If you go to Oslo these days, you can see six massive butterflies on a warehouse building, “Shed 13” at Tjuvholmen. They are spotlighted and will dominate the night of the capital for at least a month. The butterflies are signed the British great artist Damien Hirst, and was first presented in connection with the opening exhibition “The Souls” of the newly opened gallery Stolper + Friends.
The gallery Stolper + Friends is owned by the British artist Paul Stolper, the gallerist Hugo Opdal and Magne Furuholmen, former member of the A-ha.
The “Shed 13” at Tjuvholmen is transformed into a giant outdoor scene of entire 1200 square feet. Furuholmen and co wanted to do something in the Tjuvholmen site resilient and found the answer in the butterflies. They’re over six feet tall and being illuminated they glow in the darkness.
I love the fact that Furuholmen & co gets the art out in the street. This project has become a variant of street artists who employ the city as gallery, and it is great. People walking bye have the pleasure of experience great art without paying an intuition.
The Gallery Stolper + Friends houses the rest of the exhibition which includes 68 prints of butterflies and two paintings. It is like the giant butterflies have left the gallery in a way and attached themselves to the wall. They will light up and be visible in the night.
The fact that Damien Hirst has agreed to do this exhibition is incredible. He is one of the world’s greatest living artists, whatever contrivers he has on his record. Born in Bristol in 1965, Damien Hirst grew up in Leeds and studied at Goldsmiths College, London. Most notable amongst the exhibitions he curated whilst at college was Freeze, in 1988, in which he exhibited his work and that of his contemporaries. The exhibition is widely believed to have been the starting point of the Young British Artists’ careers, and a defining moment in kick-starting cutting edge British contemporary art.
Hirst’s body of work confronts the scientific, philosophical and religious aspects of human existence and includes sculpture, painting, drawing and printmaking. Arguably the world’s most famous living artist, he has exhibited widely and was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995 for ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’. In 2004, Hirst collaborated with Sarah Lucas and Angus Fairhurst to exhibit recent works at Tate Britain, under the title In-a-Gadda-da-Vida. In 2006, works from the artist’s murderme collection were exhibited at the Serpentine gallery, London: ‘In the darkest hour there may be light.‘
Hirst’s work can be found in several important collections worldwide, including Tate, London, UK; British Council, UK; MoMA, New York, USA; Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK; Broad Art Foundation; Centraal Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands; Neue Galerie Graz, Austria and State Museum of Berlin, Germany.
And these days, in Oslo, on the walls of a warehouse building at Tjuvholmen.
Magne Furuholmen believes the location is perfect. “We hope this will create great attention and that the Damien Hirst project will only be the first of several projects with exciting artists from around the world,” he said to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.
I hope so too!