NIKOLAI ASTRUP - Out of the Shadows

The exhibition sheds light on how the darkness of night and the mystique of childhood were important sources of inspiration for Nikolai Astrup.

In the dim light of dusk and in the shadow of a blazing bonfire, nature awakens. Trees become trolls and mountains have faces.

In the course of his career Astrup’s art underwent a transition from dark, evocative scenes – often devoid of figures – to sun-drenched landscapes full of life and vegetation. After studying in Paris and Berlin his pictures become increasingly experimental and intense in colour.

Astrup settles with his wife and children in Sandalstrand and their new home becomes a central motif in his art. “Out of the Shadows” presents Astrup’s many shifting atmospheres and diverse depictions of human beings in close contact with nature.

About the Artist
Nikolai Astrup (1880–1928) has held a prominent position in Norwegian art history since he exhibited his work for the first time in the year of Norway’s independence, 1905. He is primarily known for his distinctive depictions of the lush nature and traditional way of life in Western Norway. Astrup’s oeuvre is notable for its intense, colorful palette, and the magical realism of his remarkable landscapes, and he deftly wove tradition and innovation into his artistic production. Together with Edvard Munch he introduced the modern woodcut medium to Norway.

Selected works by Astrup will be presented in Rasmus Meyers Collection, KODE 3, during the tour. 

Astrup to USA in 2020
A larger part of the works currently at display at KODE will be traveling abroad in 2020 for the first North American exhibition focused on Nikolai Astrup. The exhibition Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway will be presented at the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, from  June 13–September 13, 2020, featuring more than eighty-five works celebrating Astrup as painter, printmaker, and horticulturalist. The exhibition will open at KODE from October 23, 2020–January 24, 2021 and then travel to the museum Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, from February 20–May 16, 2021.

The Astrup Research Centre
The exhibition “Out of the Shadows” has been curated by the Nikolai Astrup Research Centre for Art and Landscape, a collaboration between KODE and the DNB Savings Bank Foundation.

Read more about the research centre and Nikolai Astrup at


  • 3 Mar 2017 to 12 Jan 2020
  • Kode 4
  • 130 / 90 / 0 *

* Adults: NOK 130, Students: NOK 90, Bergen Card: NOK 90, Free admission for children and KODE members. The ticket gives admission to all exhibitions at KODE for two days.