“Aase Texmon Rygh. Modernism Forever!”
For the first time, The National Museum presents a solo exhibition of works by Aase Texmon Rygh, one of the most important pioneers in modern Norwegian sculpture. “Aase Texmon Rygh. Modernism Forever!” demonstrates the wide range of Aase Texmon Rygh’s work, including sculptures from the 1950s up to the present day. Sketches, models and other documentation material from her lifelong artistic career convey the story of one of Norway’s first sculptors to be concerned with abstraction.
The sculptor Aase Texmon Rygh, born in 1925 in Norway, lives in Oslo and studied in Copenhagen and Oslo. Her studies at The Royal Academy of the Fine Arts in Copenhagen at the end of the 1940s, as well as a trip to Paris in 1950, were important steps on the road ahead. In Denmark, sculpture had evolved in the same direction as painting through abstraction and simplification. In Paris she was able to experience European modernism and, perhaps equally decisive, the simplified shapes of ancient sculpture in the Louvre.
Much like British contemporaries Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, Aase Texmon Rygh explored the shape of the abstracted and simplified human figure in the 1950s and 1960s. Over the course of several years she developed an abstract language where motion and gesture played a central part. Later in her career she left the human figure behind altogether, and developed a purely abstract formal language as she became interested in concepts of stability, perpetuity and eternity.
Texmon Rygh is particularly known for her Möbius sculptures, a series of works characterised by a highly simplified and condensed form of expression, based on the mathematical Möbius shape. Texmon Rygh subscribes to the principle of less is more. Nothing is left to chance, and great attention is given to the properties of the material.
Texmon Rygh’s abstract sculptures were for a long while ignored by her contemporaries. The Association of Norwegian Sculptors was founded in 1947, but Texmon Rygh was rejected several times before she was finally granted membership in 1963. Her ambition was to liberate herself both from traditional sculpture and from a conservative fellowship of Norwegian artists, and this struggle would ultimately prove successful. In recent years, Texmon Rygh has received increasing national and international recognition. In 2001 she was appointed Officer of the Order of St. Olav, and in 2012 was represented at the leading international art exhibition dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany.