Frans Widerberg

ENG / NOR

1964 – 1974

1964

Represents Norway in printmaking biennales in Rostock, Krakow, Ljubljana with woodcuts. Participates in the group exhibition Hexagon at Kunstnerforbundet in Oslo, Sekskanten at Bergen Kunstforening, and as a contestant in Juniutstillingen at Kunstnerforbundet with Arvid Eikevik, Tone Løvseth Ek, Tor Esaissen, Guttorm Guttormsgaard, Odd Nerdrum and Kjell Nymoen

 

Participates in a group exhibition in New Delhi, India. His son Thomas is born.

 

1965

Elected Chairman of the Unge Kunstneres Samfunn.

One-man exhibition of watercolours at Holst Halvorsens Kunsthandel.

Exhibits woodcuts in exhibition 7 Young Artists from Norway at the Art Hall in Göteborg. The Council purchases two works. Participates in the exhibition 14 Young Artists at the Artists’ House, Oslo, and at the Stavanger Art Association. Awarded the prestigious Printmaker Prize and invited to make a lithograph for Actuel Kunst. Becomes artist-in-residence at Ekely, an artists’ colony centred around Edvard Munch’s former studio and home on the outskirts of Oslo. The family remains there for the next 20 years.

 

1966

Begins to change his signature from Franz to Frans. As guest artist at the Harstad Music Festival, Northern Norway, he exhibits prints. Commissioned by the periodical Nye Bonytt to write articles on printmaking

 

1967

Wins the competition for the Haukeland Hospital in Bergen. The ceramic mural depicting a group of horsemen is made in collaboration with ceramicists Dagny (1936 – 2001) and Finn Hald (1929 – 2010). Begins experimenting in lithography. Works with the printer, Eugene Pettersen, who had worked with Edvard Munch.

 

1968

At the age of 34, has his first one-man exhibition of paintings at Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo.

Installs the ceramic mural Riders, commissioned for the entrance hall of the Psychiatric Clinic at Haukeland Hospital, Bergen. Created in collaboration with ceramicists, Dagny and Finn Hald.

Awarded a three year State Grant. Presents TV programme Will You Join Us with 8 year old son Nico.

Becomes a member of board at Kunstnerforbundet from 1968 – 1978 and the Board of the National Organisation for the Visual Arts from 1968 - 1971.

 

1970

Produces large-scale frieze for the University of Oslo’s Faculty of Social Science building at Blinder, in association with Dagny and Finn Hald.

Invited to participate in the group exhibition Norway Now, organised by the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC. His controversial paintings ‘Five Letters to America’, critical of the US Government’s engagement in Vietnam, the shooting of students at Kent State University in Ohio and their policy concerning the Civil Rights Movement, are finally accepted after eight other artists threatened to withdraw their work. The exhibition tours America or two years to considerable critical acclaim.

 

Borrows Pål Bang-Hansen’s house in Tovo, a small village in the Faraldi Valley in Liguria, Italy, with the intention of spending a year in Italy painting. Travels to Rome, Pompeii, Arezzo, Assissi and visits archaeological excavations in Sicily.

 

1971

Works on the commission for the cruise ship, Island Venture with Hadeland Glass Works.

1972

Invited artist at the National Annual Autumn Exhibition.
Awarded the Morgenbladet Art Prize

Travels to Italy where he shares studio space at Santa Catarina Chapel with artist Inger Sitter and sculptor Fritz Røed, but later buys a converted stable.

 

1973
Becomes a member of the printmaking jury of the Board of the National Organisation for the Visual Arts. Works with lithographer Eystein Hanche Olsen (1933 – 1983) in the lithographic workshop at the National College of Art, Craft and Design. An artist himself, Olsen shared Widerberg’s curiosity in finding new expressive possibilities in the lithographic process “We experimented and had a wonderful time, it was pure madness. In a few months I made 10 colour lithographs drawn freely from the stone..”

 

1974

Produces a lithographic poster announcing his print Retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery, Oslo, from November to December.

 

André Bjerke’s translation of Oscar Wilde’s one-act play Salomé, illustrated with twelve of Widerberg’s woodcuts is published in a limited edition by Solum Forlag, Oslo & Kragero.

 

Produces the painting triptych commissioned for the altarpiece at Volsdalen Church, Ålesund, on the theme of ‘John’s Baptism of Christ’, ‘Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem’ and ‘The Resurrection’.

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2018 © Thomas Widerberg & Mara Helen Wood

ENG / NOR

Frans Widerberg