Oslo is getting a brand new sculpture park, and it's a beauty. The Norwegian capital city, home to the Vigeland Sculpture Park that opened in 1940, is being joined by the Ekeberg Sculpture Park. The large-scale international format park includes 30 notable works of art and is an homage to women.
Thanks to a private donation from Norwegian businessman Christian Ringnes, the $50 million USD park opened to the public on September 26, 2013. Sculptures and installations now dot the landscape of what was one of Oslo's neglected public parks. The art has been positioned with regard to both cultural heritage and the natural environment. The overall concept of the park is described as "feminine-inspired in all its diversity."
During the past three years, a host of internationally renowned artists have visited Ekeberg: James Turrell, Jenny Holzer, Dan Graham, Tony Oursler and Marina Abramovic to name a view. They drew inspiration from Ekeberg's history (Edvard Munch's inspiration for his Scream was derived here), along with the park's natural surroundings. The artists created a series of unique works that revitalized the area, along with contributing to internationalizing the Norwegian art scene.
The spectrum of the sculpture park ranges from such classical masters as Rodin and Maillol, Salvador Dali's realistic pieces, to modern and contemporary forms of creative expressionism by Lynn Chadwick, Sarha Sze, Matt Johnson and Louise Bourgeois. The plan for the park is that it will grow dynamically in the years to come, with the addition of more sculptures and installations -- the park has space for up to 80 works of art. Ekeberg Sculpture Park has been somewhat controversial amongst the locals, as noted in a post on this Norwegian culture blog, Thor News.
I've visited Oslo's Vigeland Sculpture Park during two visits to my paternal grandfather's homeland, and it keeps calling me back. The park is the life work of sculptor Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943), and includes more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and cast iron. Vigeland was also responsible for the design and architectural layout of the park. It's one of Norway's most popular attractions, with more than one million visitors a year. www.visitnorway.com