In the context of Norwegian art history, Edvard Munch is often portrayed as a loner, a standoffish and monumental genius. However, he had a massive influence on a number of contemporary artists. This is the subject of the exhibition "Stenersen’s line: The unknown story of Munch and Norwegian Modernism".
Munch’s art was the point of departure for an extensive collection established by art collector, authpr and stockbroker Rolf Stenersen (1899-1978). 19 years old, he turned up at Munch’s studio at Ekely. A long friendship ensued, while an exceptional art collection was steadily growing. Munch gave Stenersen his advice on what artists to choose for his collection: "Buy pictures by artists who try to break new ground. Pictures that possess something special. Don’t listen to other people’s opinion. A collection should have a line."
As opposed to a dominant trend of nationally inclined and French-inspired art, the lines inherent in Stenersen’s collection reveal Munch’s influence on young Norwegian artists. Based on Stenersen’s collection and with Munch as the pivotal figure, the exhibition presents artists who, in different ways, may be viewed as belonging to an alternative story about Norwegian art in the period 1900 to 1950.
Curator: Lars Toft-Eriksen