within Iceland’s literary heritage and their enduring cultural inspiration.
Saga-Sites comprises more than 60 original watercolors and contemporary photographs, all drawn from the artists’ respective journeys to the legendary sites of the sagas – Collingwood’s in 1897 and Ingólfsson’s 110 years later, using Collingwood’s travels as a “guide.” The exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view the physical environs of these captivating narratives set in the Viking Age, revisited and reinterpreted centuries later.
Read The New Yorker review (published November 10, 2012) of the exhibition.
Saga-Sites Mobile Audio Tour
Use your cell phone to hear excerpts of selected sagas from the exhibition read aloud by critically-acclaimed Icelandic actor Thorvaldur David Kristjansson. Call 212.514.0013 to begin the FREE audio tour (no cost except your minutes).
Discovering Iceland through Art and Story
Saturday, September 29, 2-4 pm
Free, ages 6-10
Early registration is strongly encouraged
Join art educators from Pratt Institute in a unique series of Saturday afternoon workshops inspired by the landscape and medieval tales of Iceland. Kids will “visit” Iceland through stories, watercolors, and photographs from the Saga-Sites exhibition and make a visual record of their journey in drawings, paintings, and sculptures.
Saga-Sites Kickoff Workshop
Celebrate Saga-Sites’ opening with a tour led by artist Einar Falur Ingólfsson, artist-teacher Christan Moy, and Pratt Institute Professor Amy Brook Snider. Children will focus on the exhibition’s volcanoes with “research notebooks” for sketching. From the sketches 3D models will be assembled to form an Icelandic volcanic mountain range.
In Search of First Contact: The Vikings of Vinland
The Vinland sagas are the earliest known narratives of first contact between Europeans and the Native peoples of North America, and are a crucial archive of both Nordic and Native American history. Award-winning American Studies scholar Annette Kolodny rereads the sagas through the eyes of both the native peoples of Vinland and the Norse colonists.
Some of New York’s most famous storytellers bring to life exciting tales of mythical creatures and fantastic adventures from Scandinavia and the far North.
H.C. Andersen Storytellers Artistic Director: Diane Wolkstein. Saturday Morning Storytelling at Scandinavia House is made possible by support from DeWitt Stern Group, Inc.
Note: Updated program time
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley considers The Sagas of Icelanders through the eyes of a contemporary writer and reflects on their relevance for 21st century readers. Smiley is the author of The Greenlanders and contributed the preface to the recent Penguin Classics edition of The Sagas of Icelanders.
Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths
Join award-winning author and former ASF Fellow Nancy Marie Brown in the 3rd Floor Galleries for a talk about her newest book, a richly textured narrative that brings to life the intrigue and power struggles in medieval Reykjavík that Icelandic bard Snorri Sturluson inhabited.
The Saga-Sites of Iceland
The short documentary Memories of Old Awake looks at how the medieval Icelandic saga Gísla saga Súrssonar still resonates in the Icelandic landscape in which this dramatic story is set, 1,000 years after the events described in the saga are said to have taken place. Gísla saga was one of 30 sagas that scholar Emily Lethbridge read “in situ” across Iceland over the course of 2011.
Gudrun of Laxdæla’s Saga
Some of New York’s most famous storytellers bring to life exciting tales of mythical creatures and fantastic adventures from Scandinavia and the far North.
H.C. Andersen Storytellers Artistic Director: Diane Wolkstein. Saturday Morning Storytelling at Scandinavia House is made possible by support from DeWitt Stern Group, Inc.
Images, left to right: W.G. Collingwood, From Mt. Helgafell, June 14, 1897, 1897. Watercolor, 20 x 28 cm. National Museum of Iceland; Einar Falur Ingólfsson, From Mt. Helgafell (27.06.2009), 2009. C-print, 32 x 38 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
Saga-Sites is presented by The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) and organized by The National Museum of Iceland. The exhibition was curated by Thorbjörg Gunnardóttir. A fully illustrated catalogue, published in Iceland by Crymogea, will accompany the exhibition.
The ASF gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Icelandair and the Consulate General of Iceland in New York in helping to make this exhibition possible. Additional support has been provided by Arion Bank; Eimskip; The Blue Lagoon; The Cobb Family Foundation/Hon. Charles E. Cobb, Jr.; Hrafnhildur and Kristján Tómas Ragnarsson, M.D.; Bjorn Thorbjarnarson, M.D; Magnús Gústafsson; and Elisha F. Lee.
North by New York: New Nordic Art
April 14, 2011 – August 19, 2011
North by New York: New Nordic Art, a focused survey of contemporary Scandinavian art, opened at Scandinavia House on April 14, 2011. Showcasing the work of fourteen artists, the exhibition is organized by The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF), New York City, and curated by internationally renowned scholar and critic Robert Storr, with art historian and independent curator Francesca Pietropaolo. North by New York features works by established leaders of contemporary Nordic art, such as Per Kirkeby and Cecilia Edefalk, as well as mid-career and emerging artists, including Marte Aas, Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson, Sara-Vide Ericson, Petri Sirviö and Mieskuoro Huutajat (Screaming Men’s Choir), Henrik Lund Jørgensen, Tal R, Gunnel Wåhlstrand, and Saana Wang, among others. All of the Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden—are represented.
Encompassing a wide range of media—including performance, video, and installation art, as well as painting, drawing, and photography—the exhibition reveals a multiplicity and complexity of content and form that undermines the widely held notion of a homogenous Scandinavian society. Indeed, the proliferation of new art by Scandinavian artists in recent years highlights the fact that the Nordic countries are today as pluralistic as any place in the world.
North by New York is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with an introductory essay by Robert Storr and Francesca Pietropaolo. Published by The American-Scandinavian Foundation, the catalogue ($25) will be available for purchase at The Shop @ Scandinavia House.
Organized by The American-Scandinavian Foundation, North by New York: New Nordic Art was made possible by support from William B. and Inger Gundersen Ginsberg; the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation; the ASF Centennial Fund; the Bonnier Family Fund for Contemporary Art; the Robert and Joyce Menschel Family Foundation; the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York; the Consulate General of Finland, New York; and the Consulate General of Sweden, New York.
Thursday, June 9 through Monday, June 13, 2011
Individual tickets: $10 ($7 ASF Members)
Film week pass: $100 ($75 ASF Members)
DocPoint, Helsinki's documentary film festival and the largest documentary film festival in the Nordic countries, celebrates its 10th birthday in 2011 and returns to New York with a comprehensive program of new Finnish films, as well as a cross section of films that cut through the past ten years of festival's history. The program also presents works of celebrated lifetime achievement award winners such as Pirjo Honkasalo and Markku Lehmuskallio. In addition to the screenings, discussions on topical subjects will be led by Finnish and American film makers.
Finnish Documentary Film Week takes place in various cinemas across New York. Scandinavia House joins in as a co-presenter and will host a series of screenings. Please visit www.docpoint.info/en for a complete schedule and more details.
Saturday, June 11, 7:30 pm
$10 ($7 ASF Members)
Dir. Mika Ronkainen (Finland, Denmark, 2003). A versatile artist in the field of unconventional music, Petri Sirviö directs the male choir Huutajat. The choir travels around the world shouting national anthems and children’s songs to diverse audiences. Choir leader Sirviö is powered by his twisted sense of humor.
The director, being a screaming man himself, gets very close to his subject. Amidst the on-tour adventures, the screamers also show us their soft side. Bathing in hot springs in Japan, the men agree that the world’s most attractive woman is "the one you have." Ronkainen translates into the language of film the humor from which the choir draws its life force. He takes the choir on an ice-breaker to the North Sea, where the men scream their repertoire into the silent nothingness. Like the choir it depicts, the film itself has toured around the world and received ovations from its audiences. The men's craziness, their famous Finnish sisu, and the rubber neckties they wear, have enchanted audiences everywhere. 76 min.
2 Saturdays: February 12 & March 5, 1 pm
Each $10 ($7 ASF Members), ages 4-10
Pre-registration is required
Attention budding designers and architects! Love to build? In this hands-on workshop educators from the Salvadori Center will lead you through a building project based on the exciting work on view in the Nordic Models + Common Ground: Art and Design Unfolded exhibition.
Mario Salvadori (1907-1977), a world-renowned structural engineer and Columbia University professor of engineering and architecture, founded the Salvadori Center in 1987. He believed that the built environment contains the essential knowledge that a person needs to be a life-long learner and an informed, active member of society. Salvadori students experiment with forces, build model bridges, map neighborhoods, and design future cities. Using the urban landscape of buildings, tunnels, and bridges, the Salvadori Center introduces children and adults alike to the wonder, beauty, and logic of architecture and engineering.
Architects and engineers find inspiration everywhere! From wiggly snakes to scaly fish, you can see how buildings reflect nature. Families will begin by looking at images of the 2010 Shanghai Expo Pavilion “Kirnu” by JKMM Architects and other buildings with scales and buildings that move and shimmer like fish in water. Working with a variety of building materials, kids will create their own scaly, wiggly, wonderful buildings.
Inspired by Atelier Oslo’s The Lantern, kids and parents will create their own design for a public space that utilizes structural elements. Families will begin by looking at the differences between designing public and private spaces and then move on to identifying shapes and patterns seen in The Lantern and other projects. Families will work with folded paper and other building materials to create models of their public spaces.
Tuesday, July 19, 6:30 pm
The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) presents a lecture by internationally renowned scholar and critic Robert Storr on North by New York: New Nordic Art, a focused survey of contemporary Scandinavian art.
Mr. Storr—curator of North by New York with independent scholar and curator Francesca Pietropaolo—will discuss the process of creating the exhibition and the ways in which it illuminates the extraordinary diversity of medium, content, and artistic vision that informs Scandinavian art today.
The exhibition will be open for viewing both before and after the talk. A cocktail reception on the terrace of Scandinavia House will follow, enabling conversation with Mr. Storr and ASF President Edward P. Gallagher.
Painter, critic, curator, and art historian Robert Storr has been Dean of the Yale School of Art since 2006. Prior to this he was professor of Modern Art at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and senior curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. At MoMA, Mr. Storr organized more than twenty exhibitions and was coordinator of Projects, the Museum’s exhibition series devoted to the work of contemporary artists. He was also director of the 2007 Venice Biennale. The author of numerous monographs and catalogues, Mr. Storr is a contributing editor at Art in America and writes frequently for art press, Frieze, Artforum, and other publications.
October 30 - November 2
Scandinavia House, Volvo Hall
Hours: 12:00 – 8:00 PM (Sunday Oct 30, 6:00 – 8:00 PM)
Experience Gotland, Sweden’s largest island, through its art and design at the Gotland Design Exhibition at Scandinavia House, which showcases artists and designers who all live and work on Gotland.
Gotland’s rare beauty and unique atmosphere have inspired painters, sculptors, and artisans since the late 19th century, and today Gotlandic artists are known for their work with materials typical of the island, such as wool, wood, limestone, and concrete.
The Gotland Design Exhibition brings together artists and designers who all live and work on Gotland. On display will be beautifully crafted installations inspired by the natural landscape and colors of Gotland.
Charlotte Karlsson Keramik
Fide Fajans / Ingela Karlsson
Lomakka / Barbro Lomakka
Slite Stenhuggeri / Kalkstensdesign Gotland
Viklau Krukmakeri / Ulla Ahlby
Visby Glasblåseri / Christer Mattson
More information: www.visitsweden.com/gotland
From October 30 through November 5, Gotland in New York, an exhibition and event series at Scandinavia House will celebrate and highlight the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Gotland, Sweden’s largest island. Gotland in New York is an initiative by The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York that partnered with Gotland and VisitSweden to create this event in connection with its Fourth Annual Green Summit in New York City.
Scandinavian Art Comes to America 1912
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 through Saturday, February 11, 2012
Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America, 1912, an international loan exhibition of paintings by Edvard Munch, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Anders Zorn, and other Scandinavian pioneers of modernism, opens October 25, 2011, at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America. The exhibition brings together 48 works by Nordic artists who embraced, and pioneered, the transformative aesthetic innovations that swept the European continent during late 19th- and early 20th-centuries. It remains on view through February 11, 2012.
Luminous Modernism looks back at the first exhibition organized by The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF), a 1912 survey of contemporary Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish painting that traveled to Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, and Toledo following its debut in New York City. The exhibition had an enormous impact in and beyond the cities to which it traveled. Reviewers used words like “radical” to describe the work it contained (it was the first U.S. presentation of Edvard Munch’s paintings); artists like Marsden Hartley were strongly affected by it; and in each of those four cities it drew some of the largest audiences of any art exhibition up to that time. Although it was eclipsed just two months after it closed by the arrival of the more radical Armory Show, the ASF-organized exhibition and its reception constitute a significant chapter in the history of art and culture in America.
Luminous Modernism, which features 20 of the same artists and eight of the same works presented in the 1912 exhibition, provides a rich picture of that earlier presentation and what visitors found so compelling about it. Moreover, the current exhibition has been expanded in scope to encompass all five Nordic countries, including Finland and Iceland, thereby illustrating the full range of artistic expression throughout the region during this period.
Edward P. Gallagher, President of The American-Scandinavian Foundation, states: "During the 100 years of its existence, the ASF has played a leadership role in promoting American awareness of Nordic culture. In looking back at the 1912 exhibition of Scandinavian modernists, we pay tribute to our founders’ vision and to a pivotal event in the study and appreciation of Nordic art in this country."
Luminous Modernism has been organized by the ASF in collaboration with an international team of scholars headed by Patricia G. Berman, Professor of Art History at Wellesley College and the University of Oslo. A leading specialist in early modern Scandinavian art, Dr. Berman is the author of numerous important scholarly publications in the field. She worked closely with the late Kirk Varnedoe on the memorable exhibition Northern Light: Realism and Symbolism in Scandinavian Painting, 1880–1910, which toured the United States in 1982–83.
Organized by nationality, Luminous Modernism includes work ranging from the visionary landscapes of Munch, Harald Sohlberg, and Akseli Gallen-Kallela, to the intimate domestic interiors of Hammershøi and Harriet Backer, to depictions of rural life by Carl Larsson and Lauritz Andersen Ring. On loan from more than 20 public and private collections in Europe and America, the works on view represent the wide range of styles, subject matter, and aesthetic aims embraced by Nordic artists as they sought to break away from the confines of academicism at the turn of the century. Inevitably, many were drawn to the innovations of Symbolist, Impressionist, and Neo-Impressionist art, which they often studied first-hand on prolonged stays in Paris. However, foreign influences were typically filtered through and transformed by the culture and rich artistic traditions of their homelands. The regional modernism of Scandinavia thus became a unique idiom within international developments in modern art.
Central to much of this regional modernism was a fascination with the qualities of Scandinavian light. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the work of the great Danish modernist Hammershøi, whose silent, sun-filled domestic scenes, such as Interior of Woman Placing Branches in Vase on Table (1900), look back to 17th-century Dutch painting but also anticipate 20th-century explorations of abstraction. In contrast to Hammershøi’s urban focus, Ring celebrates the land and life of rural Denmark. Harvest (1886), a radiant pastel of the artist’s brother scything, owes much to the French peasant scenes of Millet; while in Fjord near Karrebæksminde (1910), included in the original 1912 exhibition, Ring masterfully captures the vastness of Denmark’s coastal plains.
Paintings by the important Finnish Expressionist Gallen-Kallela include an evocative depiction of his wife watching a sunset from the Kuhmoniemi Bridge (1890). The daring palette of mauves and yellows, and the simplification of forms, recall the contemporary work of Munch, but without the disquieting psychological overtones.
Works by Ásgrímur Jónsson and Thórarinn Thorláksson, considered the founders of Icelandic landscape painting, concentrate on the distinctive light and rugged topography of their homeland. In Jónsson’s majestic Mt. Tindafjöll (1904), the glacial peaks of the famous natural landmark are dramatically illuminated by a breaking sky.
Norwegian Expressionist Munch, Scandinavia’s most celebrated modernist, is represented by three large-scale canvases. Two of these explore his favored themes of sexual awakening and nature as a vital force: In Girl Under an Apple Tree (1904), a primly dressed young girl stands before the writhing, intertwined branches of an apple tree—an obvious reference to the Garden of Eden. Munch’s Bathing Boys (1904–05) features a scene of nude adolescents on the beach, one of whom modestly tries to cover his nakedness.
As this exhibition makes clear, however, Munch was by no means the only Norwegian artist of talent and vision during this period. In fellow Expressionist Harald Sohlberg’s Flower Meadow in the North (1905), a seemingly endless carpet of white daisies glows surreally in the twilight. The liberating influence of international vanguard art on Norwegian painters can be seen as well in works such as Harriet Backer’s Woman Sewing (1890), with its vibrant color and bold brushwork, and Ludvig Karsten’s Matisse-inspired Still Life with a Hat. The latter, as well as Jean Heiberg’s Nude Woman (1912), which owes much to the palette and technique of Henri Matisse, and Henrik Lund’s Gauguinesque Portrait of Hans Jæger (1906), were all featured in the original 1912 exhibition.
Turn-of-the-century Sweden also boasted a vibrant, sophisticated, and varied artistic life. Zorn’s Ida by the Window (1908) exemplifies the exuberant yet precise brushwork that brought that artist international acclaim as a society portraitist and enabled him to begin his extensive career in the United States. Sweden’s landscape painters were particularly noted for their innovation and experimentation during this period. In Eugéne Jansson’s The Pier at Torekov (c.1896), for example, the moonlit forms of swirling clouds, sea, and land verge on pure abstraction. Works by Prince Eugen — son of King Oscar II of Sweden and a leader of the country’s artistic avant-garde — include After Rain (1904), in which fading twilight reduces nature to delicately patterned silhouettes. By contrast, Carl Larsson’s charming and richly detailed watercolor Now It’s Christmas Again (1907) typifies the happy scenes of domestic life, and the commitment to the Arts and Crafts movement, of one of Sweden’s most popular artists.
Luminous Modernism is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, published by The American-Scandinavian Foundation, with essays by Dr. Berman and other scholars of Scandinavian art, including Tomas Björk, Michelle Facos, Ina Johannesen, Colleen Ritzau Leth, Charlotte Linvald, Marit Ingeborg Lange,Thor Mednick, Janet Rauscher, and Øivind Storm-Bjerke.
Organized by The American-Scandinavian Foundation, Luminous Modernism was made possible by support from William and Inger Gundersen Ginsberg, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Centennial Fund of The American-Scandinavian Foundation, the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York, and the Consulate General of Denmark, New York.
September 28 through December 9, 2011
Wednesdays @ 6 pm & Fridays @ 6:30 pm
Saturday, October 22, 2011, 4 pm
Lecture by Dr. Kasper Monrad, Statens Museum for Kunst
Saturday, October 29, 2011, 2 pm
Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 6 pm
Lecture by Curator Dr. Patricia Berman
Thursday, November 17, 2011, 6:30 pm
A Conversation with Michelle Facos & David Werner
Thursday, January 12, 2012, 6:30 pm
Lecture by Janet Rauscher, Princeton University Art Museum
Thursday, January 19, 2012, 6:30 pm
Thursday, January 26, 2012, 6:30 pm
A Symposium on Early Modern Nordic Art
Saturday, February 11, 2012, 9 am – 5:30 pm (Registration opens at 8:30 am)
2 Saturdays: November 5, 2011 & January 14, 2012, 1-4 pm
ASF Members’ Luminous Modernism Opening Party
Saturday, October 22, Exhibition Preview 12-6 pm, Lecture 4 pm, Reception 4-6 pm
SNØHETTA: architecture – landscape – interior
February 4, 2010 – April 24, 2010
The innovative, award-winning, and environmentally conscious architectural firm, Snøhetta, is featured in a multi-faceted exhibition. SNØHETTA architecture – landscape – interior offers insight into the design and construction of the firm’s most important works, including the celebrated Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt, the recently completed Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, Norway, and the planned National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York. Organized and initially presented by the National Museum – Architecture in 2009, this exhibition includes films, photographs, drawings, models, and interactive learning devices.
Formed in 1989 in Oslo when three Norwegians, one Austrian, and one American won a competition to design Alexandria’s new library, Snøhetta is an international architectural and design firm with its main offices in both Oslo and New York. The Snøhetta team now consists of 120 internationally diverse staff collaborating to produce eco-friendly designs connecting culture and landscape. The firm’s philosophy sets a high standard for all of its projects to be socially conscious and sustainable. Its designs are characterized by a symbiotic relationship between context and landscape; they aim to achieve harmony between buildings and their surroundings, both cultural and environmental.
Among Snøhetta’s first completed projects, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was commissioned to resurrect the long-extinct library of Alexandria. The structure embodies the unique juncture of its location: nestled between the contemporary metropolis of Alexandria, its ancient Mediterranean harbor, and the vast Sahara Desert. Architects incorporated local and historical materials, from a hieroglyph-covered granite façade to papyrus in the reflecting pool. Its tilting, circular construction captures iconography that spans culture and continents. As the lines extend from earth to horizon to sky, they pull the visitors through past, present, and future; the physical design parallels the human experience of time, reminding visitors of the unique crossroads at which the Bibliotheca stands.
Since this initial project, the team has completed several other works projecting a similar vision of creating accessible designs integrating surrounding culture, climate, and ecosystems. This most notably includes the 2008 Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, which won the 2009 Mies van der Rohe Award—the European Union Prize for contemporary architecture. Upcoming projects include the King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture, Saudi Arabia, and the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion, New York City, along with a number of new projects in North and Central America from Canada to Guatemala.
The exhibition presents a comprehensive selection of Snøhetta’s innovative designs using various media including films, photographs, computer visualizations, drawings, models, and an interactive multi-touch table. Divided into eight units, the installation presents 11 of Snøhetta’s most important projects. Models of several Snøhetta designs will be on view, including the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Opera House in Oslo, the Ras Al-Khaimah Gateway Project, the King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture, and Tubaloon—Kongsberg Jazz Festival Band Shelter. Through these diverse means of demonstration, this installation provides a glimpse into the working methods and visions of the architects at Snøhetta, and a preview of some of their work to come.
Sponsored by the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, the publication of a comprehensive catalogue of Snøhetta’s designs, Snøhetta Works (Lars Muller Publishers, 2009) will be available for viewing and purchase at Scandinavia House in Volvo Hall.
Commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the exhibition is produced by Norway’s National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design in close collaboration with Snøhetta. Support for the exhibition has been provided by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York and Tova Borgnine. The curator is Eva Madshus, Senior Curator at the National Museum—Architecture in Oslo.
Read Ada Louise Huxtable’s recent review in the WSJ here.
Gallery Hours: Open Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 pm
Gallery Admission: FREE
SNØHETTA Related Programs
Conditions of Architecture & Current Works
Lecture by Craig Dykers
Tuesday, March 30, 7 pm
$10 ($8 ASF Members, FREE to Students with a valid ID)
A companion lecture to the exhibition SNØHETTA architecture – landscape – interior, Snøhetta co-founder Craig Dykers will present recent works from the Snøhetta office and discuss contemporary conditions in architectural practice that the firm is evaluating.
Dykers co-founded the architecture and design firm in 1989 – the same year the firm won the international competition to design the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. Snøhetta established a New York office in 2004, the year it was awarded the commission for the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center.
The international practice emphasizes site-specific and environmentally responsible design solutions that “enhance…qualities of place and create diverse and rich architectural experiences.” Featured in a multi-faceted exhibition at Scandinavia House on view through April 3, 2010, SNØHETTA architecture – landscape – interior offers insight into the design and construction of the firm’s most important works and includes films, photographs, drawings, models, and interactive learning devices.
Eco Chic – Towards Sustainable Swedish Fashion
May 4, 2010 – August 21, 2010 at Scandinavia House
Eco Chic – Towards Sustainable Swedish Fashion opened at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, May 5, 2010 and showcases Swedish fashion designers who take an environmentally-friendly and ethical approach to their work, without sacrificing style. On view through August 21, this exhibition illuminates high-fashion alternatives to much of today’s environmentally harmful clothing.
Proving that “going green” is more than a feel-good fad, Swedish designers collaborated to establish a culture of sustainable fashion. The fashion industry faces major challenges in both resources and labor, but designers featured in the Eco Chic exhibition strive to change the general attitude of fashion and consumption. They believe that sustainable development is not simply an empty phrase, and fashion is not just about appearance. This touring exhibition from The Swedish Institute (SI), which premiered in Belgrade in the winter of 2008, has visited major international cities including Minsk, Kiev, Riga, Istanbul, and most recently Berlin. The installation at Scandinavia House in New York marks the first American stop on this tour.
Sustainable clothing has typically been distinguishable by its appearance. Now, as Eco Chic illustrates, ethical fashion looks no different from conventionally produced clothing; it can be exciting and it is possible to construct high fashion garments with sustainable and ecological practices. What sets this kind of fashion apart is implicit in the values and attitudes of individual designers. The ecological and ethical production of clothing begins with the design of a garment, and continues right through to the finished product, including the transparency of fashion companies about their production processes and materials.
Eco Chic designers aspire to create a culture of principled design and production. Through this touring exhibition, they hope to inform consumers that fashion can be simultaneously stylish and sustainable.
Eco Chic—Towards Sustainable Swedish Fashion presents garments and footwear by various Swedish fashion designers. Designers featured in this exhibition include: Anja Hynynen (www.anjah.se); Bergman’s (www.bergmansweden.se); Camilla Norrback (www.camillanorrback.com); Dem Collective (www.demcollective.com); Johanna Hofring (www.johannahofring.com, www.ekovaruhuset.se); Julian Red (www.julianred.com); Nudie (www.nudiejeans.com); Pia Anjou (www.pianjou.com); Reflective Circle (www.reflectivecircle.com); Righteous Fashion (www.righteousfashion.se); Swedish Hasbeens (www.swedishhasbeens.com); and Zion (www.zionclothing.se).
This exhibition is commissioned and produced by The Swedish Institute. The curator and exhibition architect is Karin Gräns.
The Swedish Institute is a public agency that promotes interest in Sweden abroad. SI seeks to establish cooperation and lasting relations with other countries through strategic communication and cultural, educational, and scientific exchanges. SI works closely with Swedish embassies and consulates around the world. Please visit http://www.si.se/English/ for more information.
Support for this exhibition was provided by The Swedish Institute, and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York.
Gallery Hours: Open Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 pm
Gallery Admission: FREE
Free gallery admission is made possible by a generous grant provided by The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation
Symposium - Towards Sustainable Fashion
Directly followed by the Opening Party for Eco Chic in Volvo Hall
Tuesday, May 4, 6:30 pm, Victor Borge Hall
A symposium, in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit Eco Chic - Towards Sustainable Fashion, with fashion designers who take an environmentally-friendly and ethical approach to their work, without sacrificing style. The panel of speakers includes designers and fashion experts from Sweden and the United States - Marcus Bergman, Karin Stenmar, Sass Brown and Eviana Hartman, and is moderated by Dr. Hazel Clark, Dean of the School of Art and Design and Theory, Parsons: The New School for Design.
The symposium is followed by a party celebrating the opening of the exhibit Eco Chic - Towards Sustainable Fashion at Scandinavia House, with music by Markus Görsch (of Love is all) and Gary Olson (of Ladybug Transistor & Marlborough Farms) . The exhibit will remain open until 9:30 pm.
Nordic Models + Common Ground
The First in a Series of ASF Centennial Exhibitions
October 29, 2010 – March 16, 2011
The American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Scandinavia House presents Nordic Models + Common Ground: Art and Design Unfolded, an exhibition organized by Norsk Form in collaboration with The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF). The exhibition is curated by the internationally renowned architecture firm Snøhetta, which also designed the installation, in collaboration with Situ Studio. The first in a series of programs marking the ASF’s centennial, Nordic Models + Common Ground offers a visionary look at contemporary Nordic art and design, examining nascent trends and their impact on the global art and design communities. All of the Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden—are represented.
The exhibition examines architecture, product design, fine art, graphic design, fashion, and photography by thirty-five artists and designers. This diverse, boundary-crossing body of work demonstrates the many ways in which contemporary Nordic designers are embracing socially responsible design that reflects the egalitarianism inherent to their societies. Moreover, with projects ranging from a violin to textiles, from a public outdoor shelter to lamps made from dried codfish skin, the exhibition demonstrates not only functionality, craftsmanship, and the use of natural materials, but also humor, cultural commentary, and a focus on new technologies.
Use your cell phone to learn more about Nordic Models + Common Ground: Art and Design Unfolded! Hear Craig Dykers, Snøhetta co-founder, share his thoughts and guide you through this diverse, boundary-crossing exhibition.
Call 1.646.205.8057 to begin the FREE audio tour (no cost except your minutes)!
Individuals and Firms Represented
in the Exhibition:
BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) – architecture (firm)
Bureau Detour – design/art/urban design (firm/collective)
Jeppe Hein – sculpture and installation (individual)
Mathias Bengtsson – furniture design (individual)
Studio Louise Campbell – industrial design (individual)
Anne Kyrrö Quinn – industrial design (individual)
Anttinen Oiva Architects – architecture (firm)
David Salmela – architecture (individual)
Elina Brotherus – photography (individual)
Hollmén Reuter Sandman – architecture (firm)
JKMM Architects – architecture (firm)
NOW for Architecture & Urbanism Oy – architecture & urban design (firm)
bara Design/Bjargey Ingólfsdóttir – design (individual)
Fanney Antonsdóttir & Dögg Guðmundsdóttir – industrial design (individuals)
Hans Johansson – luthier (individual)
Katrin Ólina – graphic art and design (individual)
Landslag – landscape architecture (firm)
Studiobility/Guðrún Lilja Gunnlaugsdóttir – product and industrial design (firm)
Atelier Oslo – architecture (firm)
BC Barlindhaug – architecture (firm)
Daniel Rybakken – industrial design (individual)
Fantastic Norway AS – architecture (firm)
Helen and Hard – architecture (firm)
Jarmund-Vigsnæs AS – architecture (firm)
Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor AS – architecture (firm)
Jorunn Sannes – architecture (individual)
Liv Blåvarp – jewelry design (individual)
Marit Helen Akslen – fashion/textile design (individual)
May Bente Aronsen – artist (individual)
FORM US WITH LOVE – industrial design (firm)
Front – industrial design (firm)
Lars Tunbjörk – photography (individual)
Monica Förster – industrial design (individual)
Sandra Backlund – fashion design (individual)
Wingårdhs Design – architecture (firm)
Organized by The American-Scandinavian Foundation in collaboration with Norsk Form - The Foundation for Design and Architecture in Norway, Nordic Models + Common Ground was made possible by support from William B. and Inger Gundersen Ginsberg; The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation; the ASF Centennial Fund; the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York; the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Consulate General of Finland, New York; and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York.
Exhibition design: Snøhetta & Situ Studio.
Nordic Design Now
Nordic Design Now consisted of two panel discussions, Social Awareness & Sustainability and Design Policy: Lessons Learned, co-presented by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and The American-Scandinavian Foundation. These panels were held in conjunction with two design exhibitions: National Triennial 2010: Why Design Now? at Cooper-Hewitt and Nordic Models + Common Ground at Scandinavia House.
Co-presented by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and The American-Scandinavian Foundation. Funding for this program has been provided by the Nordic Culture Fund, with special thanks to the Consulate General of Denmark in New York; the Consulate General of Iceland; the Consulate General of Finland in New York; the Royal Norwegian Consulate General; and the Consulate General of Sweden, New York.
Social Awareness & Sustainability
Moderated by Matilda McQuaid, Deputy Curatorial Director, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum 7 pm Wednesday, November 10, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Designers working in the Nordic countries often favor simplicity, clean lines, and modern shapes and colors. Nordic designers also have a long tradition of creating designs for products, public spaces and buildings that take into account quality of life and social responsibility. Sustainability has also been an integral part of Nordic design traditions through consideration of materials and craftsmanship. Many emerging, as well as established designers in the Nordic region are currently working on projects that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also focus on social welfare and the environmental impact of the designs.
The first panel is moderated by Matilda McQuaid, Deputy Curatorial Director, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and features leading Nordic designers discussing their stance on sustainability and social responsibility in their work and current design practices.
Nille Juul-Sørensen, Associate Director with Arup
Ville Kokkonen, Design Director of Artek Oy
Halla Helgadóttir, Managing Director of the Iceland Design Centre
Lavrans Løvlie, co-founder of London-based design service agency liveıwork
Stefan Magnusson, Founding Partner & Senior Industrial Designer, No Picnic AB
Design Policy: Lessons Learned
Moderated by Bradford McKee, Editor-in-Chief of Landscape Architecture Magazine
Panel introductions by Mr. Trond Giske, Norwegian Minister of Trade and Commerce
7 pm Thursday, November 11, Scandinavia House
How does policy cultivate the right conditions for design markets to be competitive on a global scale and still be socially minded? The Nordic countries have set a precedent for design policy in the global design community. Today Nordic design and business increasingly go hand-in-hand. Promoting good design that creates solutions to social, ethical, and environmental problems has proven over time to be good business for the Nordic design market.
Moderated by Bradford McKee, Editor-in-Chief, Landscape Architecture Magazine, the second panel also includes up-and-coming and major designers, focusing on architecture and design policies in the Nordic countries and the knowledge acquired in carrying out those policies.
Christian Scherfig, CEO of the Danish Design Centre
Sanna-Mari Jäntti, Development Director, World Design Capital Helsinki 2012
Halla Helgadóttir, Managing Director of the Iceland Design Centre
Lavrans Løvlie is a co-founder of London-based service design agency live|work.
Robin Edman, SVID, The Swedish Industrial Design Foundation, Sweden
Victor Borge: A Centennial Exhibition
January 4, 2009 – May 2, 2009
Affectionately known as “The Great Dane,” Victor Borge was a unique combination of musician, humorist, and humanitarian. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, The American-Scandinavian Foundation presents Victor Borge: A Centennial Exhibition at Scandinavia House, The Nordic Center in America. Continuing through May 2nd, 2009, this significant exhibition explores his life and achievements through a collection of film clips, recordings, photographs and memorabilia from Borge’s personal archives.
In the nearly 70 years that he lived in the United States, Victor Borge performed on the radio, in films, on television, in opera houses, sports arenas, and the White House. In 1956, he secured a permanent place in Broadway history with his Comedy In Music, which still holds the record for the longest-running one-man show.
Distinctively Danish, his comedy encouraged audience interaction and found humor in the mundane. Mr. Borge effectively used physical and visual elements during his live and televised performances, maintaining a consistent, dynamic energy and high level of spontaneity, marked by impeccable timing and highly developed musicality.
Recognized as an ambassador of goodwill in both his native Denmark and his adopted America, Borge was knighted by the five Nordic countries and honored by both the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. He received Kennedy Center Honors in 1999 and was awarded the Medal of Honor by the Statue of Liberty Centennial Committee.
Born Børge Rosenbaum in Denmark on January 3, 1909, Mr. Borge trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and began his career in Denmark in the 1930s. While touring in Sweden, the Third Reich invaded Denmark, rendering it impossible for Borge to return and resume his career there. He left for the United States a few months later aboard the USS American Legion (the last passenger ship to leave Europe for America at the onset of World War II) arriving stateside on August 28, 1940.
Through his career and his humanitarian efforts, Victor Borge influenced the lives of countless Americans and Scandinavians alike. A strong proponent of Danish-American friendship, he opened the eyes of many Americans to Danish culture.
Support for the exhibition was provided by the Scan|Design by Inger and Jens Bruun Foundation; the Sanna and Victor Borge Memorial Fund; the Elsie H. Hillman Foundation; Flemming and Judy Heilmann; Bicky and George Kellner; Peter Flinch; Stig Host; Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.; Scott Gonge; Lennard Rambusch, Esq.; Joan M. Warburg, and Ambassador Richard B. and Mrs. Marlene Stone.
Northern (L)attitudes: Norwegian and American Contemporary Art
May 29, 2009 – September 19, 2009
A collection of photographs, paintings, videos and mixed media, this exhibition will celebrate the works of nine provocative contemporary artists (four American, five Norwegian) all of whom are American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) Fellowship recipients: Eric Aho, Marion Belanger, Lene Berg, Sandra Binion, Kjell Bjørgeengen, Ole Martin Lund Bø, Unn Fahlstrøm, Nina Katchadourian and Are Mokkelbost.
A transatlantic cross-pollination of concepts and mediums, Northern (L)attitudes explores how each country’s geography, environment and culture informs the work of the artist. The exhibition will highlight intersections of cultural exchange and how they occur.
As evident through their works, the American artists were clearly taken with Scandinavia’s flora and fauna, keenly observing and investigating its geography, climate, vegetation, and wildlife through paintings interpreting ice and forest, and photographs and video delineating landscape, rocks and animal behavior.
In contrast, the Norwegian artists are occupied with societal conventions and visceral intangibilities. During their time in the United States, these artists drew inspiration from politics, sound, and the visual rhetoric of power and color, among other things.
The exhibition was supported by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York.
Carl Fredrik Hill: Swedish Visionary and Modernist
Drawings from the Malmö Art Museum
October 1, 2009 – January 9, 2010
Over 75 works, most never before seen in U.S., reveal Hill as prophet of Surrealism and Expressionist art
The first major exhibition in America devoted to Carl Fredrik Hill (1849-1911), one of the most important and original Swedish artists of the 19th century, focuses on the series of astonishingly visionary and expressive drawings Hill produced during the last 30 years of his life, a period in which he was regarded as incurably insane. Although derided by his contemporaries, these late drawings are now recognized as important precursors of such movements as Surrealism, Expressionism, and even Pop art. Many of today’s leading artists, including Georg Baselitz, Donald Baechler, Arnulf Rainer, and Per Kirkeby, have been influenced by Hill’s work.
The selection of over 75 drawings, many never before exhibited in the U.S., comes from the collections of Sweden’s Malmö Art Museum, a major repository of the artist’s work.
Acclaimed in his youth as Sweden’s most gifted exponent of French Impressionism, at age 28 Hill suffered a mental breakdown from which he never recovered. During his long period of confinement, until his death at age 62, he drew obsessively, creating a parallel world inhabited by images drawn from nature, memory, art history, and his imaginative fantasy. By turns apocalyptic and lyrically poetic, the works on view represent the extraordinarily wide range of styles, techniques, and imagery that Hill explored during this time. Variously executed in chalk, crayon, and pen, they range from violently/wildly expressionistic scene of the Scandinavian countryside and erotically charged nudes, to extraordinarily complex and precisely drawn interiors of fantastic temples and palaces, to haunting portraits of family and friends.
Carl Fredrik Hill, Swedish Visionary and Modernist: Drawings from the Malmö Art Museum was organized by the Malmö Art Museum, one of the leading art museums of Scandinavia. Its collection of some 32,000 objects includes over 2,000 works by Carl Fredrik Hill. The exhibition curator is Göran Christenson, Director of the Malmö Art Museum.
Christenson will be present at the opening of the exhibition and will give a talk on his impressions of Hill and reflect on the contemporary aspect of his drawings.
Support for this exhibition was generously provided by a grant from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. Additional funding was provided by the Consulate General of Sweden in New York.