THE AMERICAN-SCANDINAVIAN FOUNDATION (ASF) & SCANDINAVIA HOUSE: THE NORDIC CENTER IN AMERICA
Incorporated in New York State in 1911, The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) is the leading cultural and educational link between the United States and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. It is a publicly-supported, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and cultural understanding and has an extensive program of fellowships, grants, internships, training, publishing, membership offerings, and cultural activities. Scandinavia House – home of the ASF– offers a wide range of programs presenting contemporary Nordic culture that encompass the visual arts, music, and literature along with public policy, business, finance, and technology. These programs include art, design, and historical exhibitions as well as films, concerts, readings, lectures, symposia, language courses, and kids and family programs that illustrate and illuminate the modern-day vitality of the Nordic countries. An American nonprofit organization, the ASF works to build international understanding through an extensive program of fellowships, grants, intern/trainee sponsorship, publishing, and membership offerings. Headquartered at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, in New York City, the ASF celebrated its centennial in 2011.
Photo “Courtesy of Scandinavia House/The American-Scandinavian Foundation.”
Exhibition at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America offers an intimate view into contemporary Nordic Printmaking.
It Features recent work by printmakers Tiina Kivinen, Svend-Allan Sørensen, Kjell Nupen, Ørnulf Opdahl. Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway opened it at a reception of the exhibition of contemporary Nordic prints from the recipients and founders of The Queen Sonja Print Award—an international prize established to encourage artists working in the graphic arts.
Featuring recent work by the 2012 and 2014 award winners, Tiina Kivinen (Finland) and Svend-Allan Sørensen (Denmark), as well as a selection of works by the award’s founders, printmakers Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway, Kjell Nupen, and Ørnulf Opdahl, the exhibition offers an intimate view into contemporary printmaking in the Nordic countries. Edward P. Gallagher, President of The AmericanScandinavian Foundation, states: “We are delighted to present this exhibition at Scandinavia House, introducing New York to the work of two exciting artists and celebrating the launch of The Queen Sonja Print Award as an international prize, perhaps the largest ever to be awarded to printmakers.” Overview Prize Prints features a diverse selection of artworks from five Nordic artists.
Photo; Eileen Travell, Scandinavia House/The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 2015
Prize Prints; The Queen Sonja Print Award. Established in 2011 to encourage young artists working in the graphic arts, Prize Prints; The Queen Sonja Print Award is presented every other year.
This show is on through August 1, 2015 Prize Prints celebrates The Queen Sonja Print Award, a biennial prize established to encourage young artists working in the graphic arts. The exhibition features recent work by the 2012 and 2014 prize winners, Tiina Kivinen (Finland) and Svend-Allan Sørensen (Denmark), as well as a selection of works by the prize’s founders, printmakers H.M. Queen Sonja of Norway, Kjell Nupen, and Ørnulf Opdahl. The exhibition also recognizes the exciting international collaboration between the print shops Ateljé Larsen (Helsingborg, Sweden) and Universal Limited Art Editions (Long Island, NY).
Photo; Eileen Travell, Scandinavia House/The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 2015
While the award has been restricted to Nordic artists— nominated by the Nordic national art museums, Nordic printmakers’ associations, and board of Prize prints; The Queen Sonja Print Award—it will open to international candidates in 2016 with an expanded circle of professional nominators from around the world. Publication Prize Prints is accompanied by a 176-page catalogue entitled Prize Prints; The Queen Sonja Print Award. Published by Arvenius + Orfeus Publishing and edited by art historian Karin Hellandsjø, the catalogue contains interviews with Kjell Nupen, Ørnulf Opdahl, and H.M. Queen Sonja; short texts on the prize winners Tiina Kivinen and Svend-Allan Sørensen; and reproductions of a number of the artworks on view in the exhibition. Exhibition-related Programs Prize Prints will be accompanied by a free mobile-audio guide of exhibition highlights; a symposium with artists, printmakers, and curators in conversation; and kid-friendly workshops led by art educators. A comprehensive exhibition-related programs release with additional information and background will be available shortly.
The 2014 prize winner, Svend-Allan Sørensen, works with a variety of printmaking techniques, including lithography, linocut, and woodcut. His graphic works, often imbued with a certain whimsy or playfulness, operate at the intersection of text and image, where meaning is doubled, expanded, and complicated. In the series Animal Soup of Time, Sørensen interweaves text-based linocuts of literary snippets from Henry David Thoreau, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg (the series’s title is taken from Ginsberg’s Howl)—all of which take up the subject of nature and hunting— with abstract renderings resembling arrowheads or seals.
Photo; Eileen Travell, Scandinavia House/The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 2015 Svend-Allan Sørensen
In contrast to Sørensen’s stark, graphic works, the 2012 prize winner Tiina Kivinen’s prints are crafted with delicate nuances of gray and black tones. Working primarily with drypoint, monotype, and mezzotint techniques, Kivinen creates lyrical, semi-abstract renderings of landscapes and figures that offer viewers brief moments of recognition in her ethereal compositions. In addition to works by Sørensen and Kivinen, the exhibition features a selection of works from the three celebrated Norwegian artists who founded The Queen Sonja Print Award—Kjell Nupen, Ørnulf Opdahl, and H.M. Queen Sonja—including the collaborative 24-work portfolio Three Journeys, Three Landscapes that launched the prize. Comprising eight graphic works by each artist, the portfolio takes the Nordic landscape as inspiration and illustrates the unique technical and thematic explorations the artists undertook throughout its creation. Nupen is represented by a diverse selection of collages, aquatints, and etchings that reflect his characteristic use of expressive color and tone; Opdahl by a number of intimately scaled aquatints and etchings contemplating the varied expressions of the Nordic winter landscape; and H.M. Queen Sonja by a series of otherworldly aquatints originating from photographs taken on a 2006 trip to an ice cave on Svalbard. A selection of more recent works by these artists will also be on view.
Tiina Kivinen, The Earth under My Feet, 2014. Mezzotint, drypoint, 35 2/5 x 49 1/5 in. (90 x 125 cm), courtesy of the artist.
Kjell Nupen, Untitled, 2011. From the series Three Journeys, Three Landscapes. Collage, aquatint and polymer plate, 17 x 22 4/5 in. (43 x 58 cm), courtesy of the artist.
Curatorial Credit Sune Nordgren is trained as a printmaker and graphic designer. He currently holds the position of project leader for The Queen Sonja Print Award. Nordgren has previously served as Director of Malmö Konsthall in Malmö, Sweden, and as the Founding Director of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, Norway and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, England. Support The exhibition is organized by Sune Nordgren, Project Leader for The Queen Sonja Print Award, and The American-Scandinavian Foundation. The exhibition is made possible by grants from The Bergesen Foundation, DNB Bank ASA, Trond S. Jensen, and Bård and Barbara
The exhibition is made possible by grants from The Bergesen Foundation, DNB Bank ASA, Trond S. Jensen, and Bård and Barbara Bunaes. Additional support has been received from The Bonnier Family Fund for Contemporary Art, The F. Donald Kenney Fund for the Visual Arts, and The Asbjørn Lunde Fund in Memory of Karl and Elisa Lunde. Funding for travel by Tiina Kivinen has been provided by Arts Promotion Centre Finland. Transportation support has been provided by SAS Scandinavian Airlines. Public programming has been supported in part by a grant from the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York.
For more information: scandinaviahouse.org | Facebook | Twitter @ScanHouse | #PrizePrints Hours and Admission
The Scandinavia House 3rd Floor Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12–6 pm (Wednesday until 7 pm) and exhibition admission is free.