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Sevres ANGLAIS CP Forces de la nature 25 07 18 (orginal PDF, with pictures)


The “Forces of Nature” exhibition at the National Ceramics Museum of Sèvres pays tribute to Norwegian creativity in contemporary ceramics and tapestry design. The exhibition is organized in partnership with Norwegian Crafts, the KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes, the Sørlandet Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand (SKMU), with the support of the Norwegian Embassy in France. It will be inaugurated in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway. Exceptional in scale, “Forces of Nature” presents no less than 65 works dating from the 2000s to the present day, created by three internationally renowned Norwegian artists: Kari Dyrdal, Torbjørn Kvasbø and Marit Tingleff. Certain works have been imagined specially for the exhibition, with installations and large-scale creations filling the museum’s temporary exhibition spaces (over 1,500 m2). Exhibition curators: Christine Germain (Director of the Heritage and Collections Department of the National Ceramics Museum) and Frédéric Bodet (Head of the Modern and Contemporary Collections), in collaboration with KODE and SKMU. :
These three artists, who know and admire each other’s oeuvre, all share the same powerful abstract expression evoking Nature’s forces of growth and metamorphosis. All three graduated from the Bergen Applied Arts School in 1977/1978. During a decade marked by massive educational evolutions and a desire to internationalize the artistic influences at work in Norway, Dyrdal, Kvasbø and Tingleff were closely linked to this dynamic period’s student activism and their school’s evolution. While all three artists have maintained friendly respectful relations throughout their successful careers, they have never before been exhibited together outside Norway.  The “Forces of Nature” exhibition at Sèvres focuses on the wide-ranging vision of the three artists’ at once distinct and complementary worlds, within a scenography that compares and contrasts their works. Their respective artistic styles present a metamorphic vision of the spectacular Norwegian landscapes that surround them. Each artist searches out and explores in his or her own way the very foundations of their Norwegian spirit and culture. They have garnered international renown thanks to a shared desire to reappropriate and transform their vernacular and artisanal traditions, as well as other international – notably American and Anglo-Saxon – artistic practices. In a clearly sculptural and architectural manner, they have managed to render these diverse influences into their own personal languages. Their works seek to provoke an emotional response, to “physically” impact their beholders.


Torbjørn Kvasbø (born in 1953) inhabits an organic, telluric world and is currently one of Europe’s most important sculptor-ceramists, with considerable influence on the younger generation of artists. Since the 1980s, his oeuvre has explored the Earth’s subversive potential, closely linked to the particularly powerful landscape of his native Norway, while also echoing the visual artistic dynamic of the human body. His encounter with the famous American ceramists Peter Voulkos and Peter Callas (whom he brought to Norway in 1993, to pursue shared workshops) proved decisive for his oeuvre, encouraging him to explore a more expansive style and a freer relationship with his materials. From the raw, turbulent surfaces of his earliest sculptures in the early 1990s to his current use of especially vibrant colours, his works share several constants, notably a tubular form that opens and seems to breathe, as well as a marked taste for large-scale formats full of energy and provoking a visceral emotional reaction.

Marit Tingleff (born in 1954) is also one of the most talented Scandinavian ceramists of her generation. With her great plates and mural plaques, she renews and reinvents traditional pottery and on-ceramic graphical designs, via her own architectural-scale style. Over the past few years, she has benefitted from the exceptional technical resources provided by the National Arts Academy of Oslo where she teaches, allowing her to create gigantic plates that have progressively become veritable “landscape canvasses”. Occasionally exceeding two metres in length and one metre in width, these heavy plaques are powerfully painted with “slips” – in deep, vibrant and often copper-oxide-based colours – while placed in a vertical position so that the downward flows provoke an ascensional force or falling effect, a sort of “vegetal jungle”. These mural works are striking for their clearly “sculptural” presence, seeking to conquer their occupied space.

Kari Dyrdal (born in 1952) applies new digital technologies and techniques to her exploration of weaving within the great tapestry-making tradition. She thereby renews the search for and experimentation with texture, as well as the textile arts’ traditional methods of production. Her pictorial approach combines representation with abstraction, realism with illusion. Her works are often pursued within thematic cycles (watery undulations in her series Mirrors, the mechanical elements of old Jacquard looms for the ensemble Jacquard Stories, etc.). These large-scale creations are pursued as publicly commissioned projects linked to specific locations. The artist starts out by taking photographs, which she then transposes to woven surfaces. To this end, she uses a special digital loom that allows her to freely reconsider colour combinations, textures and rhythms, avoiding hyper-realism to translate her visions in a manner bordering on abstraction. She accords the utmost importance to the tactile presence of her works and the intellectual dimension of these retranscriptions of reality.
In 2019, the exhibition will be presented first at the KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes, then
at the Sørlandet Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand (SKMU), two leading Norwegian museums.


Sylvie PERRIN /
+33 (0)1 46 29 38 38 / +33 (0) 6 25 12 82
Agence Observatoire
Véronique JANNEAU /
Apolline EHKIRCH /
+33 (0)1 43 54 87 71 / 07 82 04 83 75


Visits and lectures, in Sèvres and Paris
Workshops, for children and families
Catalogue, published in collaboration with Norwegian Crafts