Press release -
The National Museum of Norway announces forthcoming exhibition programme following anticipated opening in June 2022
The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design opening in Oslo on 11 June 2022 is delighted to announce the exhibition programme for 2022 and beyond. The programme includes a major new commission by Laure Prouvost, a solo presentation by Grayson Perry, as well as surveys on contemporary architecture and modern Scandinavian design.
The opening programme in June 2022 includes an 87-room presentationof works from the Museum’s collection that span from medieval tapestry to contemporary fashion, and from renaissance paintings to contemporary art installations. The museum will also open with I call it art, a comprehensive exhibition with 147 artists and artist groups currently working in Norway, and an evocative show of Norwegian 19th Century fairy tale illustrations East of the Sun, West of the Moon. The museum will also mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Norway with a program of podcasts, performances, talks, club nights and exhibitions in conjunction with the National Library and the National Norwegian Archive for Queer History.
With over 54,300 square metres, the National Museum will be the largest art museum in the Nordic region, with four spaces for temporary exhibitions, including the 2,400 square metre Light Hall on top of the building. In the National Museum – Architecture, a companion museum to the National Museum of Norway located on the Bankplassen in central Oslo, a programme of exhibitions will focus on Norwegian architecture and design. In September, The International Library of Fashion Research (ILFR) will open at the "Mellomstasjonen" venue located at the National Museum. The ILFR is the world’s most comprehensive repository of specialised fashion research and contemporary fashion publications run by editor and curator Elise By Olsen.
Future exhibitions at the National Museum from 2023 and 2024 include presentations of Louise Bourgeois, Mark Rothko, Frida Kahlo and a multidisciplinary research project on wool by Italian design duo Formafantasma.
A comprehensive list of future exhibitions at the National Museum here.
Scandinavian Design and the USA 1890 – 1980 (18 March – 15 August 2022)
This major exhibition is the first to present the extensive exchange of design ideas between the United States and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden between 1890 and 1980. The exhibition is a collaboration between Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum in association with the National Museum of Norway, and Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. The exhibition will be on display in the National Museum – Architecture from March 2022.
The collection (opens 11 June)
More than 6,500 works from antiquity to the museum’s most recent contemporary acquisitions will be on display in the new museum where the collection exhibition will span across two floors and 87 rooms. There will be rooms dedicated to the museum’s significant collection of works by Edvard Munch, including The Scream, 19th century landscape paintings, royal gowns worn by Norway’s queens, and works by renowned Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn. Prominent artists on display include Harald Sohlberg, Artemisia Gentileschi, Peder Balke, Hannah Ryggen, Lucas Cranach the elder, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Ida Ekblad.
I call it art (11 June–11 September 2022)
The first exhibition in the Light Hall will be a wide-ranging presentation of contemporary art made in Norway. With works that explore notions of identity, nationality and democracy I call it art will question the boundaries between those who are included and excluded from the art world and society. In search of new art and new artists, the National Museum's curators scoured the entire country, and received over 1,000 contributions from artists through an open call.
The exhibition will fill the entire Light Hall and include an event, video and performance programme.
East of the Sun, West of the Moon (11 June–30 December 2022)
The first exhibition in the National Museum’s gallery for temporary exhibitions of prints and drawings will consist of an array of drawings made for Norwegian fairy tales almost 150 years ago. The exhibition offers a rare chance to see the fragile original drawings of trolls, and other fairy tale characters created for the first illustrated children’s books in Norway by artists Erik Werenskiold and Theodor Kittelsen.
Fredriksen Family Collection (opens 11 June)
The new National Museum will dedicate a major space to exhibit works from the Fredriksen Family Collection.The collection consists of artworks that Kathrine and Cecilie Fredriksen have collected in memory of their mother, Inger Astrup Fredriksen, featuring groundbreaking international art from the last 90 years to the present. Visitors can expect to see an everchanging collection, where new works will be added including Abstract Expressionist pieces, minimalist and figurative paintings charged with political engagement.
The Fredriksen Family Collection is an important addition to themuseum collections of Norway as well as the whole of Scandinavia, presenting seminal international modern and contemporary artworks. The collaboration with the Fredriksen Family also includes a research program and a series of biennial commissions for the Light Hall.
Piranesi and the modern (8 September 2022–8 January 2023)
The National Museum will present Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s 18th Century works showcasing his legacy in modern culture across artforms and media. Piranesi is best known for his etched works where he created imaginative city vistas, architectural designs and prison scenes. His visionary work has had a great influence on modern photography, film, painting, literature, and architecture. Piranesi’s works will be presented alongside artists and architects such as Julie Mehretu, Rem Koolhas, and films like Metropolis and Star Wars.
Oslo Architecture Triennale (21 September 2022–29 January 2023)
The title of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022 is “Mission Neighbourhood – (Re)forming communities”. The National Museum’s presentation will explore themes of community and exclusion with several examples from the past 70 years of how ideas about community have had an influence on architecture and urban planning. The Swedish architect collective MYCKET has been commissioned to make a site-specific installation that will transform the National Museum – Architecture. Inspired by queer spaces and nightclub architecture MYCKET make playful and performative installations and club concepts in what they call a “queer-dyke-maximalist” aesthetic.
Fredriksen Family Commission. Laure Prouvost (3 November 2022–12 February 2023)
Fredriksen Family Commission is a series of five biennial exhibitions over 10 years, for which international artists will be invited to make new works for the National Museum’s Light Hall. The first artist in the series is the French artist Laure Prouvost. Winner of the 2013 Turner Prize, Prouvost is one of the most acclaimed artists of her generation. She is known for her imaginative immersive installations including sculptures, objects and videos as well as her use of language, which is at the core of her art. Prouvost’s works often play with words, meaning and associations, and combine personal memories with artistic and literary references.
Grayson Perry (10 November 2022–26 March 2023)
With works that address identity, gender, class and British culture, Grayson Perry has become one of the most celebrated artists in the UK and internationally. The exhibition in the Light Hall will be the first solo presentation of Perry's work in Norway and will showcase the full breadth of the artist’s practice spanning ceramics, tapestries, sculptures and prints from the 1980s to the present day.
Select future exhibitions
Louise Bourgeois (2023)
With more than 100 works that span Louise Bourgeois’ entire career, this major exhibition in the Light Hall will bring Bourgeois’ works into dialogue with artists like Ana Mendieta, Wifredo Lam and Louise Nevelson. The exhibition will articulate Bourgeois’ bond to art history, presenting her as a central pivot linking modern, postmodern, and contemporary art. The exhibition is made in close collaboration with The Easton Foundation.
Formafantasma – on wool (2023)
In 2023 The National Museum will show a multidisciplinary design exhibition by Italian design duo Formafantasma. The project will look into the materiality of wool and its economic, cultural, social and biological entanglements. Engaging both local and international researchers, the exhibition will aim to offer new understandings of materials, production and the environment, and the role that design plays in society at large.
Anna-Eva Bergman (2023)
One of Norway’s foremost modernist artists Anna-Eva Bergman (1909-1975) lived in France for many years of her life but looked to Norwegian nature for inspiration for her monumental paintings. In Autumn 2023 the National Museum will present the different phases of Bergman’s work in a major exhibition in the Light Hall, with a special focus on her paintings. The exhibition will also be shown at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris and is scheduled to tour to other museums in Europe.
Mark Rothko: Paintings on paper (2024)
This exhibition marks the first major presentation of American artist Mark Rothko (1903–1970) in the Nordic countries. One of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Rothko was central to the development of post-war abstract art. This exhibition will examine approximately 100 paintings on paper made throughout Rothko's career, from figurative works of the 1930s, to mythological and surrealist works of the 1940s, to works from the 1950s and 1960s painted in the artist’s signature format: soft-edged rectangular fields arranged against monochrome backgrounds. Centering these paintings on paper offers a new view of the development of Rothko’s oeuvre.
The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The National Museum will be its only venue in Europe.
Frida Kahlo (2024)
The unique pictorial language of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) is a source of fascination and wonder. This major exhibition curated by the National Museum will place Kahlo’s paintings and drawings alongside Mesoamerican artefacts, religious paintings, textiles and photographs. Kahlo was a communist with a deep commitment to her Mexican heritage. The exhibition in the Light Hall in autumn 2024 will emphasise the political and ideological factors behind her artistic choices.
The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design opens in 2022. With its new building the National Museum will be the largest art museum in the Nordics. The collection contains 400,000 objects ranging from the antiquity to the present day and includes paintings, sculpture, drawings, textiles, furniture and architectural models.