Joey Horn is an avid collector of contemporary art from Norway, as well as from India and China. Amongst the most famous Norwegian artists is Edvard Munch (1863-1944). Munch is Norway’s best-known and best-loved artist – as well as being one of the most significant modernist artists in the world. Munch bequeathed all of his artworks to the City of Oslo just four years before his death, and thereafter the city built the Munch Museum. The generous donation included 1,150 paintings, 18,000 prints, 13 sculptures and 7,700 watercolours and drawings, and it is from this collection that the Munch Museum proudly exhibits his work.
The country has many other museums, galleries and artist-run spaces, as well as hosting several biennials, including Momentum 9: The Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, which was based just a short drive south of the country’s capital city of Oslo. The Museum of Contemporary Art is located in Oslo and hosts several exhibitions throughout the year. However, the museum is about to close to the public for refurbishments and is set to reopen in 2020.
For much of its history, Norway imported the vast majority of its works of art, rather than creating art locally that was inspired by the country itself. Norway’s own art scene started to thrive in the 19th century thanks to landscape artists including Johan Christian Dahl and Johannes Flintoe, and today the country boasts many internationally recognised artists.
Some well-known contemporary artists include:
Gardar Eide Einarsson, who lives and works in New York and Tokyo. His work, mostly in black and white, incorporates acts of appropriation and the re-contextualization of imagery and information.
Matias Faldbakken is an artist and writer, and works mostly with conceptual art installations. He is based in Oslo.
Bjarne Melgaard lives and works in New York but is Norwegian. He is considered to be one of the most important Norwegian artists and has achieved international fame due to his controversial expressionistic paintings, commenting on gender and race.
Pia Myrvold makes multimedia works that combine art with technology, music, video, fashion, design, architecture and dance. Myrvold rose to fame in the 1980s, and her work has been exhibited internationally ever since.
Vebjorn Sand is best known for his large scale installations and public artworks. Sand has travelled around Antarctica and Greenland, creating works that are inspired by these landscapes, including ‘The Ice Bridge’ which was sculpted in Antarctica.
Per Inge Bjorlo and Marianne Heier create installation art; Heier has been widely exhibited, and she also has a permanent installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo.
Morten Krogvold works with analogue photographic processes, creating beautiful, rich images in his dark room. Krogvold was awarded the Knight of the First Class of the Norwegian Royal Order of St. Olav in 2005 for his exceptional work as an artist.