Carol Bove unveils new work for season 2021 at Kistefos

April 26, 2021

American artist Carol Bove (b. 1971) has made a monumental, site-specific work for Kistefos. The work is made from steel, the artist's favoured material of recent years, and is indicative of her signature form and style. The sculpture is named "Untitled" and was unveiled at the season-opening.


Bove’s work combines found objects, including old steel found on scrap heaps, and mass-produced, prefabricated steel that has been painstakingly manufactured. The result is large, tactile works that are both raw and fragile at the same time.

Bove visited Kistefos in 2018 and fell in love with the tranquil forest area southwest of The Twist. Here the cows graze, the river’s current is calmer and fallen pine trees have transformed the terrain in a spectacular way. This area is a previously unused area of the sculptural landscape, and Bove's work thus expands Kistefos both geographically and artistically.

The sculpture at Kistefos is made of steel from a cargo ship that sank off Fedje in 2007. MS Server was on its way to Murmansk when it blew up into a storm. Eight meter high waves meant that the crew had to be evacuated by helicopter and the ship eventually sank to the bottom of the seabed in two parts. The rear part of the ship, consisting of 1500 tons of steel, was raised in 2018. The steel in Bove's sculpture came from this part of the ship. Despite the hard, heavy materials she uses, the finished works have a lightness, making them feel soft, light, and compliant.

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Photo: Jan M Lillebø, Bergens Tidende.

Sculpture’s Woman of Steel

The New York Times, 04.11.2016.

Artistically, Bove is part of a generation inspired by Bernar Venet (b. 1941), Anthony Caro (1924-2013), Richard Serra (b. 1938) and John Chamberlain (1927-2011) – elder gentlemen artists working with heavy monumental sculptures - traditionally a male-dominated form of expression. Bove places the materials at the centre of the work and process and lets them speak for themselves. She does not use preparatory sketches, even the large sculptures are created spontaneously and improvised, using cranes and hydraulics.

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Carol Bove, 2019. Photo: Jason Schmidt. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner.

Bove was born in Switzerland and raised in Berkeley, California. She is a graduate of New York University and has had solo exhibitions at e.g. Kunsthalle Zürich, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. In 2017, she represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale. Bove is currently represented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art with four sculptures for The Facade Commission.

9 Nike III 2018

Carol Bove, Nike III, 2018 © Carol Bove. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner.

4 High Line 2013

Carol Bove, installation view of Caterpillar on The High Line at the Rail Yards, New York, 2013–2014 Photo: Timothy Schenck. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner.

2 The Met 2021

Installation view, The séances aren’t helping I, 2021 for The Facade Commission: Carol Bove, The séances aren’t helping, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo: Jason Schmidt. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.