In a truly breathtaking and harmonious interplay of woodland nature, contemporary art and local history, Kistefos, in the Norwegian Province of Oppland, is an art world bucket list. In the whole of Scandinavia, the Kistefos park is the largest publicly accessible sculpture park for site specific contemporary sculptures. Just one month ago on September 18, ‘The Twist’ museum officially became a new addition to this great outdoors location.
Established in 1996 by Norwegian businessman and art collector Christen Sveaas on the former site of his family wood pulp business, Kistefos comprises an industrial museum, exhibition galleries and sculpture park at Jevnaker, 75 kilometres north of Oslo. It has a mission to conserve the buildings and industrial heritage of the area whilst also celebrating the best of Norwegian and international contemporary art.
The sculpture park includes site-specific works by leading international artists such as Tony Cragg, Anish Kapoor, Marc Quinn, Jeppe Hein, Philip King, llya Kabakov and Lynda Benglis, amongst others. The most recent site-specific artwork by Yayoi Kusama, ‘Shine of Life’ was unveiled in May 2019 and is inspired by the nature, water and industry at Kistefos. Further, to celebrate the opening of ‘The Twist’, Kistefos also now presents new permanent sculptures by Elmgreen and Dragset, Giuseppe Penone, and Tony Oursler.
As for ‘The Twist’, it is accessed via pathways leading through scenic landscape and represents a natural extension of the existing programme. Described by architect Bjarke Ingels as an ‘inhabitable bridge’, the 1,000 square metre building takes a sculptural form, twisting at the midway point as it crosses the Randselva river to connect the north and south sides. Selected following an international competition, the design of the new building responds to the unique environment and enhances the visitor experience of Kistefos. Visitors may access ‘The Twist’ from both ends of the building. From the south side of the river, visitors enter through a dramatic double height space with clear sightlines through the entire building to the north entrance. From the north end of the building, visitors arrive in a panoramic space with views of the pulp mill and the surrounding landscape.
Christen Sveaas said: “After many years of planning and development, we’re delighted to be opening this beautiful new space ‘The Twist’ at Kistefos, which will allow us to expand our work with leading contemporary artists and welcome more visitors than ever before. Our ambition is to make Kistefos a must-see cultural destination with a world-class temporary exhibition and sculpture park programme to complement the rich industrial heritage of the site.”
The opening exhibition inside ‘The Twist’, Hodgkin and Creed – Inside Out (18 September – 17 November) has paired Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017) with Martin Creed (b.1968) and features important works from public and private collections including the Christen Sveaas Art Collection. Curated by Guy Robertson and produced by Kistefos in collaboration with The Estate of Howard Hodgkin and Martin Creed, it is the first exhibition to bring the two artists together. It celebrates their shared conviction that art offers a framework for expressing our complex emotional lives.