Date: 23 and 24 May 2019
Place: Sentralen, Oslo, Norway

On the occasion of the Vigeland Jubilee 2019, the Vigeland Museum, in partnership with the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University of Oslo, is extending an invitation for a two- day seminar on the evolution of sculpture in the period 1890-1920, with a special focus on Gustav Vigeland and his French contemporaries.

The seminar will be held in conjunction with the Jubilee Exhibition staged in the Vigeland Museum (12 April – 15 September 2019). In the exhibition, Vigeland is presented together with Constantin Meunier (1831-1905), Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) and Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929). These artists contributed to the evolution of modern sculpture in different ways, while also being of special interest to Vigeland. The purpose of the exhibition is to present the development of Vigeland’s work in an art historical context, thus enriching our understanding of its various aspects. A shift within European sculpture took place towards the end of the 19th Century, comparable to what had happened in the field of painting a few decades earlier. This was mainly a break with the preceding academic tradition, or salon sculpture, where subject matter was commonly related to mythological and allegorical topics and execution was characterized by a delicate flair. In this transitional context, Auguste Rodin is considered the leading figure. His break with the past was not radical, but his extensive experimentation with form and movement was liberating. Another pioneer was the Belgian artist Constantin Meunier. In his realistic representations of workers, one finds a simplification of form and exclusion of details, which points forward. In the early 19th Century, further development went in different directions, but a (gradual or radical) simplification can be said to be a common denominator.

The seminar will shed light on the various aspects of this development. What was the impact of Greek (Archaic and Classical), Egyptian and so-ˇcalled Primitive art in this context? What formal and topical considerations engaged the artists? In what way were they influenced by current ideologies and changes in society? What characterizes the monumental sculpture of the period – and the new monuments? How did sculpture become an international concern in this period?

Submission of papers

We want papers to explore individual practices, networks, theoretical perspectives and ideologies. Contributions that shed light on the period from a social and philosophical perspective are welcome.

Proposals should contain:
a) a 300-word summary
b) academic CV
c) contact information

Presentations are 20 minutes, followed by a discussion.

Proposals should be sent to both guri.skuggen@kul.oslo.kommune.no and erik.morstad@ifikk.uio.no

by 1 March 2019.

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