Mind-Building – Catalogue of the Exhibition in the Pavilion of Finland at La Biennale Architettura 2018
Gustav Vigeland (1869–1943) is a unique and towering figure in Scandinavian art history. Influenced by antiquity, the Middle Ages, Renaissance and – not least – Auguste Rodin, he still struck out his own path and broke new ground. With an emotive and dramatic expression his works portray humanity and the different stages of human life.
As a patron of the arts Ernest Thiel played an important role for Vigeland, both artistically and financially. His support helped the artist make his name and develop his artistic path. Today, the Thiel Gallery has the biggest Vigeland collection outside Norway.
With more than 200 sculptures, the Vigeland Park inside Oslo’s Frogner Park is Gustav Vigeland’s principal accomplishment. Here, visitors encounter the full range of human emotions, from expressions of love and tenderness to darker, erotic and melancholic aspects.
The photographer Yanan Li revisited Vigeland’s work in Stockholm and Oslo. Through the camera lens, the impressive and monumental works reveal themselves as intimate and fragile.
The book marks the 150th anniversary of Vigeland’s birth. Gustav Vigeland’s sculptures and portrayal of life have never appeared so close and so expressive.