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Poor Art – Rich Legacy

Press release   •   Mar 11, 2015 14:43 GMT

The exhibition “Poor Art – Rich Legacy: Arte Povera and Parallel Practices 1968–2015” is based on some of the most significant works from the Norwegian National Museum’s collection of contemporary art.

The arte povera movement represents one of the museum’s principal areas of interest in contemporary art. Hence the focus of the present exhibition, which takes place twenty-five years after the Museum of Contemporary Art opened its doors to the public in 1990.

Short-lived but influential
Arte povera was a short-lived but influential art movement whose roots lay in the protest movements of the late 1960s. One thing the arte povera artists had in common was their revolt against the commercial art scene. They were opposed to modern consumer society and wanted to make art more common and quotidian. The leading artists of the movement included Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mario Merz, and Gilberto Zorio.

The debates of the 1960s in a current light
In addition to displaying the arte povera works themselves, this thematic exhibition of the National Museum’s collection reveals the kinship between arte povera and other movements from the era, such as conceptual art, land art, and postminimalism. It also focuses on more recent works that show that the art debates of the 1960s remain relevant for younger generations of artists.

The rich legacy of arte povera
The legacy from arte povera is reflected in the National Museum’s collection, where a number of important works by both Norwegian and foreign artists show the clear influence from arte povera’s rich legacy. Contemporary artists featured in the exhibition include Kristina Bræin, Ida Ekblad, Matias Faldbakken, and Gerard Byrne.

All in all, sixty-three artists and ninety works of art are represented in the exhibition. Also featured are fourteen filmed interviews with artists, critics, and the museum’s director, as well as the NRK documentary Time, Money, and Art from the Museum of Contemporary Art’s opening in 1990.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated publication with essays by Audun Eckhoff, Sabrina van der Ley, and Andrea Kroksnes. A catalogue of 150 highlights from the museum’s collection of contemporary art will also be launched during the opening of the exhibition. This catalogue will feature many of the works and artists represented in the exhibition.

Sabrina van der Ley, Andrea Kroksnes, and Randi Godø have curated the exhibition, which is open to the public at the Museum of Contemporary Art from 13 March 2015 to 14 August 2016.

Artists represented at the exhibition: Giovanni Anselmo, Miroslaw Balka, Per   Barclay, Per Inge Bjørlo, Louise Bourgeois, Bård Breivik, Gerard Byrne, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Jeannette  Christensen, Ida Ekblad, Ólafur Eliasson, Matias Faldbakken, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Jon Gundersen, Gjertrud Hals, Svanhild Heggedal, Siri Hermansen, Marianne Heske, Ane Mette Hol, Ragna St. Ingadottir, Iver Jåks, Ilya Kabakov, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Camille Norment, Giulio Paolini, Guiseppe Penone, Michelangelo   Pistoletto, Kirstine Roepstorff, Dieter Roth, Ulrich Rückriem, Lara   Schnitger, Robert Smithson, Gerd Tinglum, Mario García Torres, Mette Tronvoll, Tone Vigeland, Camilla   Wærenskjold, Snorre Ytterstad, and Gilberto Zorio.

For more information, please contact Press Officer Eva Amine Wold Engeset: +0047 469 50 102,

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