An Appetite for painting. Contemporary painting 2000–2014

12 September 2014–4 January 2015

Museum of Contemporary Art


The exhibition provides visitors with the opportunity to investigate painting’s contemporary achievements (approximately 2000 to 2014) by reviewing the paintings of internationally renowned artists that include some of Norway’s established and emerging painters.

The painters included in the exhibition are: Marlene Dumas (South Africa / Holland), Dag Erik Elgin (Norway), Olav Christopher Jenssen (Norway), Analia Saban (Argentina/US), Mari Slaattelid (Norway), Jitish Kallat (India), Chris Ofili (United Kingdom), Gordon Bennett (Australia), Andreas Eriksson (Sweden), Dorothy Napangardi (Australia), Kerry James Marshall (USA), Tomory Dodge (USA) and Brian Blanchflower (Australia). 

On display are 55 painting works, the greater part from external loans and paintings from the museum collection.

Throughout the first half of the 20thcentury, painting was the dominant medium in art practice. By mid century it was regarded as an agent of classical, modernist aesthetics, and an aporia to post-modern epistemologies. By the century’s close it was enveloped in doubt and its achievements pushed to the periphery of contemporary art activity. In the first decade of the new millennium painters, as well as artists producing painted works, have begun to confront this doubt with a desire and a conviction to discover strategies and methodologies that give painting greater value and purpose in cultural discourse. The exhibition provides visitors with the first opportunity in fifteen years to investigate painting’s contemporary achievements. Painting today has become an adventure in which the medium’s purpose as a discursive tool in the production of knowledge is sustained.

The exhibition is the outcome of three years of research and it seeks to align the painters’ research and studio experiments to a different way of looking and reading the world in which the visual has greater emphasis than the theoretical. The focus is on paintings made in the past fourteen years but most works are from the past two years. The exhibition is accompanied by two bilingual hard copy publications: an exhibition catalogue and a Reader on contemporary painting.

The curator of the exhibition is Gavin Jantjes.

Prior to the exhibition, the Museum of Contemporary Art held two major international conferences to highlight and examine contemporary painting. The first, "Paradox: Painting" was organized in collaboration with LNM (National Association Norwegian Painters) in September 2012, and the other "Painting Forever" followed in September 2013. Below is a short version of the latter of the two conferences.


When Art Historian and Dean at Yale University School of Art, Robert Storr, had to withdraw as our opening speaker, the London based art critic and writer Adrian Searle responded to our late request to stand in for him. An edited version of his speech titled “Almost Adrian Searle” is attached here. Additional podcasts from the conference will be uploaded over the coming weeks.