Art on show

May 15, 2002, 14:45 CEST

A first exhibition of artworks owned by Statoil is being opened today, 15 May, by chief executive Olav Fjell at the Stavanger Art Society’s premises.

Entitled “Statoil’s collection of art”, the show is drawn from one of the largest corporate collections of contemporary Norwegian art in the country.

The presentation embraces about 40 of the roughly 2,000 registered artworks held by the group, and mostly comprises paintings with a few small sculptures.

“A large number of outsiders have asked us to put our collection on display,” explains Statoil art consultant Wenche Falkenhaug.

“Employees are also interested in seeing these things exhibited, and it’s fun to bring the works more alive by putting them on show in an art institution.”

She explains that objects have been selected for display to illustrate the breadth of the group’s collection, and are by some of Norway’s best-known artists as well as several younger names.

They include Bjørn-Sigurd Tufta, Frans Widerberg, Per Kleiva, Vegard Moen, Torbjørn Rødland, Terje Finnsen and Vibeke Slyngstad.

The artworks on show include pictures loaned to the Norwegian embassy in Berlin and others which embellish Statoil offices outside Stavanger.

“It’s fun to show part of our collection to local people,” says Ms Falkenhaug. “This is usually only accessible to employees or visitors. And the exhibition coincides with our 30th anniversary.”

Statoil's art purchases have had a consistent focus on contemporary works. Younger artists have been given priority in the past three-four years.