Oslo will open a new sculpture on Sept. 26.
With this private donation from Norwegian business man Christian Ringnes, the city will have what it calls one of the finest sculpture parks in Scandinavia.
At a total cost of approximately $50 million, the park will includes 30 notable works of art already in place for the opening.
The idea of establishing a sculpture park in one of Oslo’s public parks, albeit one which over the years had been neglected and poorly maintained and yet hasone of the finest locations in the city, came in 2003. Three years later, Ringnes submitted the idea as an official proposal to Oslo Municipal Authority, which owned the land.
In 2009 a pilot project was established including, among others, the setting up of an art advisory committee. Ringnes had put forward a thematic concept for the park – “homage to woman”. The basic framework for the sculpture park and its contents was agreed when the Oslo City Council sanctioned a new zoning plan for the area, and the Foundation promptly signed an agreement with the Oslo Municipal Authority on August 24, 2011.
The art advisory committee has emphasized that sculptures and installations should be positioned in this culture-rich area with respect for both cultural heritage and the natural environment. It was decided to give the park an identity by establishing “feminine-inspired in all its diversity” as the overall concept.
During the past three years, Ekeberg has been visited by a host of internationally renowned artists such as James Turrell, Jenny Holzer, Dan Graham, Tony Oursler and Marina Abramovic.
These artists have drawn inspiration from Ekeberg’s history (Edvard Munch found his inspiration for his “Scream” here) and natural surroundings and created a series of unique works that will not only give vitality to the area but also contribute to internationalizing the Norwegian art scene.
The sculpture park’s artistic spectrum – from classical masters such as Rodin and Maillol, via Salvador Dali’s surrealistic pieces, to modern and contemporary forms of creative expressionism by Lynn Chadwick, Tony Cragg, Sarha Sze, Matt Johnson and Louise Bourgeois - makes it a unique and fascinating place to visit.
The Ekeberg Park is expected to grow in the years to come through addition of more sculptures and installations (the park has space for up to 80 unique works of art).