History

History
The National Annual Autumn Exhibition is the premier arena in Norway for contemporary art. Since first opening its doors in 1882, it has been both revered and reviled, attracting artists, critics, and the public alike.

A unique event in Europe
In the early 1880s, Norwegian artists returned home with a fresh artistic outlook and new ideas about the role of artists in society, inspired by the renowned Salon in Paris. Unlike their colleagues in Sweden and Denmark, who had to contend with well-established institutions, the Norwegians returned home to virgin territory. Norway was a young nation without an art academy and with few art institutions. In 1884 the artists signed an agreement whereby the Norwegian state would help finance the exhibition, henceforth officially titled the National Annual Autumn Exhibition. This artist-run exhibition went on to become an annual art showcase for all of Norway. Today the Autumn Exhibition is a one-of-a-kind event in Europe.

Who takes part?
Virtually every well-known Norwegian artist has participated in the Autumn Exhibition. For decades it remained the only gateway to a professional career. Participation led to artistic recognition and hence the potential for increased income. One of the exhibition’s most vital traits is its inclusion of up-and-coming, experimental art. The exhibition was at its most radically innovative at the time when Edvard Munch broke with conventional styles and outraged “all of Norway”. The audience at the time had no inkling that the young painter would go on to become a trailblazer for a new direction in European art called expressionism. At the Autumn Exhibition the torch has been passed from one generation to the next, from nineteenth-century masters such as Erik Werenskiold, Fritz Thaulow, and Christian Krohg to modernists such as Henrik Sørensen, Jakob Weidemann, and Inger Sitter, and further to Marianne Heske, Odd Nerdrum, Per Inge Bjørlo, Morten Krogvold, Håkon Gullvåg, and Pushwagner, all the way to the artists making their names today, such as Lotte Konow Lund, Matias Faldbakken, Ane Graff, Lars Laumann, Kjersti Anvik, and Ane Hjort Guttu. Of the eleven Norwegian artists who took part in decorating Oslo Opera House, nine of them, including Astrid Løvås and Kirsten Wagle, have taken part in the Autumn Exhibition.

What is shown?
For 128 years the National Annual Autumn Exhibition has documented the development of contemporary art and fuelled many a debate on artistic quality. It has refused much worthwhile art throughout its existence, but it has also accepted experimental and controversial works that no other institution would have shown. This includes works that embodied recent trends and that would prove influential later on. For public galleries, private collectors, and museums, the exhibition is annual source of acquisitions.

Everything that disturbs out sense of security will seem provocative. Contemporary art is often such an unexpected encounter. Unfamiliar contents, unfamiliar styles, and new techniques and materials test our convictions and our experience of art. The Autumn Exhibition challenges us: it surprises and delights, annoys and electrifies.

 

 

Historical summary

2016
The Autumn Exhibition and the Norwegian Critics' Association invited to a conversation about art criticism three days before the official opening: This year's most stupid art adventure? A conversation about the art criticism of the Autumn Exhibition
An ongoing collaboration with the Norwegian Association of Art Societies resulted in the screening of videoworks from the National Annual Autumn Exhibition in 20 member societies during the year. The selected videoworks were Hammersborg Protecting the bygone Future (2016) by Birgitte Sigmundstad, (over)tro (2016) by Kristin Tårnes and Breath (2015) by Eva Bakkeslett.

No. of applicants: 2,545 No. of artists: 75 No. of works: 96 No. of debutants: 37
Art awards: The Norwegian Association of Art Societies’ Debutant Prize: Karin Blomgren, Gjennomgang
Autumn Exhibition Prize – The Relief Fund for Visual Artists’ Art Award: Anne Guro Larsmon, Sympatric Speciation - Apparatus I, II, III, IV, V
The Association of Norwegian Printmakers’ Fund’s Award: Gro Finne: Self-Portrait in Chinese kimono
Anne and Jakob Weidemann Bursary: Anna Widén, Etter skeid
 

2015
The 2015 exhibition showcased a significant number of socially and politically engaged works that sought to inspire reflection on the major crises of the day, such as the many war zones, the refugee crisis, and the rise of racism in Europe. Several works tackled issues of gender, not least gender identity and the power to define. At the same time, there was a clear tendency towards abstraction and formal studies of shape, surface, and space. Several site-specific works and performances were also shown during the exhibition period.

In 2015 the Autumn Exhibition chose to publish an exhibition newspaper in lieu of the traditional catalogue. The newspaper was free of charge and available to exhibition visitors, and it was also distributed at other institutions, cafés, and public buildings in Oslo.

No. of applicants: 2,102 No. of artists: 70 No. of works: 107 No. of debutants: 31

Art awards: The Norwegian Association of Art Societies’ Debutant Prize: Sebastian Makonnen Kjølaas, I’m So Oily / A Puzzle Building Muscle, Cyber-fun in the Algorithm Gravy / Powerhouse on the Rooftop and It’s Mega-personal / Training to Become a Train
Autumn Exhibition Prize – The Relief Fund for Visual Artists’ Art Award
: Tine Aamodt, Tesserakt (“Tesseract”)
The Association of Norwegian Printmakers’ Fund’s Award: Ellen Karin Mæhlum, Tuobkal Refuge, Marokko / I’m not actually involved, but I’m observing
The French Prize
: Kjersti G. Andvig, Aryan V Ancient
Anne and Jakob Weidemann Bursary
: Emilija Skarnulyte, Aldona
 

2014
Never before had so many performances been organized under the auspices of the Autumn Exhibition, with around 70 showings both inside and outside of Kunstnernes Hus. Several works evinced mystical, religious, and spiritual connotations. Others focused on issues of war and migration. Craftsmanship, materiality, and stringent compositions typified several of the works, something that gave an overall impression of order and structure.

No. of applicants: 2,256 No. of artists: 82 No. of works: 107 No. of debutants: 46

Art awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Svein Møxvold, Rekonstruksjon (“Reconstruction”)
Norwegian Association of Art Societies & NorgesGruppens’ Debutant Prize: Heidi Kennedy Skjerve, Plan
FineArt Award: Marit Justin Haugen, COAL
Anne and Jakob Weidemann Bursary: Mari Meen Halsøy, Wounds
 

2013

The Autumn Exhibition cooperated with the Norwegian Association of Art Societies to show a selection of video works from the exhibition in 26 art societies and organizations all over Norway from autumn 2013 to spring 2014. Most of the performances were shown in the auditorium and foyer at Kunstnernes Hus in the evening, and One Night Only became part of the exhibition with featured projects every Monday evening.

The centennial of women’s right to vote in Norway was celebrated with a showing of works by Else Marie Jakobsen (1927–2012) and Sissel Calmeyer (1941–2012).

The 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch was celebrated with a display of the correspondence between Munch and Halfdan Nobel Roede from 1943, concerning where Munch wanted his museum to be located, as well as an architectural sketch by L. Thrap-Jensen.

No. of applicants: 2,300 No. of artists: 95 No. of works: 109 No. of debutants: 45

Art awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Åsil Bøthun, Hunter
The French Prize: Bjørn Bjarre, Solaris
Norwegian Association of Art Societies & NorgesGruppens’ Debutant Prize: Susanne Kathlen Mader, Hendelser i stor høyde (“Events at a Great Height”)
FineArt Award: Mariken Kramer, Patterns of Inclusion
Anne and Jakob Weidemann Bursary: Aleksi Wildhagen, Til Det Norske Kongehuset (“To the Norwegian Royal Family)
 

2012
The National Annual Autumn Exhibition turns 125. In cooperation with the real-estate firm Rom Eiendom, the anniversary exhibition featured the “Room for Art” project, whereby works were shown at Oslo Central Station.

The Autumn Exhibition also cooperated with Les Rencontres Internationales Paris/ Berlin/ Madrid to show a selection of video works from the exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in December 2012. The jury wished in particular to observe the anniversary by highlighting Edvard Munch’s remarkable artistic career and great influence on the Autumn Exhibition, in addition to his prominent standing in art history. The jury therefore chose to display several photographs taken by Munch, as well as the original camera he used.

No. of applicants: 2,400 No. of artists: 91, of whom 84 were shown at Kunstnernes Hus and 7 at Oslo Central Station No. of works: 106 No. of debutants: 40

Art awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Beate Petersen, Nasserdin Shah and His 84 Wives
Norwegian Association of Art Societies & NorgesGruppens’ Debutant Prize: Marte Elise Stramrud, Livingroom Poetics
FineArt Award: Elin Brissman, uten tittel (“Untitled”)

2011
The national meeting of the Norwegian Visual Artists Association decided that the National Jury would “consist of six representatives, with deputies” and work “in a cross-disciplinary manner”. The change entails that, starting in 2012, the National Jury would no longer consist of a representative from each discipline. The goal is to achieve “as great a dissemination and cultural diversity as possible”.

No. of applicants: 2,221 No. of artists: 94 No. of works: 116 No. of debutants: 45

Awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Aurora Passero, Fan Their Hearts, Inflame Them More
The French Prize: Stein Wexelsen Goksøy, Hud og hår, del en (“Skin and Hair, Part One”)
Norwegian Association of Art Societies & NorgesGruppens’ Debutant Prize: Serhed Waledkhami, Flukt (“Escape”)
FineArt Award: Kari Steihaug, Etter markedet (“After the Market”)

2010
Video works are shown at Trondheim Kunstmuseum – Gråmølna, SKMU (Sørlandets Kunstmuseum), Northern Norway Art Museum, Bergen Kunsthall, Landmark, KINOKINO in Stavanger, and Galleri Svalbard. In 2010 the Autumn Exhibition launched new collaborations with FineArt and the Norwegian Association of Art Societies. The FineArt Prize, featuring a grant of NOK 25,000, will be given to “a work at the Autumn Exhibition that is particularly innovative, expresses contemporary trends, or reflects noteworthy events”.

The Norwegian Association of Art Societies’ Prize/ the Autumn Exhibition Debutant Prize is worth NOK 50,000. The prize winner will also be allowed to organize an exhibition to be shown at a number of art societies in Norway.

No. of applicants: 1,842 No. of artists: 85 No. of works: 100

Awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Anders Sletvold Moe, Disclosed Core (Black).
Norwegian Association of Art Societies & NorgesGruppens’ Debutant Prize: Gunvor Nervold Antonsen, Barovessjan.
FineArt Award: Anders Sletvold Moe, Disclosed Core (Black).

2009
Video works are shown at Galleri Svalbard, Christianssands Kunstforening, Northern Norway Art Museum, and Sound of Mu in Oslo. Kjartan Slettemark is honoured with a showing of the work Av rapport fra Vietnam. Barn overskylles av brennende napalm. Deres hud brennes til sorte sår og de dør (“Of a Report from Vietnam. Children are Engulfed in Burning Napalm. Their Skin Burns into Black Wounds and They Die”) from 1965.

The exhibition shows Marianne Heske’s installation Nature Morte from 1978, the first video installation to be shown in public in Norway.

Not since the major centennial exhibition in 1987 has the sale of art at the Autumn Exhibition been so high.

No. of applicants: 1,768 No. of artists: 81 No. of works: 110 No. of debutants: 25

Awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Sverre Malling, Spirit Caravan
The French Prize: Chrispin Gurholt, Roma

2008
No. of applicants: 1815 No. of artists: 108 No. of works: 110 No. of debutants: 55
Awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Hariton Pushwagner, Pling Plong, High Society, CIAO!, and Soft City

2007
The Autumn Exhibition is once again on the move, attracting many visitors to Trondheim Kunstmuseum.

No. of applicants: 1715 No. of artists: 88 No. of works: 113 No. of debutants: 47

Awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Adriana Alves, All raised to the power of none equals one, Les Quatre Cents Coups (after Truffaut)
The French Prize: Siri Austen, The invention of television was widely regarded as sounding the death knell of radio
The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association’s Prize: Dimitrie Lurie, Flashes of Persia
The Artist Club’s Prize: Erik Pirolt, Den eneste måten å bo på (“The Only Way to Live”) and Bolig (“Residence”)
Intravision’s Prize: Marte Hodne Haugen, Tetris the movie
KEM’s Debutant Prize: Kristian Evju, CWPS 5 p, and FmiLs-4p

2006
No. of applicants: 1644 No. of artists: 113 No. of works: 134 No. of debutants: 64

Awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Pål Vigeland, Muren (“The Wall”)

Intervisjon’s Prize: Kristoffer Myskja, Lyden av … (lyden av bomull, lyden av kaffi og lyden av gull) (“The Sound of … (the Sound of Cotton, the Sound of Coffee, and the Sound of Gold)”)

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association’s Prize: Kristoffer Myskja, Lyden av … (lyden av bomull, lyden av kaffi og lyden av gull) (“The Sound of … (the Sound of Cotton, the Sound of Coffee, and the Sound of Gold”)

KEM’s Debutant Prize: Tommy Johansson, 1/2 – ½ (Remis) II (“1/2 – ½ (Draw) II”)

2005
The national meeting discusses the purpose of the Autumn Exhibition. Resolution: “The aim of the National Annual Autumn Exhibition is to provide a cross-section of current Norwegian art.”

The Autumn Exhibition organizes the seminar “Sound in Contemporary Art – Art in Contemporary Music”.

No. of applicants: 1,701 No. of artists: 74 No. of works: 117 No. of debutants: 40

Awards: Autumn Exhibition Prize: Kjersti G. Andvig and Lars Laumann, Det samiske flagg i neon (“The Sami Flag in Neon”)

The French Prize: Thomas A. Østbye, Drømme kan du gjøre senere (“Dreaming Is Something You Can Do Later On”)

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association’s Prize: Pierre Lionel Matte, Final Statusmap

KEM’s Debutant Prize: Andrè von Morisse, The station, Above the city, and Trams

2003
The Autumn Exhibition Prize/ the BKH Art Award, worth NOK 100,000, is created, to be awarded to the most significant work of art at the exhibition. The inaugural prize is awarded to Øyvind Åsan and Jan Christensen for the conceptual works I will never make it and Politisk ladet overflate (“Politically Charged Surface”).

The youngest participants ever: 7th grade at Bestum School in Oslo, with the installation “All you need is love”.

A book on the Autumn Exhibition, written by the former exhibition director Ingrid L. Lystad, is published.

2001
The smallest exhibition in history, with 51 works by 21 artists. One sculpture and one print are shown, but no textile works.

The jury is accused of not fulfilling the exhibition’s stated goal of displaying a representative “cross-section” of Norwegian art. Jury leader Svein Rønning counters that “we have organized the first Autumn Exhibition ever that makes a cohesive impression”.

2000
The first cross-disciplinary jury with six members. For the first time the Autumn Exhibition is shown only in Bergen, and is opened by Queen Sonja.

The Autumn Exhibition holds the seminar “The International Exchange of Art and Artists”.

1999
The national meeting of the Norwegian Visual Artists Association resolves that the 18-member jury, spread among six disciplines, shall be reduced to a cross-disciplinary jury of six members, with a single representative from each discipline.

The Autumn Exhibition organizes the seminar “Art Institutions and the Current Age”, whose participants include Catherine David, chief conservator for the Musées de France, and Maria Lind, curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

1998
The first outright sound installation, Eurovision by Ketil Nergaard.

The French Prize is awarded for the first time. The prize goes to Pierre Lionel Matte for his installation Battlefield: The ritual execution of the olives.

1997
Members of the National Jury step forward after accusations of a lack of artistic authority and of being invisible. In response to the charge of anonymity, the jury members display their own works at the Stenersen Museum.

1996
The Autumn Exhibition shows its first computer-generated video animation, Louisiana Swamps by Sven Påhlsson.

UKS founds a biennale in opposition to the Autumn Exhibition. The foreword to the catalogue contends that the Autumn Exhibition “no longer plays a role in developing Norwegian art”.

1995
The Autumn Exhibition becomes the first art exhibition in Norway to be accessible online. The exhibition also shows Norway’s first interactive online work of art, Høst-ut-stillingen.sys (“Autumn-ex-hibition.sys”) by Kristin Bergaust and Kenneth Langås.

Odd Nerdrum withdraws his portrait of the Paralympian skier Cato Zahl Pedersen.

Record attendance: 60,000 visitors.

1992
The Autumn Exhibition shows its first digital print, Disjunksjon (“Disjunction”) by Helge Jørgensen. The Exhibition of the Refused is shown at the restaurant Figaro at Aker Brygge in central Oslo.

1990
Magne Håland submits works both under his own name and under the pseudonym Derzot Rendyat. “Moskuser i Nystugudalen (“Muskoxen in the Nystugu Valley”) by Magne Håland is rejected, while Full rulle (“All Action”) by Derzot Rendyat is accepted.

1987
The 100th Autumn Exhibition is celebrated with two retrospective exhibitions and an exhibition of contemporary art. A total of 494 works are shown.

Revolt: The leadership of the Board of Visual Artists (BKS) originally wanted the 100th National Annual Autumn Exhibition to only show works by invited artists. For the first time ever, the Autumn Exhibition was to disregard the right of free submission, and the National Jury was to be relieved of its duties. The decision sparks a firestorm. The board is forced to resign, and the Autumn Exhibition shows both invited and freely submitted works.

1984
The Autumn Exhibition shows its first performance work: Kurt Johannessen’s Kropp – Jordtrekant (“Body – Earth Triangle”).

1981
The jury rejects all artists practising a “throwback” style, such as the neo-Baroque painter Odd Nerdrum. His painting Skumring (“Twilight”) receives a good deal of press coverage. The leader of the jury, Per Kleiva, explains that the work was rejected because of deficiencies in its technical execution and not because of its controversial imagery.

1980
The jury’s term is reduced from three to two years, and the National Jury is created. In artist-run galleries all over Norway, works of art are covered in a protest action in support of art centres. For three days, 90 per cent of the works on display at the Autumn Exhibition remain covered.

1978
The largest exhibition ever, featuring a total of 604 works and 119 debutantes.

Norway’s first video installation: Marianne Heske’s Tête assemblage – hodet vårt er rundt for å tillate tanken å skifte retning (“Tête assemblage: Our Heads Are Round So That Our Thoughts May Change Direction”).

1976
A separate jury is set up for textile art, causing textile materials to become ever more common in objects, installations, and sculptures. Terje Roalkvam’s print Til våren (“To the Spring”) bears a conspicuous resemblance to a work by an Italian artist that had been reproduced in an art journal. Rino Harveg, the chairman of the Board of Visual Artists, contends that the print is a plagiarism.

1971
First photograph to be recognized as a work of art at the exhibition: Kåre Kivijärvi’s Vandringer I, II og III (“Wanderings I, II, and III”). The proud comment from Nordlys, a regional newspaper in Northern Norway, was that “it of course had to be someone from Finnmark who broke the barrier”. The exhibition features many politically and socially engaged works, with above all Rolf Groven’s painting Den sixtinske madonna i moderne versjon (“The Sistine Madonna in a Modern Version”) creating a stir.

1960
“An Autumn Exhibition that is in tune with the times” is the verdict from Arbeiderbladet, as modernism makes its breakthrough. Knut Rumohr and Odd Tandberg both show paintings entitled Komposisjon (“Composition”), Inger Sitter shows Komposisjon I (“Composition I”) and Lars Tiller shows Maleri I and Maleri II (“Painting I” and “Painting II”).

1957
The first textile work at the Autumn Exhibition: Karen Holtsmark’s Billedteppe (“Tapestry”). The work was accepted in the painting category.

1956
Young modernists boycott the Autumn Exhibition, and under the group name Terningen (“The Die”) they display their works at Galleri KB in Oslo. Aase Texmon Rygh’s Dans (“Dance”) and Kvinne (“Woman”) were the first nonfigurative sculptures to be shown in public in Norway.

1945
The first post-war exhibition opens on 22 November 1945. The newspapers report of a festive occasion and that the venue was as jam-packed as Karl Johans Gate on 17 May (Constitution Day). Sigurd Winge exhibits his first material paintings, Utvidelsen av paradis (“The Expansion of Paradise”) and Adam og Eva flykter fra Telemark (“Adam and Eve Fleeing from Telemark”).

1941–45
The Nazi authorities shut down the Autumn Exhibition.

1937
The surrealists are “censured”. The leader of the jury, Rudolph Thygesen, called their paintings “a mess”, and every last one was rejected.

1934
Surrealism makes its breakthrough, with works such as Olav Strømme’s cubist-inspired Operasjon-komposisjon-surrealistisk (“Operation-composition-surrealist”). The protest painting På vei til løkka (“Going to the Park”) by Asbjørn Aamodt, submitted under the pseudonym Rolf Aakervik, is accepted, causing a scandal.

1932
The oldest participant ever is Amaldus Nielsen, aged 94.

1930
Kunstnernes Hus is opened by King Haakon, as the Autumn Exhibition finally gets a roof over its head after an almost fifty-year-long struggle. The architects are Gudolf Blakstad and Herman Munthe-Kaas.

The Permanent Jury is created, with each jury serving a three-year term. A new voting procedure is adopted: artists must have participated at least five times at the Autumn Exhibition in order to become a member of the organization and obtain the right to vote.

1928
An architectural competition is organized for the proposed Kunstnernes Hus building, with first prize going to the architects Gudolf Blakstad and Herman Munthe-Kaas for their entry Felix.

1927
The Board of Visual Artists purchases two fire-razed buildings in Wergelandsveien 17–19 on the north-east side of the Palace Park in Oslo, thereby settling the question of where to build Kunstnernes Hus.

1921
The artist-run gallery and association Unge Kunstneres Samfunn (UKS) is founded and sets up its own Spring Exhibition in opposition to the Autumn Exhibition.

1920
Architecture is included as a discipline for the final time. The Exhibition of the Refused is shown at Blomqvist Kunsthandel.

1912
The Krohg family is afforded an entire wall of its own. Oda and Christian serve as members of the jury.

1909
The students of Matisse are given an entire wall at their disposal. Their vibrant use of colour proves controversial, and the Norwegian phrase galemathias – meaning “gibberish”, but phonetically sounding like “crazy Mathias” – acquires newfound meaning. The paintings on display include Henrik Sørensen’s Svartbækken (“The Black Creek”). The painter Sigmund Sinding organizes a protest exhibition.

1904
The artists decide to use their savings to help restore the city of Ålesund after the catastrophic fire there. New projects are required to help finance the building of a separate Kunstnernes Hus.

1903
Gustav Vigeland exhibits the portrait bust Henrik Ibsen.

A counter-exhibition is held at Diorama. The artists Edvard Munch, Christian Krohg, Hans Heyerdahl, Ludvig Karsten, Theodor Laureng, Henrik Lund, and Anders C. Svarstad (who was married to the novelist Sigrid Undset) leave in protest against the jury system.

1898
For the first time, the Autumn Exhibition is shown twice in a single year. This is the first time that artists participate as a group at the Spring Exhibition.

1894
The Autumn Exhibition becomes the Spring Exhibition and opens on 3 March.

Neo-romanticism makes its breakthrough in Norwegian painting. Aftenglød (“Evening Glow”) by Harald Sohlberg and Lørdagskvæld (“Saturday Evening”) by Halfdan Egedius win acclaim. Prince Eugen of Sweden and Norway participates for the second and final time.

1890
French artists, such as Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and Camille Pissarro, participate. Claude Monet’s picture Étretat. Temps de pluie (“Étretat in the Rain”) is acquired by the National Gallery.

1889
The Autumn Exhibition shows a masterpiece of neo-romanticism, Christian Skredsvig’s Gutten en Fløite af Selje skar, af Selje skar – og prøvde om Tonen derinde var, derinde var (“The Boy Who Whittled Himself a Willow Flute, and Tested Whether the Tone Was Right”), later simply called Seljefløyten (“The Willow Flute”), inspired by the Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s novel Arne.

1887
The idea of founding a separate artist-run gallery, Kunstnernes Hus, is conceived.

Things come to a head between radical and conservative artists. The Norwegian Art Society splits up, with the remaining members organizing their own Spring Exhibition. Christian Krohg refers to it disparagingly as “the counterfeiters’ dilettante exhibition”.

1886
The Autumn Exhibition opens in Bergen for the first time and shows 207 works. Atmospheric landscape paintings make their debut in Norwegian art.

Rumour has it that Prime Minister Johan Sverdrup intervened to ensure that Dorothea Follestad’s originally rejected work Barneportræt (“Portrait of a Child”) was included in the exhibition.

Edvard Munch’s Det syke barn (“The Sick Child”) provokes and horrifies the public. The painting heralds the advent of expressionism in international art.

1885
The Autumn Exhibition is held for the first time at the National Gallery, which becomes the exhibition’s venue until 1890.

Naturalism makes its breakthrough by way of Erik Werenskiold’s En bondebegravelse (“Peasant Burial”), which is purchased by the National Gallery with the profits from the Autumn Exhibition.

1884
The exhibition’s greatest success was Christian Krohg’s Se forud (“Look Ahead”) and Gerhard Munthe’s Sommerdag (fra Vik i Stange) (“Summer Day (from Vik in Stange)”).

The Autumn Exhibition receives public funding, officially becoming the National Annual Autumn Exhibition. The initial allocation is NOK 3,000.

1883
Edvard Munch makes his debut with the painting Paa Morgenkvisten (“In the Morning”).

The first newspaper commentary is printed about the Autumn Exhibition. The aim is to generate interest in the exhibition, which they hope will become Norway’s new Salon.

1882
The Autumn Exhibition opens for the first time on 14 November.

After some of Norway’s leading artists boycotted Christiania Kunstforening, the era’s predominant art society, they decided to found their own exhibition as inspired by the Salon in Paris. The boycott was a protest against the society’s acquisition and exhibition policies. The board included only civil servants and members of high society, and no artists – in other words, no experts on art. The protest was spearheaded by Christian Krohg, Fritz Thaulow, and Erik Werenskiold.

The inaugural exhibition featured 25 artists, who displayed a total of sixty paintings, six etchings, three drawings, and two statuettes. The great sensation of 1882 was Christian Krohg’s portrait of the Norwegian statesman Johan Sverdrup. Today the original hangs in the Norwegian Parliament, while a replica resides in the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design.

The painting Hardt le (“Hard Alee”) by Christian Krohg was one of the silver-anniversary presents to King Oscar II and Queen Sophie of Sweden and Norway. Today the painting hangs in the office of the Norwegian king at the Royal Palace in Oslo. At the vernissage, Christian Krohg displayed Norway’s first ever installation.

 

 

Sources:

Ingrid Lydersen Lystad, Høstutstillingen (Leikanger: Skald forlag, 2003)

The Autumn Exhibition, the Norwegian Visual Artists Association