Oil painting of a human covering their face with their hands
Else Hagen, "Prestekrave" (cropped), 1957 © Hagen, Else/BONO
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland
  • 10 October 2024–26 January 2025
  • The National Museum

Else Hagen had a powerful impact in Norway in the years after World War II. Today, she is often remembered as one of the first women in Norway to create large works for public spaces.

Hagen is known for her visually rich artistic production. She worked with painting, graphics and site-specific works in public buildings. She executed several large commissions, including the large mosaic Samfunn (Society) in the stairwell of the Storting.

Using a modern, abstract idiom, her works challenge traditional notions of family life and gender roles. Hagen emphasised the formal composition and abstract elements of painting, often mixing motifs about close relationships, fault-lines in the nuclear family, and the experience of women.

With almost 70 works, the exhibition explores Hagen’s entire career. Beside its focus on paintings from the 1940s and 50s and the artist’s graphic production, it also includes a selection of her later material-based works.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Stavanger Art Museum, Trondheim kunstmuseum, Kunstsilo and the National Museum. The exhibition opens in Stavanger Art Museum on 19 January, before transferring to Trondheim kunstmuseum, the National Museum, and finally Kunstsilo in Kristiansand.