New love, old paint ... (Dedicated to Margaux Hemingway) Make me clean again: Some pain poems, the universe according to Paul Gaugin, sex in the artworld and one week of complete misery...

  • Artist: Bjarne Melgaard
  • Creation date: 1996–1997
  • Object type: Installation

Not on display


Bjarne Melgaard had his breakthrough in Norway in the 1990 when the so-called Neoconceptualism was a dominant trend. This was an idea-based art that stood in opposition to Melgaard’s more spontaneous and emotional form of expression, often based on his own experiences. Melgaard is known for being provocative and for pushing the moral pain threshold. His motifs and themes and have clear misanthropic overtones.

The installation is full of references, content and materials. The textiles and drawings give it an intimate atmosphere. The title is long, poetic and fragmented and gives us a number of clues on how to read the installation. One of the references is to the artist Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), famous for his Polynesian motifs, but also for his somewhat licentious romantic life, with a family in Denmark and mistresses in Tahiti. Both the coconuts and the floating carpets evoke water and more southerly latitudes. If we look at the installation in its entirety, we also recognize an echo of Gauguin’s decorative vocabulary.

According to the title, the work is dedicated to Ernest Hemingway’s grandchild, the model and actress Margaux Hemingway. In the same year that Melgaard started working on the installation, she died as the result of an overdose. Is it a room for transgressions Melgaard has created, and that he allows us to look into? A room for agony and for that which may be found in the border area of our limit of tolerance?

Text: Line Engen

From "Highlights. Art from 1945 to the Present", Nasjonalmuseet 2016, ISBN 978-82-8154-116-0


Bjarne Melgaard

Visual artist

Born 1967

Work info

Creation date:
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
tegning, tekstil, kokosnøtter, utklipp, fotografi, bøker, collage, CD-plate, plastbyste
Kjøpt 1997
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Complex object/artwork
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
© Melgaard, Bjarne/BONO