Nikolai Astrup. Visions of Norway
An extensive exhibition on the celebrated Norwegian painter Nikolai Astrup (1880–1928), who deftly wove tradition and innovation into his artistic production.
"I have attempted to express some of the kinship with nature by which we can be overcome while roaming the Jølster countryside. The smell and feel of old heathen and ancient religions, the land filled with legend, and the frequently crude colors—all of these are more important to my art than as mere subjects of my pictures....I, perhaps, am one of this country’s painters closest to the soil."
— Nikolai Astrup
Nikolai Astrup (1880–1928) was a painter, printmaker, and horticulturalist whose art is widely celebrated in his native Norway. With its distinctive iconography, intense palette, and formal and technical innovations, Astrup’s art promises to enchant and engage.
The exhibition Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway presents nearly one hundred works by Astrup generously lent by public and private collections, including a number of recently discovered paintings and woodcuts that are being presented for the first time.
An innovative artist
Nikolai Astrup was an innovative artist and the exhibition displays the full breadth of his artistic oeuvre of paintings and graphic works, as well as the creative work Astrup carried out on his farmstead and impressive garden called “Astruptunet” in Jølster, Western Norway. Astrup’s farmstead served as a source of inspiration for his artistic motifs, sustained his family, and was an early manifestation of ecological conservation.
The Jølster area’s sublime landscape, distinctive atmosphere, and ethereal summer light captivated Astrup, while his childhood memories — marked by local traditions and Norwegian folklore — deeply shaped his perception of place.
“With apologies to proprietary Norwegians, Nikolai Astrup belongs to all of us now.”
— Peter Schjeldahl, the New Yorker
Regarded as one of Norway’s most important artists, Astrup is still largely unknown outside his homeland. In the summer of 2021 Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway was presented at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, thereby introducing the artist to an American public for the first time. The exhibition will move to Prins Eugen’s Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, Sweden, from February 19–May 28, 2022.
About the exhibition
The exhibition opens Friday October 15 at KODE Art Museums, Bergen, and is on display until January 23, 2022.
Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway is a collaboration between KODE Art Museums, the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, the Savings Bank Foundation DNB, and Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde.
KODE is greatly indebted to curator MaryAnne Stevens for her intrepid exploration of this significant artist. We are also excited to present a catalogue which features recent scholarship and provides context for understanding this artist and his body of work.
KODE would like to acknowledge the vital role played by the Savings Bank Foundation DNB, Oslo. They have ensured the success of this exhibition success by generously lending a substantial number of works from their collection and by supporting this endeavour both financially and by providing enduring assistance, encouragement, and enthusiasm.
- 15 Oct 2021 to 23 Jan 2022
- 150/100/0 *
* Adults: NOK 150, Students: NOK 100, Free admission for children and KODE members. The ticket gives admission to all exhibitions at KODE for two days