Nikolai Astrup. Painting Norway, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
The first ever major London exhibition of the radically innovative paintings and prints by Norwegian artist Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928).
One of the most renowned Norwegian artists, Astrup’s work transforms the rugged Norwegian landscape into a mythical, living entity. Exploring the luscious, colourful paintings and radical innovation in printmaking that defined the Norwegian artist’s career, the exhibition brought together over 90 oil paintings and prints, including works from private collections never exhibited before, to London.
Astrup sought a national “visual language” that evoked the traditions and folklore of his homeland. Best known for his luminous paintings of Midsummer Eve bonfires, Astrup’s landscapes evoke the atmosphere and changing seasons of his home district of Jølster. Places important to Astrup – the old parsonage where he grew up, his beautiful farmstead at Sandalstrand (named “Astruptunet” after him), and the lake Jølstravatnet were to become the focus and inspiration of a unique and extraordinary body of work.
Coinciding with this exhibition, we presented a digital display entitled Forest Folk, which was held in the Mausoleum. Playing upon the theme of metamorphosis prevalent in Astrup’s work, the display featured two huge screens, on which forest creatures respond to visitors entering the space.
Curators: Frances Carey, Ian Dejardin og MaryAnne Stevens
Catalogue: Frances Carey, Ian Dejardin og MaryAnne Stevens (red.), Painting Norway. Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928), London: Scala 2016.