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Anne-Karin Furunes: Portraits of Unknowns

Sept. 4 - Dec. 22, 2010

Anne-Karin Furunes (Norwegian, b. 1961) creates large-scale images by perforating black or white painted canvases with thousands of various sized holes. Similar to the dot pattern of the printed image, Furunes' images are photographic persona of her subjects. Her portraits are taken from photographs in a Swedish archive devoted to the now-discredited notion of categorizing people by race, ethnicity, and mental capacity. The covert program conducted by the Swedish government included the forced sterilization of those who were considered imbecile, deviant, or a burden to society. Furunes anonymous portraits from the archive restore respect and dignity to her subjects.

Furunes studied at the National Academy of Fine Art, Oslo and is a professor and dean of the Trondheim Art Academy, Norway. She is extensively known in Europe and Australia; her introduction to the US was through a Barry Friedman Gallery exhibition in 2007. She is represented in such public collections as the National Museum of China, Beijing; the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; the Tromsp Museum of Contemporary art Norway, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finland, and the Museum of Art, Trondheim, Norway. She is represented in the US by Barry Friedman, Ltd. in New York.

  • Funded in part by Edelweiss Funds, the National Advisory Board of the UW Art Museum, and the Wyoming Arts Council through the Wyoming State Legislature.

Norwegian artist Anne-Karin Furunes discusses her large-scale portraits drawn from historic photographic archives and created by perforating canvas.


Left: Anne-Karin Furunes (Norwegian, b.1961), Portraits of Pictures - Portrait 17, 2007, acrylic on canvas, perforated, 88-1/4 x 63 inches, image courtesy of Barry Friedman Ltd.

Center: Anne-Karin Furunes (Norwegian, b.1961), Portraits of Pictures - Portrait 13, 2007, acrylic on canvas, perforated, 88-1/4 x 63 inches, image courtesy of Barry Friedman Ltd.

Right: Anne-Karin Furunes (Norwegian, b.1961), Portraits of Pictures - Portrait 18, 2007, acrylic on canvas, perforated, 88-1/4 x 63 inches, image courtesy of Barry Friedman Ltd.

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