A Kassen Carnegie Art Award 2014 / Tegnebiennalen / 10.10-09.11.2014
Tegnerforbundet, the Norwegian Drawing Foundation have invited Kunsthall Oslo and Terje Nicolaisen to curate Tegnebiennalen 2014. As part of Tegnebiennalen 2014 Oslo Kunstforening/Oslo Fine Art Society will host the exhibition A Kassen Carnegie Art Award 2014 with the Danish artist group A Kassen with Christian Bretton-Meyer, Morten Steen Hebsgaard, Søren Petersen and Tommy Petersen.
Tegnebiennalen 2014 will re-launch the biennial as a curated exhibition with an international scope; this ambition will make it the only major biennial in Europe focused on the medium of drawing. The exhibition opens Friday October 10 with a series of receptions across six venues, beginning at 4pm at the National Gallery and running through to 9pm at Kunsthall Oslo, followed by a party.
Carnegie Art Award was a prestigious art prize, established in 1998 by the Carnegie Investment Bank, with the aim of promoting contemporary painting and promising young artists from Nordic countries. In November 2013 A Kassen was awarded third prize, and was included in a touring exhibition. When the touring exhibition was about to open at Den Frie Centre for Contemporary Art in Copenhagen in 2014 Carnegie Art Award was forced to cancel the 2014 tour due to financial reasons. Den Frie, with a gap in their exhibition program, thus invited A Kassen to create a solo presentation, challenging concepts such as ‘work’, ‘practice’ and ‘exhibition’.
Based on imagery from the Carnegie Art Award exhibition, A Kassen recreated the original exhibition presenting more than 100 paintings by 17 Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Icelandic artists by copying all the works in China. The exhibition made for Den Frie challenged concepts such as originality, the production of art and, power structures, value and ownership, copyright negotiation and global agendas. In their work A Kassen often use a conceptual approach, ranging from site-specific and performance-based installations to photography and sculpture. By removing objects from their original and familiar settings, by modifying and putting them into new contexts, they manage to disrupt general norms and values. This is often done in such a subtle way, that at first hand one hardly notices what is actually going on.
The theme of Tegnebiennalen 2014 is “Drawing after Modernism, or how the future affects the past”. The exhibition will explore the ways that artists have used the practice of drawing to respond to the radical shifts in the concept and possibilities of art production that took place in the 20th century. With a central focus on contemporary work, we will look at how drawing remains a key component of the interaction between thought and life, and its place as a practice in the context of the many newer technologies of mediation. Rather than describing the ways in which the medium of drawing has been dissolved into the wide field of contemporary art practice, we aim to foreground the ways in which its dialectical quality its absolute immediacy and its deep history contribute to its continuing relevance.
Tegnebiennalen 2014 will present work by around 30 artists, at Tegnerforbundet, Oslo Kunstforening and Kunsthall Oslo, as well as at other venues around central Oslo. We are also very happy to be working with the National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to present the key work of the Biennial, Robert Rauschenberg's Erased De Kooning Drawing. Rauschenberg's work is one of the most famous iconoclastic gestures in modern art, and the work which above all others reinvented the radical creative potential of the medium of drawing at a moment when it seemed destined to become a part of art history. When we survey recent international developments in contemporary drawing with a strong representation from Norway and a commitment to include great work by artists here who are not widely known it is Rauschenberg's remaking of the value system within the confines of the medium, the reinvention of drawing as a conceptual practice that nonetheless depends upon its history, that serves as our guiding star.
Tegnebiennalen will be accompanied by a free newspaper, designed by Ulf Carlsson of the artists group Tegneklubben, which will function as both catalogue and exhibition guide. 15 000 copies of this newspaper will be distributed in the Oslo area as an insert in the Norwegian weekly paper Morgenbladet.
The exhibition's curators are Will Bradley and Elisabeth Byre of Kunsthall Oslo, and the artist Terje Nicolaisen. Tegnerforbundet is both a gallery for drawing and graphic art and a membership organization. The Director of the gallery is Hilde Lunde and the Chair of the organization's Board is Janine Magelssen. For the National Gallery Dr. Nils Ohlsen and Øystein Ustvedt have led the Rauschenberg exhibition. As part of Tegnebiennalen, Oslo Kunstforening will present a solo exhibition by the Danish group A Kassen. Marianne Hultman is Director of the Kunstforening.
Tegnebiennalen is supported by the Arts Council Norway and Oslo City Council.