The Pillars 2022-23

The artworks expand the museum's narratives about the present and our recent past by highlighting other voices and perspectives.

  • 11 June 2022–8 October 2023
  • The National Museum

New exhibition in The Pillars

This exhibition is no longer showing in The Pillars. Read about the new exhibition here.  

Among the works in The Pillars is Fealty as Feint by Kara Walker (b. 1969). The history of slavery in the USA forms much of the backdrop when interpreting Walker’s art.

As a black artist I can't do anything that would be simple. Whatever I do, it will always be political, simply because of our past history.

- Kara Walker, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2021

Walker is known for her silhouettes of violent, gruesome stories from the era before the American Civil War, often mixed with myths and folk beliefs. Violent abuse is also a theme in the monumental drawing Fealty as Feint, although here the figures represent a period that post-dates slavery. A man in armour sits astride a horse, wielding a sword and shield. At the centre of the picture is a woman being pulled in different directions. The sketch idiom lends the drawing energy and allows for improvisation.

During the exhibition period, the artworks Jose by Alice Neel, Calla Lilies on Red by Georgia O’Keefe, Untitled (Transito de la sombra y penumbra de la Luna sobre la superficie de la Tierra) by Firelei Báez and Untitled by Agnes Martin was replaced with The Bridge by Joan Mitchell, No title by Eva Hesse and Fealty as Feint (a drawing exercise) by Kara Walker. 

The Fredriksen Family Collection

The Fredriksen Family Collection is dedicated to Inger Katharina Astrup Fredriksen (1950–2006). The artworks expand the museum’s narratives about the present and our recent past, while the room as a whole with its unique exhibition architecture offers a contrast to the museum’s collection presentation.

The Fredriksen Family Collection has been constantly evolving since the purchase of the first works in 2018. The collection forms the basis for the National Museum’s exhibition series in The Pillars.