Contemporary Nordic Art


This started back in 1957 when Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden each released a pair of stamps showing five whooper swans in flight. There was no further joint issue until 1969 when the same countries marked the 50th anniversary of Norden, the Northern Countries Union with a pair of stamps featuring the motifs from Viking coins. Since 1973, however, stamps have been issued every three years. At first these had uniform designs but latterly different motifs in a common theme have been adopted.

This year’s stamps have the subject of decorative art in public places and as the original five countries have now almost doubled (with separate stamps from Aland, Faroes and Greenland as well), the latest issues present an amazingly diverse range of sculptures. Sweden’s pair features open-air sculptures from Kristianstad, known as ‘the town of sculptures’ because of the local rock diabase which is particularly well-suited to carving. From Greenland come two stamps respectively showing rock carvings from the ‘Stone and Man’ project and a snow sculpture from the Nuuk Snow Festival. The Faroes, on the other hand, have concentrated on the work of a single artist, Trondur Patursson, whose large glass and mirror structures entitled ‘Cosmic Space’ and ‘Depths of the Ocean’ are depicted.

The next Nordic stamps (in 2005 and 2008) will feature other aspects of the arts of Scandinavia since 1945.

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