The Pillars

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

  • 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.  

All the artworks in the room are from the Fredriksen Family Collection. This is a living collection that continues to grow with several new purchases each year. In June 2023, the exhibition in The Pillars was updated with new works. 

Among the new 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.

The Fredriksen Family Collection is dedicated to Inger Katharina Astrup Fredriksen (1950–2006). The works on display expand the museum’s narrative of the present and recent past by presenting other voices and perspectives, while the unique exhibition architecture distinguishes the room from those that house the museum’s collection presentation.

The artworks span roughly a century, from the 1920s to the present. In addition to Kara Walker, the room features works by Joan Mitchell, Sheila Hicks, Simone Leigh, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and many others.

Exhibition Architecture: 2050+

Lighting design: Zenisk