Arts & Culture

Events at Scandinavia House: Spring 2019 Schedule

This season’s upcoming events at Scandinavia House include programming related to our upcoming exhibition Nordic Impressions: Contemporary Art from Åland, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Swedenwhich brings together a wide array of expressions from internationally acclaimed artists that reflect the rich diversity and global character of Nordic art. Complementing the exhibition is our series New Nordic Cinema, a selection of films that delivers the best visual stories from Nordic countries to New York City audiences; musical performances from artists including Danish group Ana Egge and the Sentimentals, Estonian folk singer Mari Kalkun, Swedish woodwind quintet Arctic 5, and others; book talks from authors such as Erling KaggeJohannes HeldénAndri Snæ Magnason and Bjarke Ingels; lectures and panels including a symposium on early childhood, a Nordic journalist discussion on immigration, and a talk on Arctic governance; and an array of children’s workshops and special activities.


Opening on February 23, Nordic Impressions: Contemporary Art from Åland, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden brings the work of 24 internationally acclaimed Nordic artists to Scandinavia House. Curated by Phillips Collection Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Academic Affairs Klaus Ottmann, the exhibition features works by internationally acclaimed artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Katrín Sigurdardóttir, Ragnar Kjartansson, Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter, Tal R, SUPERFLEX, Jesper Just, Per Kirkeby, Tori Wrånes, Torbjørn Rødland, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Mamma Andersson, Nathalie Djurberg, Outi Pieski, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Pia Aarke, and others. Drawn from a larger survey at The Phillips Collection this past fall, this selection focuses on ways that artists are exploring themes that have long held a special place in Nordic culture — such as light and darkness, the coalescence of nature and folklore, women’s rights and social liberalism — as well as more current subjects such as climate change, sustainability, and immigration.

The exhibition opens with the event “Digital Dynamics in Nordic Contemporary Art” on February 23, which launches a new book by Tanya Toft Ag with a discussion and a participatory, app-led performance by Lundahl & Seitl. On March 9, in coordination with Armory Week, we’re holding a panel led by curator Klaus Ottmannwith artists from the exhibition discussing their works and the themes they explore. (Details and speakers will be posted on website closer to the date.) We will also be holding a series of children’s art workshops (see “Kids & Families,” below), as well as various art workshops for adults. Other programming will continue throughout the spring.

In coordination with our exhibition Nordic Impressions, the series New Nordic Cinema, running from March 20 through April 26, promotes films that capture Nordic experiences across genres, exploring themes related to the exhibition that range from climate change and our relationship with nature to the realities of immigration. The series begins with the Finnish film Wonderland /Joulumaa on March 20 & 22, directed by Inari Niemi, which follows middle-aged Helena who, after being left by her husband for another woman, finds herself spending Christmas on a quirky eco farm B&B in the Finnish countryside; followed by Mihkel /Undir Halastjörnu on March 27 & 29, by Alexander Ergis Magnússon, a film based on a real-life 2004 tragedy in Iceland about a drug trafficking operation that goes horribly awry.

In The Quake /Skjelvet on April 3 & 5, the sequel to director John Andreas Andersen’s critically acclaimed film The Wave, geologist Kristian Eikjord confronts a new disaster when a massive impending seismic event goes ignored by authorities. On April 10 & 12, director Harold Zwart’s film The 12th Man /Den 12. Mann tells the story of the real-life daring escape of Norwegian resistance fighter Jan Baalsrud from Nazi forces during World War II. A Fortunate Man /Lykke Per on April 17 & 19, directed by Bille August, revisits Danish author Henrik Pontoppidan’s Modernist classic about a self-destructive intellectual, Per; and on April 24 & 26, Birgitte Staernose’s dark thriller Darling looks at an obsessive and destructive relationship between a star ballerina and understudy in a performance of Gisele.

Additionally on March 6 & 8, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’re screeningBecoming Astrid /Unga Astrid, which follows a character-defining period in the life ofPippi Longstocking author Astrid Linidgren. And on April 4, in coordination with events for Estonian Cultural Days, we’re screening two Estonian films: the epic documentary of Estonia’s landscape The Wind Sculpted Land by Joosep Matjus, and Sulev Keedus’s triptych of portraits starring actress Rea Lest, The Manslayer/The Virgin/The Shadow.


This spring, Scandinavia House welcomes a new array of emerging voices and renowned performers in classical, folk, modern, and world music. These artists include Icelandic cellist and ASF Fellow Geirþrúður Anna Guðmundsdóttir, accompanied by pianist Tomomi Sato, rendering compositions by Boccherini, Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff onMarch 7; Ensemble neoN, introducing original works of popular Western genres onMarch 19; Swedish pianist Per Tengstrand with Princeton University chamber music group Opus 21, concluding his Music on Park Avenue concert series on March 28; Swedish woodwind quintet Arctic 5, reviving pieces by Johan Helmich Roman, Carl Nielsen, and several other past musicians on April 11.

Other highlights this season include Ana Egge and the Sentimentals, performing works from Egge’s new album White Tiger on April 25Danish Clarinet Trio performs an arrangement of compositions by late artists Clara Schumann, Carl Nielsen, Niels W. Gade, and Johannes Brahms on May 9; Estonian folk singer Mari Kalkun shares unique pieces inspired by nature, Estonian poetry, and folk music on May 14Ensemble mise-encelebrates the late Danish composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen in its ongoing Portrait series on May 16; and acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns for his ongoing Keyboard Conversations® series with Q&A’s, informal commentaries, and performances on March 14 & May 2.

Our lectures this spring include an Armory Week panel discussion on March 9 with a group of artists discussing themes in their work in our Nordic Impressions exhibition, led by curator Klaus Ottmann. A new Chairman’s Lecture series will begin with an examination of Finland’s successful education system in “The Nordic Model: Finland & Education” on March 13. On March 26, “Approaches to Immigration in Scandinavia and the U.S.” will bring together NYC-based Nordic journalists to discuss immigration policies in the U.S. and in their home countries. On April 5 & 6, the third in a series of Early Childhood Symposia, Expanding the Nordic-American Dialogue on Early Education, presents panels by Scandinavian and American educators discussing challenges and opportunities in the U.S. and Nordic classrooms; and Visiting Fellow Peter Arbo joins us to discuss the Arctic region’s strength and challenges in “Arctic Governance” on May 6.

In addition to our lectures, we’re hosting a series of book talks with authors and moderators for newly released books or beloved classics, including Martin Hägglund’s This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom on March 5; Pajtim Statovci’s Crossing on April 8; Johannes Heldén’s Astroecology on April 9; Henrik Pontoppidan’s Danish Modernist classic Lucky Per with speakers Garth Risk Hallberg and Morten Høi Jensen on April 16; and Erling Kagge’s Walking: One Step at a Time onApril 29. On May 7, celebrated YA novelist Andri Snær Magnason joins us with architect/futurist Bjarke Ingels for a talk on “The Future of Time” on the release of Magnason’s new book The Casket of Time. Our Nordic Book Club also continues on one Tuesday each month.

This spring, our Saturday Arts Workshops for Kids will explore topics related to our exhibition Nordic Impressions: Contemporary Art from Åland, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Workshops will include a brief visit to the gallery followed by an activity, starting with “Warm and Fuzzy: Mobile Making,”March 16; “Cut it Out: Collage Art,” March 23; and “Bird is the Word: Claymations,” March 30. Adults can also get in on the fun with a Saturday Art for Adults drawing workshop on April 13.

Other events include a Fastelavn workshop on March 2, celebrating the holiday known as “Nordic Halloween,” on which children dress up and go door-to-door singing for candy, with games, dress-up, songs, and treats. And on one Saturday each month, one of New York’s storytellers from the Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center presents fairy tales, folk stories, and fantastic adventures from Scandinavia and the far north.

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News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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