The Astrup Fearnley Foundation is based on the fortunes of the Fearnley Shipping Group. Over two generations after grandpa Fearnley started the (now) conglomerate in the mid 19th century, they have some serious cash to spend. In 2012 this private museum designed by Renzo Piano opened on Tjuvholmen. The foundation’s interests lean towards American appropriation artists. The big splash came when they bought Jeff Koon’s “Michael Jackson with Bubbles” for $5.1 million USD in 2002.
The Renzo Piano building is as good as one would expect from Piano. He is my favorite museum architect. The Astrup Fearnley Collection is the worst I have ever seen. It demonstrates the travesty of too much money and too little scholarship. Fashion will never trump good taste.