Tone Vigeland had long since been an internationally acclaimed jewellery designer when she displayed a free-standing sculpture for the first time. That was in the mid-1990s, and in 2000 she presented her first solo exhibition of sculptures. It was also at this time that she began to work with steel pipes and wires. Everything she creates is typified by its exquisite artisanship and familiarity with the materials. Even though Vigeland’s roots lie in international modernism and minimalism, she sets herself apart from these movements in her emphasis on craft and artisanal qualities. Her familiarity with the material adds a touch of subjectivity,and the works become perhaps more charged than the minimalists’ aloof, anonymous sculptures made from industrially fabricated materials.
Sculpture I consists of a series of steel poles that hang vertically from the roof. Gossamer threads of steel formed as uneven circles have been wound around the poles. The artist explores the contrasts between the light and the heavy, the fluid and the stable, the vertical and the horizontal, the organic and the constructed, the playful and the strict. Perhaps nature itself is a source of inspiration. The sculpture makes the viewer think of a waterfall, a breeze playing with the branches of a weeping willow, or cobwebs floating weightlessly in the wind. The light adds life to the sculpture.
A graduate of the National Academy of Craft and Art Industry, Vigeland also trained as a goldsmith and studied design at the PLUS centre in Fredrikstad. Her works have been acquired by several leading museums both in Norway and abroad. In 1996 she was decorated as a Commander of the Order of St. Olav.
Text: Anita Rebolledo
From "Highlights. Art from 1945 to the Present", Nasjonalmuseet 2016, ISBN 978-82-8154-116-0