Else Hagen – Between People

19. Jan 2024 - 14. Apr 2024

Amongst the young artists who debuted in Norway in the interwar years, one who eventually became highly respected and relevant was Else Hagen (1914–2010). Today she is often considered one of the first female artists in Norway who created large publicly commissioned works. Before this, however, she developed her artistic talent through painting and printing. She eventually prioritised works made with other materials, the highpoint being the monumental Samfunn / Society (1960–66) in the Norwegian Parliament’s stairwell.

The exhibition Else Hagen Mellom mennesker / Between People will focus on Hagen’s artistic practice, particularly her paintings from the 1940s and ’50s and her large production of printed works.

A central artist in the post-war era, Hagen’s ‘figurative modernism’ emphasises form and colour. She paid special attention to the formal structure and abstract elements in paintings but combined them with subject matter dealing with personal relationships, ruptures in the nuclear family and women’s experiences.

Her works challenged traditional ideas about family life and gender roles. We ask: Did this contributed to the feminist currents in the post-war era? This and other questions and topics relating to Hagen’s art will be discussed in a book published in conjunction with the exhibition. It will include articles by Vibece Salthe (Stavanger Art Museum), Frida Forsgren (the University of Agder), Ida Grøttum (Trondheim Art Museum) and Lin Stafne-Pfisterer and Øystein Ustvedt (both from the National Museum, Oslo).

Else Hagen Mellom mennesker / Between People is a travelling exhibition. It will open at Stavanger Art Museum in January 2024, then journey to Trondheim Art Museum and the National Museum in Oslo before concluding its tour at Kunstsilo in Kristiansand.

The core of the exhibition consists of about 70 works of art.
The exhibition will be adapted to the different venues.

For more information about the project, please contact:
Øystein Ustvedt (curator, the National Museum)
Charlotte McInnes (project manager, the National Museum)
Vibece Salthe (curator, Stavanger Art Museum)