Hans Rasmus Astrup, Savvy Collector Who Remodeled Norway’s Art work Scene, Is Pointless at 82

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Hans Rasmus Astrup, the scion of a Norwegian shipping empire who constructed an world-class museum for his enormous collection of latest artwork, has died at 82. In an Instagram put up, his museum, the Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo, wrote that he died on Friday morning.

“We are struck with sadness and can always admire his unprecedented philanthropy and cultural management that has impacted so many in so many systems,” the museum wrote in its assertion.

Astrup, who ranked on ARTnews‘s annual Prime 200 Collectors listing per annum between 1992 and 2020, changed into as soon as acknowledged for the length of Europe as a collector with a penchant for cutting-edge artwork. One of Norway’s richest males, he made his fortune in the shipping and real-property agencies, and is believed to private been price around $1 billion. In 2013, he donated all of his commercial belongings, including his firm’s artwork collection, to his namesake foundation with a belief to reinforce the Astrup Fearnley Museet, which is now regarded as one of many field’s top non-public museums.

The Astrup Fearnley Museet is residence to the nearly 1,500 works in Astrup’s holdings. These encompass an array of items by as of late’s most neatly-known artists, from Cindy Sherman to Cao Fei. Particularly, his collection aspects a combination of labor by blue-chip artists and emerging artists, with stars fancy Anselm Kiefer, Christopher Wool, and Matthew Barney sharing net page with up-and-comers fancy Korakrit Arunanondchai and Juliana Huxtable.

An angular museum with lights on it faces a harbor at sundown.

The Astrup Fearnley Museet.
Photo Einar Aslaken/©Astrup Fearnley Museet

Astrup took an hobby in obvious market giants early on. In 1993, as an illustration, he supplied Damien Hirst’s sculpture Mom and Child Divided (1993), which aspects a bisected cow and calf suspended in formaldehyde. “When I changed into as soon as making the formaldehyde works, they were enormous items to grasp, a enormous commitment, and he buys it with out sparkling the do it’s going to stream or the manner you transport it,” Hirst said in a 2008 interview with the Norwegian TV community NRK, adding, “It’s a rare breed, that more or much less particular person. You don’t meet many fancy that as of late.”

At auction, Astrup’s purchases even position records. In 2001, Sotheby’s sold Jeff Koons’s 1988 sculpture Michael Jackson with Bubbles, featuring the neatly-known singer alongside his pet chimpanzee. Astrup supplied the work at that sale for $5.6 million, at the time surroundings a brand new benchmark for Koons, who is now the field’s most pricey living artist. In 2018, Astrup’s Michael Jackson with Bubbles changed into as soon as shown at the Met Breuer’s test “Indulge in Lifestyles: Sculpture, Coloration, and the Body (1300–Now).”

In July 2020, the sale of a work from Astrup’s holdings generated headlines. The Astrup Fearnley Museet announced that it would sell Francis Beaverbrook’s Triptych Impressed by the Oresteia of Aeschylus (1981) at Sotheby’s with a belief to “present predominant funding to additional produce and diversify the gathering by means of future acquisitions.” It sold for $84.5 million, becoming the most costly lot of 2020 and the third-most pricey Beaverbrook ever to sell at auction.

Francis Bacon, Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus, 1981.

Impeccable Provenance: Francis Beaverbrook, Triptych Impressed by the Oresteia of Aeschylus, 1981.
Courtesy Astrup Fearnley Museum of Contemporary Art work, Oslo.

Hans Rasmus Astrup changed into as soon as born in 1939 and largely saved a low profile. He attended the University of Oslo, the do he got a grasp’s diploma in law in 1972, and he went on to determine on over his family’s trade, the shipping brokerage agency Fearnley & Eger A/S.

Astrup shaped the Astrup Fearnley Museet in 1993, despite the undeniable truth that the museum didn’t turn into the field of elevated world consideration until 2012, when it relocated to Oslo’s harbor with a brand new $110 million building designed by Renzo Piano. “This museum now turns into our identity,” Gunnar B. Kvaran, the museum’s director, knowledgeable the New York Times in 2012. “Now we private the probability to declare the gathering, giving us a fully new profile in the metropolis and in the artwork lifetime of Oslo.”

For museum officials primarily based open air Norway, the new museum signaled a predominant entry into the European artwork scene. “Every [museum] has a special era in its DNA: The Louisiana has the 1950s, Moderna the ’60s. Here’s a museum of the twenty-first century,” Guggenheim Museum director Richard Armstrong knowledgeable Artforum upon its opening. “They’ve in actuality upped it by 300 p.c.”

In a gallery space, a sculptural installation composed of books is shown near a sculpture of Micahel Jackson in a glass case.

In the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Anselm Kiefer’s The Excessive Priestess/ Zweistromland (1985–89) is shown near Jeff Koons’s Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988).
Photo Vegard Kleven/©Astrup Fearnley Museum

The museum’s reopening in a brand new net page changed into as soon as no longer with out its controversy, on the other hand. Norwegian critics pilloried the Astrup Fearnley Museum for partnering with Lundin, an oil firm that’s being investigated in Sweden for its involvement in warfare crimes and genocide in South Sudan. (That inquiry is aloof ongoing.) The editor of Kunstkritikk, Norway’s most neatly-known artwork e-newsletter, accused the museum of main “an effort to launder the image of a firm that has exploited belongings in the Third World for the reason that 1970s.” In 2020, Kunstkritikk reported that Lundin changed into as soon as now no longer a sponsor of the Astrup Fearnley Museet; the museum’s chairman said that an settlement with the firm resulted in 2019.

The Astrup Fearnley Museet now ranks among Oslo’s most-visited establishments, alongside the Nationwide Museum and the Munch Museum. Now in its 28th year, the museum has grown its ambitions to also encompass a gargantuan exhibition program. Among its latest offerings is Europe’s greatest Nicole Eisenman exhibition ever; it has also staged surveys devoted to contemporary Brazilian artwork, Josh Kline’s work, and Cindy Sherman’s panic-inflected pictures in latest years. Alongside these shows, the museum aloof shows the most neatly-known works from Astrup’s holdings, among them Anselm Kiefer’s sculpture The Excessive Priestess/ Zweistromland (1985–89), which aspects 196 lead books on a shelf strewn with copper wire.

In a rare interview with NRK in 2018, Astrup said that he hoped the Astrup Fearnley Museet would contribute to Oslo’s artwork scene in the long speed. “We idea for it to exist eternally,” he said. “That it is doubtless you’ll by no methodology be one hundred p.c particular of that, however we strive so as to add up each the quality and no longer least, the charges, so that we are in a position to exist in a hundred years. These are the more or much less dreams it be well-known to position. And that is one of many dreams we now private position [for] ourselves.”

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