This Saturday, the new exhibition Nordic Impressions: Contemporary Art from Åland, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden opens at Scandinavia House. This new exhibition brings together a wide array of artistic expressions that reflect the diversity and global character of Nordic art. The works on view each offer a different artistic experience while being tied across themes that have held a special place in Nordic culture: both historic themes such as light and darkness, the coalescence of nature and folklore, women’s rights and social liberalism; and more current subjects such as climate change, sustainability, and immigration.
Artists include both major established artists from the Nordic regions as well as more recently recognized important voices. Representatives from Denmark include a paintings from Israeli-born Danish artist Tal R and Per Kirkeby; recent video work by Jesper Just; and a cinemoscope by art collaborative SUPERFLEX, who are known for their ambitious interactive installations. Included from Finland are video work from Eija-Liisa Ahtila as well as a major installation by Finnish-Sami artist Outi Pieski, who will be representing the country in the 2019 Venice Biennale as part of the collective Miracle Workers Collective. Works from Iceland include Olafur Eliasson‘s significant prints in The Island Series, mapping the horizons of Iceland; Me and My Mother, video work byRagnar Kjartansson; and the colorful hanging rope-and-fiber Nerve Endings sculptures of Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (a.k.a. Shoplifter), who will represent Iceland in the 2019 Venice Biennale.
Norwegian works include the uniquely strange and challenging works of photographer Torbjørn Rødland (Golden Tears) and performance and video artist Tori Wrånes (Ancient Baby), as well as Marthe Thorshaug‘s The Legend of Ygg, a video work blending Norse mythology, fiction and realism. On view from Sweden are paintings by Mamma Andersson and Swedish-Sami artist Britta Marakatt-Labba; video from Anneée Olofsson; and sculptures by video and mutlimedia artist Nathalie Djurberg. The exhibition also includes video from Greenlandic artist Pia Arke and video by Aland native Rita Jokiranta.
Curated by Phillips Collection Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Academic Affairs Klaus Ottmann and drawn from a larger survey at the Phillips Collection in the fall of 2018, this exhibition comes from the work of the multi-year Nordic Cultural Initiative, a collaboration between the Phillips Collection and the Washington, D.C.-based embassies of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, launched in 2014 to promote the wealth of Nordic artistic talent.
The exhibition will be accompanied by programming including the opening day book launch and performance Digital Dynamics in Contemporary Art with Tanya Toft Ag and artists Lundahl & Seitl; as well as an Armory Week artist panel moderated by curator Klaus Ottman on March 9; and adult art workshops. Throughout the spring, programming including our New Nordic Cinema film series, as well as concerts, lectures, and literary events from Nordic musicians, writers, and thinkers, will complement the exhibition by showcasing the further cultural diversity of the Nordic region.