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The National Museum focus on documentary and portrait photography: From the American pioneers of social documentary to Torbjørn Rødland’s emotional imagery, via Vibeke Tandberg’s and Cindy Sherman’s explorations of identity.

Press release   •   Feb 13, 2017 09:43 GMT

The exhibition “SNAP: Documentary and Portrait Photography from the Collection” will showcase photographic art ranging from the genre’s nineteenth-century infancy until today’s neo-conceptual offerings. A press preview will be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Wednesday 15 February at 11:00 a.m. To register, please contact Press Manager Elise Lund at

The exhibition will address the following questions:

- What inspired documentary photographers during the 1880s, 1960s, and 1990s?

- What characterizes subjective and objective portraiture?

The questions will be answered by way of 100 works from 30 Norwegian and international photographers.

American influence on documentary photography. The exhibition guides us through three key periods in documentary photography: the pioneers Jacob Riis (1849–1914) and Lewis Hine (1874–1940), on loan from the Preus Museum; the 1960s, with highlights by Christer Strömholm from the National Museum’s Robert Meyer Collection and from the Norwegian-American photography agency Manité; and the 1990s, with Nan Goldin’s personal documentaries, Dag Alveng’s and Esko Männikkö’s slice-of-life depictions, and the staged photography of Lill-Ann Chepstow-Lusty and Mikkel McAlinden.

What do portrait photographs reveal? In regard to portraits, the exhibition focuses on contemporary photography from the 1990s until 2016 and the following themes: subjective and objective approaches, with artists such as Per Maning, Thomas Ruff, and Mette Tronvoll; the staged exploration of identity; cultural and political statements in performative works by Rossella Biscotti and Jon Benjamin Tallerås; and finally, recent developments in neo-conceptual photography.

Other featured artists: Dag Alveng, Signe Marie Andersen, Rosella Biscotti, Sophie Calle, Lill-Ann Chepstow-Lusty, Tacita Dean, Rineke Dijkstra, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Annika von Hausswolf, Lewis W. Hine, Arild Kristo, Per Maning, Mikkel McAlinden, Torfinn Michaelsen, Esko Männikkö, Wilhelm Piro, Jacob A. Riis, Robert A. Robinson, Thomas Ruff, Tom Sandberg, Fin Serck-Hanssen, Thomas Struth, Christer Strömholm, Jon Benjamin Tallerås, Mette Tronvoll, Verena Winkelmann, Garry Winogrand og Dan Young.

The exhibition is a research project. The research project will culminate in an exhibition and a peer-reviewed catalogue text by the exhibition’s curator, Eva Klerck Gange. The exhibition will run until 3 September 2017.

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