ISGIES - gallery supported activity 2020-2021
ISGIES is the support scheme for Norwegian galleries and independent exhibition spaces that offers financial support for participation in art fairs abroad when presenting artworks by Norwegian and Norway based artists.
With two difficult years of global pandemic behind us, it is noteworthy to see how restrictions and lockdowns have impacted the activity of galleries and independent exhibition spaces.
The sudden arrival of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown of society on the 13th March 2020 meant that there was only a handful of ISGIES supported Art Fair participations for that year. The following Norwegian galleries and independent exhibition spaces participated in international art fairs in 2020:
Independent Art Fair, New York 3-8 March
STANDARD (OSLO) presented works by Matias Faldbakken
NOMAD St. Moritz 2020 6-9 February
Galleri Format, Oslopresented works by Irene Nordli, Ellen Grieg, Karen Klim and Liv Blåvarp
Armory Show, New York 5-8 March
Galleri Brandstrup, Oslopresented works by Apichaya Wanthiang and Christer Glein
OSL contemporary, Oslopresented works by Aase Texmon Rygh
In August 2020 one Norwegian gallery participated in a digital edition of an Art Fair:
CHART, Denmark digital version 28-30.8.2020
Galleri Brandstrup, Oslopresented works by Apichaya Wanthiang and Anna Daniell
The Ministry of Culture initiated a new category within the ISGIES support scheme short after the pandemic broke out to strengthen galleries’ digital communication platforms. It was a measure designed to support concrete costs of developing, improving and establishing online promotion platforms for sale of artworks through galleries.
The reason for this was that many galleries were hit hard by the postponement or cancellation of international art fairs due to the pandemic restrictions and needed to search for alternative ways of being visible and maintaining their activity. In 2020, six galleries made use of this support opportunity of a total of NOK 1,068,166. In 2021, eight galleries received such support totalling NOK 1,195,100.
The support went to improving websites, subscriptions for digital art platforms like Artnet, Artsy and Artland, production of promotional films, 3D digital presentation of artwork in the gallery context and consultancy on international promotion.
Autumn 2021 saw a break in the weather in terms of the pandemic restrictions, and the following Art Fairs went ahead with physical participation from Norwegian galleries presenting Norwegian and Norway based artists supported by ISGIES.
Juxtapose Art Fair, Århus, Denmark 20-22 August
Small Projects, Tromsøwith the artists Ina Otzko, Eva Faché, Anne Lindgaard Mølle and Jet Pascua
Enter Art Fair, Denmark August 25-28 August
QB Gallery, Oslo with a solo presentation of works by Liv Tandrevold Eriksen
Independent Art Fair, New York 9-12 September
STANDARD (OSLO) presented works by Ann Cathrin November Høibo
Unseen Amsterdam 17-19 September
Fotogalleri Vasli Souza, Oslo presented works by Dagny Hay
Unseen Book Market, Amsterdam 16-19 September
Multipress Forlag, Oslolaunched three new books with the artists Verena Winkelmann, Line Bøhmer Løkken, Tiago Bom, Else Marie Hagen, Eline MUgaas, Margareta Bergman, Marte Aas and Mariken Kramer.
Art Basel, 21-26 September
STANDARD (OSLO) presented works by Torbjørn Rødland, Ann Cathrin November Høibo, Gardar Eide Einarsson and Matias Faldbakken
Market Art Fair, Stockholm 15-26 September
Galleri Haaken, Oslo presented works by Kristin Nordhøy and Håkon Anton Fagerås
ISCA Gallery, Oslo with a solo presentation of works by Marianne Hurum
Galleri Golsa, Oslo presented works by Linn Pedersen, Johanne Hestvold and Erlend Grytbakk Vold
Galleri Riis, Oslo with a solo presentation of works by Marie Buskov
Design Miami Basel, 20-26 September
Galleri Format, Oslopresented works by Edith Lundebrekke
June Art Fair 2021, Basel 20-26 September
VI,VII Oslopresented works by Mikael Brkic
CHART, Denmark 26-29 September
Melk Galleri, Oslopresented works by Ingrid Eggen
Kunstplass Contemporary Art, Oslowith a solo presentation of works by Vanna Bowles
Galleri Golsa, Oslo presented works by Linn Pedersen and Johanne Hestvold
OSL contemporary, Oslowith a solo presentation of works by Vibeke Tandberg
CHART Book Fair, Denmark 26-29 September
Kunsthall Oslo presented books with the artists Elisabeth Haarr, Steinar Haga Kristensen, Azar Alsharif, Fadlabi, Eline Mugaas, Elise Storsveen, Ida Ekblad, Lars Laumann, Jon Benjamin Tallerås, FRANK, Lotte Konow Lund, Podium, Christian Tony Norum, Matias Faldbakken, Kim André Hagen, Fredrik Værslev, Saman Katyab, Hanan Benhamar, Fatou Åsbakk and Agatha Wara.
Multinational Enterprises Forlag, Oslo presented an installation by Sveinn Fannar Jóhannson
Codex Polaris, Bergen presented Bibliotek Nordica, a collection of book works from the Nordic countries plus projects by each of the founders of the publisher: Imi Maufe, Rita Marhaug, and Randi Annie Strand
Frieze Art Fair, London 13-17 October
VI,VII, Oslopresented works by Sebastian Lloyd Rees
Supermarket Art Fair
Art Cologne, Germany 16-20 November
Galleri Opdahl, Stavangerpresented works by Liv Ertzeid, Jone Kvie, Sverre Wyller and Per Dybvig
NADA Miami, USA 1-4 December
Rogaland Artcenter, Stavanger participated in collaboration with Bas Fisher Invitational and presented works by Máret Anne Sara, Hanan Benammar and Siri Borge
Between 9th and 12th of September 2021, Armory Show, New York, held a digital fair edition with Online Exclusive where Galleri Brandstrup (Oslo) presented works by Sverre Bjertnes, Lars Ø. Ramberg and Apichaya Wanthiang and
OSL contemporary (Oslo) presented works by Ane Graff.
While the results from fair participation can vary, they are an important platform for galleries. In the beginning of 2020, OCA surveyed the 24 galleries that received support for international art fair participation in 2019; as a result of their art fair participation, they cumulatively reported:
- 141 sales
- 600 new interested/potential customers
- 76 media mentions
- 153 curator or journalist visits to their gallery after the fair
- 641 new contacts had been followed up actively after the fair participation
We asked Eivind Furnesvik of STANDARD (OSLO) for his perspective on the future operation of art fairs in light of experience gained during the pandemic.
"The world wide pandemic has resulted in a pause to any notion of a singular global market. It has both had galleries reengaging with their local audience while trying to figure out new ways to stay in touch with artists, collectors and art professionals elsewhere. While information technology provides wonderful opportunities to prepare and inform about projects, it is never able to replace the first hand experience of seeing art in person and meeting in person. Too much time was spent looking at screens, and when finally being able to welcome people back to the gallery and or see them again at the art fairs that happened in 2021, there was a tremendous appreciation for something that has been taken for granted. Art fairs may not be perfect in every sense, but it allows for a firsthand experience of art, nuance, comparison and conversation. We are looking forward to more of that in the years to come!"