Exhibition

The Pillars

Art recognises no national borders. That is why the exhibition in The Pillars (in Norwegian: Søylerommet) is dedicated to artists who do not live or work in Norway, but who are nevertheless important for the development of Norwegian art history.

  • The National Museum
  • Opened 11. June 2022

“I'm willing to balance on the edge, and if I haven’t managed it, that’s where I want to go.” 

The statement is from Eva Hesse, the artist who turned almost all the rules for what sculpture should be upside down, before she died of a brain tumour just 34 years old, in 1970.  

Before Hesse transitioned to sculpture, she was a painter and illustrator. In “The Pillars”, Hesse is represented with the painting Untitled, a picture that shows how she worked with Abstract Expressionism, before she embarked on making fragile sculptures from organic materials such as wax, hemp and latex. 

The Pillars presents works of art created by ground-breaking international artists, most of whom have not been represented in the National Museum until now. These works expand the museum's narratives about the present and our recent past by showing other voices and perspectives.  

Several of the artists included in the collection have struggled to gain recognition. Sometimes this was because they had the “wrong” gender, gender identity, or cultural background, or perhaps because they worked with artistic strategies that rejected established norms. The collection spans almost one hundred years, from the 1920s to the present day. Works by the following artists are currently on exhibition in The Pillars: Georgia O'Keeffe, Sheila Hicks, Simone Leigh og Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Works by the following artists are currently on exhibition in The Pillars: 

  • Firelei Báez  
  • Louise Bourgeois 
  • Cecily Brown 
  • Helen Frankenthaler 
  • Carmen Herrera 
  • Eva Hesse 
  • Sheila Hicks 
  • Lee Krasner 
  • Simone Leigh 
  • Agnes Martin 
  • Joan Mitchell
  • Alice Neel 
  • Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Faith Ringgold 
  • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye 

A dynamic collection

All the works in the room are part of The Fredriksen Family Collection. This is a dynamic collection, which is still growing with new acquisitions. The pieces featured in “The Pillars” will gradually alternate.  

The Fredriksen Family Collection is dedicated to Inger Katharina Astrup Fredriksen (1950–2006).  

Pictures in header: 

1: Eva Hesse, Untitled, 1962. © Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, Untitled, 2005. © Louise Bourgeois.  / The Easton Foundation / VAGA, New York / BONO, Oslo, Lynette Yiadom-Bokye, Kasbah, 2013. © Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. The Fredriksen Family Collection. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Annar Bjørgli

2: Lynette Yiadom-Bokye, Kasbah, 2013. © Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. The Fredriksen Family Collection. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland 

3: Eva Hesse, Untitled, 1962. © Eva Hesse. The Fredriksen Family Collection. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland 

4: Firelei Báez, Untitled (Transito de la sombra y penumbra de la Luna sobre la superficie de la Tierra), 2021. © Firelei Báez. The Fredriksen Family Collection. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland 

5: Georgia O´Keeffe, Calla Lillies on Red, 1928. © Georgia O'´Keeffe / Georgia O'Keeffe Museum / BONO, Oslo. The Fredriksen Family Collection Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland  

6: Lee Krasner, Night Birds, 1962. © Lee Krasner. The Fredriksen Family Collection. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland