Aage Gaup (b. 1943) is a significant sculptor in Norwegian art, especially recognized for his monumental sculptures in wood. His art has elicited emotions, wonder, and engagement since the 1970s. Gaup has combined modern and classic art with Sámi traditions, both on a thematic and technical level. He's the recipient of The John Savio Award 2019, and it's our privilege to present a selection of his production in our Artist Room.
The John Savio Award 2019
The purpose of the award is to give attention to art founded in Sámi culture. It is a collaboration between The Relief Fund for Visual Artists, The Sámi Artists' Union and Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, and is awarded biannually.
When giving the award to Aage Gaup, the jury says:
“Aage Gaup is known for his solidarity, participation, and helpfulness (…) With excellent craftsmanship and understanding of the materials, he has fused personal, political and poetic elements to a comprehensive expression in sculpture, image, installation, and scenography.»
A committed artist's life
Gaup attended Trondheim Art School (1973 – 1978) and is trained in both classical and modernistic sculpture. In the highly politicized art world of the 1970s, Gaup joined the Artist’s campaign, who worked for artists’ rights. He also worked with the political organization Norwegian Sámi Association.
Together with other Sámi artists, Gaup was hired to decorate the new primary school in Láhpoluoppal in Finmark, and in 1978 he relocated to the neighboring village, Masi. They were joined by even more artists and the same year they founded the Sami Artist Group/The Masi Group, known for its fight for Sámi culture and the rights of Sámi artists. They were also strong influences in the renewal and confrontation of Sámi artistic traditions. Gaup has a lifelong commitment to work for refugees and victims of war, lately focused on Palestine.
Gaup is also a long-term collaborator of the Sámi national theatre Beaivváš, providing scenography for among others the play If Even A 100 Stallos (a stallo is a Sámi mythological troll). He won the Norwegian theatre award Hedda in 2002 for the scenography of Vølunds Poem.