Published to coincide with the artist’s exhibition celebrating the opening of Kings Place Gallery, London in 2008, Past in Future draws together an outstanding body of bronze, granite, marble and glass sculpture by an artist whose modesty belies his current status as one of the most gifted artists of his generation working in Norway today.

After graduating from the Academy in Oslo, he continued his studies in France and in 1984 travelled to Italy where he worked alongside the jobbing masons of the Carrara quarries, quickly learning to identify cut stone by its smell. While in Italy he also developed an interest in the work of Marino Marini and Mimmo Paladino, important additions to his personal pantheon of artists including Moore, Rodin, Ipousteguy, Picasso and Giacometti.

Widerberg’s predominantly still and monolithic pillar figures clearly have a kinship with Giacometti’s elongated presences, but Paladino’s sculpture of narrative, myth and surrealist invention has arguably had the greater influence. Widerberg’s continual concern for materials and processes, has produced some remarkable iridescent glass torsos which, paradoxically, seem to be both solid presences and apparitions.

Of his work, Widerberg once remarked, “My goal is to produce strength, communicate energy: It's about creating something living out of an inanimate material. I try to give life to something dead, which comes to life – it’s a sort of cycle.”

William Varley’s rapport with Widerberg’s work is apparent in his engrossing and authoritative essay in which he describes the artist’s sculpture as “beings in a state of suspended animation; hence their timelessness. As in fairy tales, if you kissed them they would wake, breathe, move and talk.”

Paperback 280 x 232mm
96 pages, 67 full colour illustrations
Editor: Mara-Helen Wood
Essay by William Varley
Poems by Lars Saabye Christensen
ISBN 0 947940 06 5
Price £15.00