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Norway, the 1st of the featured countries that shares with the Ateliers d'Art de France a wholehearted commitment to the promotion, enhancement and development of craft professions.
In 2012, Norway signed the International Charter of Fine Crafts, which aims to establish the basis for an operational and political cooperation between national counterparts, both European and International, committed to the promotion, enhancement and development of the business of art.
This is a dynamic and involved country which will open the history of Révélations. The 1st of the featured countries that shares with the Ateliers d'Art de France a wholehearted commitment to the promotion, enhancement and development of craft professions.
Torbjørn Kvasbø in his workshop
The exhibition of the Norwegian Crafts Association, designed in collaboration with the renowned art curator and designer Marianne Zamecznik, combines the works of internationally recognised artists including Sigurd Bronger, Inger Johanne Rasmussen or Torbjørn Kvasbø with those of promising artists of a younger generation.
The selection of artwork includes glass, textile and ceramic, along with jewellery creations via which each artist offers a personal approach to both tradition and innovation. The exhibition has been developed in partnership with Marianne Zamecznik, an internationally renowned scenographer. She has chosen to highlight the prime position occupied by Norwegian Crafts under the Grand Palais' spectacular dome, seeking inspiration from its glass and steel architecture to create a swathing and dynamic scenographic structure.
Heidi Bjørgan is a ceramist who collects discarded objects from lofts and waste bins. She exploits this bric-a-brac of no particular monetary value, associating in her own special way pieces of scrap, inventing new objects that are as expressive and joyful as children's toys. Spontaneously, they convey genuine aesthetic potential... whilst adopting a new function.
Torbjørn Kvasbø occupies a central position in international ceramic art. Since the 1970s, he has been exploring the potential offered by clay, via its different textures and baking modes. His monumental works, which are abstract and overtly organic, are displayed, not only in a number of European museums, but also in Korea, Japan and the United States. Over recent years, Torbjørn Kvasbø has been working on the repetition and accumulation of the same cylindrical form.
Extremely well-known throughout Norway, Irene Nordli is a ceramist from a generation of conceptual artists who have reconsidered popular Nordic art. Based on classical porcelain codes and inspired by traditional characters, she invents new silhouettes; her pieces, which can be in the form of collages of parts of the human body, are often quite disturbing. Whether they are mat or glossy, they always unveil the sensuality of clay.
A graduate from the National School of Glass in Orrefors, Kari Håkonsen produces pieces with sculptural forms and intricately worked faces, such as "Mirage", a series of glass sculptures which perfectly illustrate the great strength of his work: a mobile assembly of lines, depth, shade and light. Karin Håkonsen's work is represented in the Royal Norwegian collections and exhibited across the globe.
Anna Talbot is a jewellery designer who delves into nursery rhymes and fairy tales in order to depict her own stories, which she occupies with forests and wolves. Her jewellery pieces are made of anodised aluminium, brass and wood veneer, placed in successive layers to create threedimensional playlets. Although lightweight and designed to be worn, some of her pieces are large and imposing... they can even be hung on a wall.
The designer Andreas Engesvik, founder member of Norway Says, opened his own workshop in 2009, Andreas Engesvik, Oslo. His creations, ranging from furniture to tableware via industrial design, all bear an overtly Scandinavian identity. For example, "The Woods", a series of handblown glass balls, was created in collaboration with the StokkeAustad studio; these sculptures are reminiscent of the trees that populate the Nordic forests and whose leaves are metamorphosed with changes in light.
Sigurd Bronger is a unique artist in the world of modern jewellery design. His wild and voluminous constructions, rings and pendants, combine materials as ill-assorted as sponges, balls, eggs or medical instruments. Associated for the past 20 years with the Ra Gallery in Amsterdam, this "jewellery engineer" now benefits from worldwide renown and his almost mechanical pieces are displayed in many muséums.
Inger Johanne Rasmussen
Her rugs and immense mural panels reproduce vegetal frescos or trompe-l'oeil effects via a relief comprised of cubes. Inger Johanne Rasmussen produces her creations using traditional textile techniques, similar to patchwork, dyeing and assembling fragments of fabric or old clothes. She has already organised several personal exhibitions.
Initially a goldsmith, then a modern artist, Reinhold Ziegler now approaches jewellery as ritual objects. His visually minimalist creations, in the form of simple and heavy pendants, are made of stone, leather, wood or metal. Although none of them makes reference to a specific ritual, some seek inspiration in the talismans worn by the Greenland Inuit, in the form of polished pebbles placed in leather sachets.
Liv Blåvarp is particularly well-known for her sculptural jewellery made of wood, a material she particularly appreciates for its tactile qualities. Her spectacular necklaces with their almost reptilian movements are brought to life like marine organisms, associating different Norwegian and exotic wood species. She sometimes incorporâtes ivory and whale teeth. Liv Blåvarp has also, over recent years, produced pieces for display in public places.
In 1974, "Dinnertime", the association of a Crystal glass and a fork, became a period icon, earning its creator, Konrad Mehus, a central position in Norwegian artistic craft. His figurative silver jewellery tells stories inspired by aspects of Nordic life such as household interiors; they are full of both humour and irony and are intended to be more metaphoric than purely decorative.
Katrine Køster Holst
A Bergen Academy of Art and Design graduate in 2006, Katrine Køster Holst calls ceramic into question via a powerful conceptual approach. Fascinated by this simple yet complex material's versatility, her work extends well beyond its purely functional or aesthetic qualities. Her pièces have been presented in collective and personal exhibitions, some having been purchased by Norwegian institutions.
After training in the most prestigious art schools in London, Berlin and Oslo in the early 2000s, Anders Smebye now focuses essentially on textile, text, sculpture and video. He has made a name for himself in recent years via his work with the Bastard modern art gallery and thanks to his intervention as commissioner for many exhibitions. His work questions, in particular, cultural decay.