Olav Herman-Hansen Biography

Olav Herman-Hansen




Painter, sculptor, and printmaker Olav Herman-Hansen was born in Oslo, Norway on January 14, 1935. He attended the Bergen Arts and Crafts School under Knut Glambeck, Povl Christensen, and Asbjorn Brekke from 1953 to 1958, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen under Holger Jensen and Soren Hjorth Nielsen from 1959 to 1962, the year he was awarded the Norwegian Graphics Award for his etching "King's Garden," which was purchased by the State Museum of Art. Following his formal education he received the Young Artists' Society working scholarship, which allowed him to traveled to Paris, where Stanley William Hayter had reopened his experiemental printmaking workshop, Atelier 17, following the war.

Prior to his time in Paris, Herman-Hansen focused on figurative subjects and landscapes. His time at Atelier 17 greatly impacted him, however, and he abandoned his former style in favor of abstraction. He studied printmaking under Stanley William Hayter for a year, then enrolled in plastic engineering courses at the Academy of Art in Stockholm, taking welding lessons on the side to began experimenting with three dimensional works. In 1966 he joined Group 66, a sociopolitical art group that was dedicated to non-representational, collaborative art work using materials that were relatively new to the art world, such as high-tensile plastic laminate,. This led to Herman-Hansen's use of plastic and plexiglass in his sculpture. 

Herman-Hansen began exhibiting in 1960 as a participant in the Autumn Exhibition in Oslo. In 1967 he was a part of the Annual Folder Norwegian Association for Graphic Arts, and in 1974 he was received his first commission to create a sculpture in collaboration with the architects of the Loddefjord School, for the school's campus. From 1964 to 1975 he was a drawing teacher at Bergen Arts and Crafts School, and he also taught courses at the Westland Academy of Arts and was lecturer at Rogaland District College. Herman-Hansen still works in printmaking as well as painting and drawing. 

Among his commissions are sculptures and ornamental works for: the Bergen Nursing School (1970 - 1979); the National Gallery, Oslo; the Bergen Photo Gallery; Haugsund Photo Galelry; Statens Art Museum, Copenhagen; Krakow City Museum; Norwegian Cultural Council; Art in the Workplace, Denmark; the Association for Young Danish Art; Foreign Affairs; Sarpsborg and Farsund Art Associations; and the King of Sweden's private collection.

Memberships include: Visual Artist's Voting Rights (board member, 1979); the Young Artists Society; the National Association of Norwegian Painters; the Norwegian Graphics Assocation; the Visual Artists Association, Bergen; Finnegard Circuit, board member (1970); Autumn Exhibition, juror and scholarship committee, 1976-1977; Eastern Exhibition Jury, 1979-1980.

Awards included: The Norwegian Graphics Award, 1962; Young Artists Society for Art in the Hospitals, 1st price, 1964; Denmark's foreign aid poster competition, 1st prize; Trondelag Theater poster competition, 2nd prize; Bergen International Festival poster competition, 2nd prize.

Solo exhibitions include:
The Artist Association, Oslo, 1978 
Gallery 1, Bergen, 1978; Molde Kunstforening, 1980 
The Station Gallery, Bergen, 1981
The Graphic House, Bergen, 1982

Group exhibitions include (partial list): 
Autumn Exhibition, Oslo, 1960-66; 1974-81
West Country Exhibition, 1958, 1961-65; 1967-69; 1972; 1947-77; 1979-1980; 1982
Young Artists Society Spring Exhibition, 1966-69; 1971; 1978
Norwegian Graphic Der Gegenwart, Berlin, 1962
Nordic Exhibition, Helsinki, 1963
The Youth Biennial, Paris, 1963
Young Graphics, Western Norway, 1964
Sixteen Debutants, Hammerlunds Kunsthandel, Oslo, 1965
Seven Western Graphics Artists, 1965
Biennale, San Paulo, 1965
Biennale Kristianiakow, 1966
Nordic Youth Biennial, Charlottenborg, 1966
Group 66, Bergen and Dopenhagen, 1966
Tokyo Biennale, 1970
Cohabitation, Bergen and Tromso, 1977 and 1978
S.W. Hayter and His Norwegian Students, Artist's House, Oslo, 1979
Eastern Counry Exhibition, 1980
Seven Random, Bergen (four seperate shows) 1982