Crafts has regained new actuality in Norwegian contemporary art. This month, we highlight artist working with textile in different ways, where the abstract works almost becomes sculptures in their form.
Hanne Friis (b. 1972, Oslo) is educated in painting and sculpture at the Art Academy in Trondheim. She is primarily known for her sensuous, abstract sculptures in various textile materials. A significant part of her fabrics are stained by plants through slow dyeing processes which give the surfaces a painterly expression. The sculptures are carefully crafted by hand with a distinctive stitching technique; with a small needle Friis transforms the material by folding and pressing the fabric into organic formations and complex structures that generate a sense of change and growth. The ambiguity in the relationship between form and materiality is a recurring theme.
Friis’ work is included in the collection of Haugar Art Museum, Tønsberg, Sørlandets Art Museum, Kristiansand, The Norwegian Government, Oslo, KODE Art Museum, Bergen, The National Museum, Oslo, The Museum of Decorative Arts, Trondheim, The Art Museum of Northern Norway, Tromsø, The Haugalandmuseum in Haugesund and The Arts Council, Norway as well as numerous private collections nationally and abroad.
Søren Krag (b. 1987, Silkeborg, Denmark) is educated at Det Jyske Kunstakademi (Aarhus), Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology (Bangalore) and The Art Academy (Bergen, MA 2019). Often with a focus on electronic and digital tools, Krag works within a variety of mediums, using image, sound, video and installation. He is interested in ideas around symmetry and ornamentation, and how these have travelled historically and geographically between different civilizations and cultural regions around the world. The digital Jacquard weaving technique is central in Krag's work and enables him to a detailed pattern-work. An important part of his works is the creation of digital "paintings" by the help of relatively simple software. Krag is using the different tools limits as an aesthetic starting point.
Krags work is in the collection of Sogn and Fjordane art museum. In 2020 he received ’the Lumen price for art and technology: Nordic award’.
Ellen Grieg (b. 1948, Oslo) is educated at the National School of Handcrafts and Art Industry in Oslo, the Art Academy in Brattislava and the College of Arts and Crafts in Prague. Through a long career as an artist, she has built up deep knowledge of various techniques and color settings. Grieg's work is characterized by an abstract design language in textile materials where patterns, colours, structures and materiality are the mainstays throughout. More recently, Grieg has worked with the series "Transformations" where thick colored ropes hang freely in space; they are voluminous, take up physical space, but also visual space through the use of strong colors, scope for light and shadow and materiality. The abstract style emphasizes the materiality and at the same time creates an immediate experience of the work. The works are often shaped in brightly colored spirals that hang from the ceiling and unravel more and more the further down the threads hang. Through his unreserved play with rope and textiles, Grieg has given textile art an eternal topicality in Norwegian art history. Grieg has been purchased by i.a. The National Museum, Oslo Municipality's Art Collection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Council of Culture.