Norway’s Astrup shows in London / News / The Foreigner

Norway’s Astrup shows in London. England’s oldest public art gallery is to exhibit paintings by Norwegian artist Nikolai Astrup. The exhibition at Southeast London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery will be the first major one of his works outside Norway. It will present over 100 unique paintings and prints. Regarded as “one of Norway’s leading twentieth century” and “profoundly innovative Norwegian artists”, Astrup is said to have dedicated his career to documenting the landscape and tradition of his Jølster home in the mountainous reaches of western Norway’s Sogn og Fjordane County.

art, london, exhibition, norway



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Norway’s Astrup shows in London

Published on Saturday, 9th January, 2016 at 02:19 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Sarah Bostock   .
Last Updated on 9th January 2016 at 12:28.

England’s oldest public art gallery is to exhibit paintings by Norwegian artist Nikolai Astrup.

'Marsh Marigold Night' by Nikolai Astrup
The colour woodcut on paper is dated c.1915.'Marsh Marigold Night' by Nikolai Astrup
Photo: © Dag Fosse/KODE


The exhibition at Southeast London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery will be the first major one of his works outside Norway. It will present over 100 unique paintings and prints.

Regarded as “one of Norway’s leading twentieth century” and “profoundly innovative Norwegian artists”, Astrup is said to have dedicated his career to documenting the landscape and tradition of his Jølster home in the mountainous reaches of western Norway’s Sogn og Fjordane County.

“Self-described as ‘a kind of naturalistic “naïve” painter’, Astrup’s style combines elements of realism and a conscious naivety. Like many of his contemporaries, he was driven by the desire to create a ‘national style’- something quintessentially Norwegian in feeling and in subject-matter,” according to gallery staff.

“What distinguishes Astrup is his particular focus on childhood memory; he continually reverted to scenes of his upbringing in Jølster which provided the emotional and visual underpinning for all his work,” they add.

Nikolai Johannes Astrup (1880-1928) was born in Kalvåg in Sogn og Fjordane’s Bremanger Municipality. He was the firstborn child of Priest Christian Astrup (1844-1920) and his wife Petra Constanse, née Lodtz (1860–1930).

The family moved to Ålhus in Jølster in 1883, where Christian Astrup became parish priest. They lived in a damp house with rotten floor boards and mildew and fungus, which would contribute to Nikolai developing chronic asthma later on. 

Nikolai enrolled at the Cathedral School in Trondheim in 1895, expected to follow in his father’s footsteps as a priest, before graduating some two years later with a major in Latin.

In 1899, he enrolled at the Den kongelige tegne- og kunstskole in Kristiania (Oslo), before continuing on to study at naturalist painter Harriet Backer’s (1845-1932) private school that same year.

He concluded his studies there in 1901, exhibiting works in Christiania Kunstforening’s Spring Exhibition before travelling to Germany, where he became interested in paintings by German Symbolist Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901), and then on to Paris.

From 1901-02, he studied with Norwegian artist Christian Krohg (1852-1925) at the Académie Colarossie. Nikolai Astrup developed an interest in artists such as Maurice Denis (1870-1943), Paul Gaugin (1848-1903), and Henri Rousseau (1844-1910). Rosseau partly inspired Astrup’s style.

“Perhaps best known in Norway for his luminous paintings of the country’s famous Midsummer Eve bonfires, Astrup’s landscapes evoke the atmosphere and mood characteristic of the changing seasons in his home district of Jølster. The parsonage at Ålhus where he grew up and his beautiful farmstead at Sandalstrand (now known as ‘Astruptunet’), along with the lake (Jølstravatnet) that lay between them and the mountains surrounding them were to become the focus and inspiration of a unique and extraordinary body of work,” writes staff at Dulwich Picture Gallery staff.

The Norwegian artist moved back to his childhood home in Jølster in 1902, marrying a local girl in 1907 – with whom he had eight children – and living at the property until 1912. Those ten years saw events including his 1905 debut exhibition at Blomqvist’s Kunsthandel in Kristiania, marriage to a local girl in 1907, a trip to London to see the works of English painter John Constable (1776-1837), and exhibitions in Bergen (1908) and Kristiania (1911).

Astrup died of pneumonia in 1928 after suffering from weakened lungs due to tuberculosis and asthma throughout his life.

“Nikolai Astrup, one of Norway’s best known and loved artists, will light up Dulwich’s exhibition rooms with his vivid paintings and prints of western Norway,” Ian A.C Derjadin, The Sackler Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, said in a statement.

Exhibition Painting Norway: Nikolai Astrup is scheduled to run between 5th February and 15th May this year.

The Dulwich Picture Gallery, designed by Regency Architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837), was first opened to the public in 1917.

(Sources: Dulwich Picture Gallery, biography of Nikolai Astrup, Norsk biografisk leksikon, Wikipedia)                                              

(Picture credit: Nikolai Astrup, Marsh Marigold Night, c.1915, Colour woodcut on paper, 40.7 x 47 cm, The Savings Bank Foundation DNB/The Astrup Collection/KODE Art Museums of Bergen. Photo © Dag Fosse/KODE)



Published on Saturday, 9th January, 2016 at 02:19 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Sarah Bostock   .
Last updated on 9th January 2016 at 12:28.

This post has the following tags: art, london, exhibition, norway.





  
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