This is a meeting between two very different but influential Norwegian artist careers. As we look more closely, they actually have a lot in common. There also have family ties. Siri Aurdal (1937) is the daughter of textile artist Synnøve Anker Aurdal (1908-2000). In 1949, when Siri was 12 years old, her mother married Ludvig Eikaas (1920-2010). Aurdal thus became Eikaas’s stepdaughter. Siri and Ludvig have also portrayed each other. Siri with a bronze bust in 1965, which is now part of Stavanger Art Museum’s collection. Ludvig with the woodcuts Rock`n & roll from around 1957 and Siri from 1960, which remain part of our Eikaas collection.
Both Aurdal and Eikaas have experimented with painting and graphics, but both have also had playful and exploratory relationships with a number of «new» materials and innovative techniques since the 1960s. By using «inferior» materials such as plexiglass, fiberglass, plastic, polyester, steel, aluminium and cement, they challenged contemporary ideas about what art should be. We can’t rule out Siri as a possible source of inspiration for the 17 years older stepfather. The colours red, pink and green are also commonly used by both.
In this exhibition, they have contributed with a piece each, showing different interpretations of the title Interview. Eikaas’s work is a text motif which can be interpreted as a written self-portrait. It is a sort of extended version of his well-known text motif: I. Eikaas started using text fragments as a pictorial language in the 1960s. In retrospect, we see that he was an early exponent of conceptual techniques. In Aurdal’s floating plexiglass work, the audience is imagined as part of the work. The idea is that the audience should be able to interact with it and see each other through it (Interview = to see through). Creating this kind of accessible, «outgoing» and social artwork was completely in line with international trends in both feminist art and other contemporary political art.
Siri Aurdal’s work Interview was the last, and largest, artwork to be purchased using the additional funding provided to the Museums of Sogn og Fjordane during the pandemic.
Curators: Solveig Berg Lofnes and Martine Due Sivertsen
Montage: Ole Langvik Hansen and Solveig Berg Lofnes
Text: Martine Due Sivertsen, Solveig Berg Lofnes and Ingrid Norum
Graphic design: Henriette Bekjorden Hukset
Photo: Siri Aurdal, Interview, 1968-2018, molded and coloured plexiglass