With the exhibition ‘Working around the World’ De Ketelfactory has made its first international choice. Although the Norwegian artist Frank Åsnes does visit and work in the Netherlands frequently, he draws his inspiration from the rugged, unspoiled wilderness of Norway. More than ten years ago he came to know Aeneas Wilder at the Artist’s Centre in Dale, along the country’s western coast. This Scottish-born artist, now based in Japan, builds his installations all over the world. In the autumn of 2011 they’ll meet again in the Netherlands.
The constructions of both Frank Åsnes and Aeneas Wilder seek extreme limits. Their objects share an intrinsic sense of simplicity. And despite a light and airy appearance, they exude a strength derived from their smallest components. The two artists show equal concern for every piece of material and every phase of the working process. At De Ketelfactory their artworks merge: colourful spirals, cardboard cylinders, compact wooden maquettes and a shimmering wall drawing.
Frank Åsnes was born in Norway but studied in the Netherlands, at the art academy of Den Bosch (1985-1990), and in Düsseldorf, with Tony Cragg (1993-1994). At his studio in ‘Station K’ (Sandnes, N) he works on his sculptures and drawings. His preferred materials include cardboard, glass, metal, plexiglass, concrete and colored clothes pins—of which he collected about 20,000 in recent years, incorporating them arbitrarily into his objects. Through the properties of the materials Åsnes arrives at idiosyncratic, architectonic constructions. He has a preference for symmetry.
Aeneas Wilder studied at the Duncan Jordanstone College of Art & Design (Dundee, Scotland) and received his postgraduate degree from Edinburgh College of Art. Since 1998 he has been living and working in Japan. Wilder builds his towers and domes from uniform pieces of wood. The only thing that holds these together is gravity. He prefers to work on location, so that he can take inspiration from the potential of the site. He also leaves room for the transitory: his edifices are allowed, through the course of time, to tumble down and return to being a pile of wood again.
distillation ‘Working around the World’
Date: 23 October 2011
In collaboration with: Arild Bergstrøm
Arild Bergstrøm. Working on new ideas
Before an artist creates a work of art, they must put themselves in a position to do so. What are the options? Working on location as an artist in residence is a tried and tested method, which worked for Frank Åsnes and Aeneas Wilder. In 2000, they were guests at the Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale in Norway. Arild Bergstrøm, former director of the arts centre, tells us about the institute and the possibilities it offers to artists.
Aeneas Wilder exhibits images of places all over the world, which he visited as artist in residence.
Frank Åsnes: “I want to demonstrate that the works combined form a whole and are interconnected or flow from one into another. My way of working is best described as organic. I worked with cardboard for a long time, easy material. However fragile it is, architectonic constructions appeared naturally. I didn’t draw it up in advance. By working in this way, I try to find a form of freedom. Sometimes I’m surprised when I see how leftover material turns out to fit perfectly into a certain shape. That’s when I realise how one shape relates to a previously created shape, and those moments often remind me of nature.”
Aeneas Wilder: “For me, it all leads back to this feeling I had until I was five. A feeling I could switch on and off whenever I was in bed. It can be compared to what some people experience when floating on salt water in the dark in a float tank. I knew then that there was something that limited me eventually, but not where that ended, because everything was dark and you couldn’t see it, smell it or touch it. Like being weightless in a universe without stars. I think that feeling may be my memory of the womb. For me, this feeling is connected to the essence of my work.”
articles (in Dutch)
press release (in Dutch)