Nikolai Astrup: The Way Home

An artist should see nature as would a child, claimed Astrup. KODE’s Astrup exhibition focuses on the artist’s early works, looking closely at his development in the direction of naïvism. Several of the featured pictures have never before been publically exhibited.

Why did Nikolai Astrup use colour in such a special way? And how did his tendency to depict imaginative and mysterious details in landscapes arise? In 2016 Nikolai Astrup will be launched internationally, through a large exhibition that will travel to London, Emden and Oslo. While much of the collection is on tour, KODE opens the exhibition «Nikolai Astrup – The Way Home» in Bergen, focusing on Astrup’s early works.

Astrup saved his childhood drawings in two large volumes. As an adult he used them as sources of inspiration for his art. The volumes will now be on show for the first time. Several of Astrup’s other sources of artistic inspiration, including works by J.C. Dahl and Harriet Backer, will also be shown alongside Astrup’s juvenilia and student works. After studying in Kristiania (Oslo) and Paris (1899–1902), Astrup declared himself a ‘naturalistic naïvist’. The exhibition traces the germ of this concept and shows how Astrup situated himself between two of his era’s competing directions in art: the academic landscape tradition and early-modernist abstraction.

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Nikolai Astrup