Huang Yong Ping, 'Colosseum', 2007
The Astrup Fearnley Collection has a history that dates back to the 1960s and has always concentrated on individual works and artists, rather than on movements or historical periods. Its distinctive focus is on acquiring major pieces of contemporary art that push the boundaries of the artistic canon.
This exceptional collection does not aspire to present an encyclopaedic overview of international contemporary art. Instead, it is an agglomeration of works by artists who occupy key positions in the field, either because they have created visual languages, objects and images of great originality and quality, or because they have reinvented significant aspects of cultural production. This means that certain artists have an outstanding presence in the collection, and are presented in depth, showing the development and the coherence of their work. Over the last decade, the Museum has concentrated intensively on American contemporary artists, and younger artists like Paul Chan, Frank Benson, Nate Lowman, and Dan Colen, to name just a few. More recently, the focus has been on works by important European, Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese, and Indian contemporary artists. The museum’s aim is to collect and present these major works by international contemporary artists in illuminating depth, but also in dialog with the Norwegian art scene, and to have a real presence both in the city of Oslo and in the international art world.