Alexander Blank and Sigurd Bronger to exhibit at major contemporary crafts show in Norway

Alexander Blank: Memento Juniori (Speedy), 2011

On 17 September, the large art festival -SKOP 2016 will open in Fredrikstad, a town not far from Oslo, Norway. Among the main events is Crafts 2016, an annual show for contemporary crafts that aims to present the avant-garde of Norwegian contemporary craft artists. The show is juried by a group of artists and will be divided between two venues: the gallery Østfold Kunstsenter and a large former factory space called Hydrogenfabrikken.  

In addition to the artists selected through an open call, this year’s jury has decided to include a selection of guest artists in order to shed broader light on the Norwegian crafts scene. Among the invited participants is the renowned German jewellery artist Alexander Blank, known in part for how he uses symbols from popular culture in humorous and slightly disturbing ways.

Alexander Blank: Jimmy, brooch, 2013
Alexander Blank: Jimmy, brooch, 2013
Alexander Blank: Jimmy, brooch, 2013

Speaking on behalf of the jury, chairman Hilde Hauan Johnsen states that they want to emphasize what they experience as an interesting dialogue between the Norwegian and the international contemporary crafts scene, and that one of the common traits of the invited artists is that they comment on their own cultural context through mythology and narration. 

Blank will show his works in Østfold Kunstsenter, together with the Swedish-Sami textile artist Britta Marakatt Labba and the Norwegian ceramics duo Ingrid Askeland and Elin Aasheim, who also have been specially invited for the show.

In addition, the renowned Norwegian jewellery artist Sigurd Bronger is selected (through the open call) to participate in Crafts 2016. He will show the award winning work Carrying Device for a Tiger Nautilus Shell, a piece which earned him the acclaimed Bavardian State Prize at this year’s Schmuck exhibition in Munich.

Sigurd Bronger: Carrying Device for a Tiger Nautilus Shell

Alexander Blank (b. 1975) was born in Büdingen (Germany) and lives and works in Munich. From 1997 to 2004 he attended a range of jewellery schools before studying with the acclaimed jewellery professor Otto Künzli at Akademie der Bildende Künste. He graduated in 2010. Blank’s works can be found in the collections of (among others) the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, GB; CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, NL; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, DE; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, GB; and Kestner Museum, Hannover, DE. He has won several awards, including the Bevardian State Prize (2004) and the Herbert Hofmann Prize (2012).

Sigurd Bronger (b. 1957) was born in Oslo (Norway) where he currently lives and works. He trained as a goldsmith at Oslo Yrkesskole, then attended MTS Vaksschool Schonoven in the Netherlands. He also has a background as an engraver at the Koninklikje Fabriken Posthumus in Amsterdam. Collaborating with Galerie Ra in Amsterdam for more than 20 years, his works have been acquired by important museums such as the Craft Museum of China / Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou, China, the V&A in London, Het Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Designmuseo in Helsinki, Designmuseum in Copenhagen, the National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Norway, the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum in Trondheim and the Permanenten Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum in Bergen. Brogner has received a number of awards for his work, including the Bavardian State Prize (2016), the Prins Eugene Medal for Artistic Achievement (2015), and the Torsten & Wanja Söderbergpris (2012).

Britta Marakatt-Labba: Handelser i tid
Ingrid Askeland and Elin Aasheim: All You Zombies

About the exhibition: Crafts is an annual, juried exhibition showing the finest of contemporary crafts in Norway. The exhibition is organized by the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts and has previously been shown in collaboration with the National Museum in Oslo and KODE – Art Museums of Bergen. This year, Crafts is organized in collaboration with Østfold Kunstsenter and Hydrogenfabrikken, as part of the art festival -SKOP.

The jury for Crafts 2016 consists of: Hilde Hauan Johnsen (chair), textile artist and professor at Bergen Academy of Art and Design Jim Darbu, ceramics artist Reinhold Ziegler, jewellery artist Putte H. Dal, jewellery artist and curator

Exhibition dates: 17 September – 16 October 2016 Exhibition venues: Østfold Kunstsenter & Hydrogenfabrikken, Fredrikstad, Norway