Olivier Debré (1920-1999) was a French abstract painter, most recognized for his monochrome paintings with stylized landscapes or figures. In 1966, the artist discovered Norway for the first time and for more than thirty years; he continued to explore the country in his artistic work. The Astrup Fearnley Collection holds a considerable number of paintings by Olivier Debré and many of these are painted in Lærdal on the West Coast of Norway, where the Astrup family has had a residence since 1922. Most of these Lærdal-paintings were painted outside in the farmyard of the Astrup family’s residency at Lysne in the Lærdal valley. This location has a broad view of the valley surrounded by mountains and glaciers, and Debré explored extensively the area’s fascinating landscape.
On 10 March 2017, the new CCC OD-building designed by the Portuguese architects Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus will open and celebrated with extensive exhibits related to Norway. The exhibition Olivier Debré: a trip to Norway presents the painter’s works inspired by his many trips to Norway. Several of the paintings presented are on loan from different Norwegian collections, including significant works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection. Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway will attend the opening, along with Gunnar B. Kvaran, Director of Astrup Fearnley Museet.
In addition to the works by Debré, there will also be an exhibition by representatives from the Norwegian contemporary art scene, including Per Barclay, Thora Dolven Balke, Tiril Hasselknippe, Ahmad Ghossein, Saman Kamyab, Ignas Krunglevicius, Kamilla Jensen, Lars Laumann, Solveig Lønseth, Ann Cathrin November Høibo, Linn Pedersen and AK Dolven.