Poor Art – Rich Legacy

Poor Art – Rich Legacy

National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design Norway

Mario Merz, postamenti della terra e della luna su un asse (Movements of the Earth and the Moon on an Axis), 2002. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet.

February 28, 2015

Poor Art – Rich Legacy
Arte Povera and parallel practices 1968–2015

13 March 2015–28 February 2016 

Opening: Thursday 12 March, 18h

National Museum of Norway
The Museum of Contemporary Art
Bankplassen 4
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 11–17h
Thursday 11–19h, Saturday–Sunday 12–17


This thematic exhibition concentrates on works from the Arte Povera movement and parallel practices, which are central to the museum’s collection since its founding years. This makes it a highly appropriate subject for The Museum of Contemporary Art in its 25th year. 

In addition to the many Arte Povera works, the exhibition includes examples of related practices such as conceptual art, land art and minimalism. It also features recent works that illustrate how the art debates of the 1960s have influenced younger generations of artists.

Against the background of the political protest movements of the late 1960s, Arte Povera adopted an oppositional stance to consumerism and the increasing commercialisation of the art world. This legacy of Arte Povera is reflected in the museum’s collection. A number of important Norwegian and foreign artworks constitute the rich heritage that has developed from the influence of Arte Povera. The 2000s saw a renewal of experimental interest in materials and artistic approaches such as neo-conceptualism. Artists made use of strategies that illustrate the enduring relevance of artistic concepts of the 1960s. A walk through the exhibition will allow the audience to experience the museum’s Arte Povera works, and compare and discover parallel practices such as Camilla Løw’s play with minimalism, Ida Ekblad’s sculptures assembled from found garbage, the “formlessness” of Camilla Wærenskjold and Jeannette Christensen, and a critical and neoconceptual approach in the works of Matias Faldbakken, Gerard Byrne and Mario García Torres. 

The artists
Giovanni Anselmo, John Baldessari, Miroslaw Balka, Per Barclay, Per Inge Bjørlo, John Bock, Louise Bourgeois, Hanne Borchgrevink, Bård Breivik, Kristina Bræin, Gerard Byrne, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Jeannette Christensen, Hanne Darboven, A K Dolven, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ida Ekblad, Ólafur Eliasson, Matias Faldbakken, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hilmar Fredriksen, Jon Gundersen, Gjertrud Hals, Svanhild Heggedal, Siri Hermansen, Georg Herold, Marianne Heske, Ane Mette Hol, Ragna St. Ingadóttir, Marte Johnslien, Donald Judd, Iver Jåks, Ilya Kabakov, Berit Soot Kløvig, Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt, Løvaas & Wagle, Camilla Løw, Mario Merz, Camille Norment, Kirsten Ortwed, Sidsel Paaske, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Kirstine Roepstorff, Dieter Roth, Ulrich Rückriem, Lara Schnitger, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Susana Solano, Bente Stokke, Gerd Tinglum, Mario García Torres, Mette Tronvoll, Tone Vigeland, Franz West, Camilla Wærenskjold, Snorre Ytterstad, and Gilberto Zorio

Exhibition curators: Sabrina van der Ley, Randi Godø and Andrea Kroksnes
Educational curator: Anita Rebolledo
Project manager: Lita Ellingsen


18–24 May, we invite you to see the choreographer and dancer Solveig Styve Holte, who will perform continuously during the opening hours of the museum, inquiring whether choreography can be an “object” on the same level as other works in the exhibition? 
Thursday 17 September, 17h: performance: From skin to skin – from room to room. A theatrical tour of the exhibition.
A group of performers from Grenland Friteater working in the tradition of J. Grotowski’s “Poor Theatre,” will take over the museum for the evening. Using their physical presence and personal materials—actions, gestures, sounds and words—they take possession of the exhibition space in order to comment on, complement, contrast and challenge the artworks.

For more information: www.nasjonalmuseet.no

National Museum of Norway presents Poor Art – Rich Legacy
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National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design Norway
February 28, 2015

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