Gustav Vigeland (11 April 1869 – 12 March 1943) was a Norwegian sculptor. He is most associated with the Vigeland installation (Vigelandsanlegget) in Frogner Park in Oslo (214 monumental sculptures). He was also the designer of the Nobel Peace Prize medal.
Vigeland sympathized with Nazi Germany, and stated during the Second World War that he was « happy » to accept prominent Nazis in his atelier, and that « I welcome German soldiers with their excellent discipline to walk around between my work. » Art critic Pola Gauguin wrote that the Vigeland installation « reeks of Nazi mentality” and Torgrim Eggen and Jörg Modrow compare Vigeland’s work to Nazi and Stalinist monumental art.
I hate you but I enjoy what you do?
When I saw all this statues for the first time, unknowing who was Vigeland, I was impressed: a real « coup de coeur »! They even made me feel some emotions at the opposite of what the Nazi ideology can express. But now I know and this quote from Picasso never seemed so right for me : art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.