Exhibition Hall



Works on paper, curated by Mari F. Sundet

Where does a work of art begin and end? How much can we ever know of the process from idea to finished work? A complex set of criteria is employed to evaluate art, usually referring to how a work relates to others in the same tradition and in art history. How does the artist’s own creative process fit into this picture?
Synnøve Anker Aurdal (1908–2000) is a prominent figure in the history of art in Norway, an artist who was an important builder of bridges between fine art and handicrafts. Anker Aurdal is primarily recognised as a textile artist in whose approach to the loom there is room both for tradition and innovation. She attended Karen and Ragnhild Prestgard’s Weaving Academy in Lillehammer and Statens kvindelige industriskole (National Women’s School of Industry) in Oslo from 1932 to 1934. Initially, she worked to traditional weaving patterns, but soon chose to create her own designs.
Drawing was always an essential tool for Anker Aurdal in her development of new designs; in comparison with the time-consuming work at the loom, drawing was a quick and direct way of approaching her work. On her death in 2000, her house and workspaces were found to contain huge numbers of sketches, drawings and paintings on paper, evidence of her creative process. At the root of Anker Aurdal’s method of work the drawing seems to have been a parallel creative procedure to weaving, through which the idea would reach final expression. We are delighted this season to be able to present in The Exhibition Hall a selection of Anker Aurdal’s impressive collection of works on paper, an exhibition which we are confident will lead many of our visitors to explore further the works of this artist.
In addition to the works on paper and the tapestry Solen (The Sun, 1968), we are showing two documentaries about the artist in the Project Room. One of them was produced in 1986 by NRK for its series Fjernsynsgalleriet (Television Gallery); the other, Spill i tråder (A Play of Threads), was directed by Erik Solbakken and produced by Statens filmsentral in 1992.