The Hour of Reckoning

The Original Henie Onstad Collection Meets the Contemporary 

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Pablo Picasso, Woman in Arm Chair, 1941. © Succession Pablo Picasso / BONO.

Henie Onstad Collection. Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen.

The exhibition will present the original art collection given to the museum by Sonja Henie and Niels Onstad and some of the latest acquisitions to the Collection.

Date Place
Prisma Galleries

The donors were particularly interested in the École de Paris or The School of Paris, which refers to French and international artists who lived in the area around Montparnasse during the first half of the twentieth century. Artists from the original bestowal such as Henri Matisse, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, and Jean Dubuffet broke with their predecessors, using art to challenge authorities and change the adopted aesthetic norms of their times. It is by reason of new generations of artists that a museum collection is kept alive, generating dynamics between earlier epochs and aesthetic values.

On that account, in this exhibition we also present a selection of contemporary artists who have either been acquired for the collection or have been invited to think actively about Henie and Onstad’s original donation. These are: Ragna Bley, Anna Daniell, Pedro Gómez-Egaña, Marianne Heier, Siri Hjorth, Sebastian Makonnen Kjølaas, Herman Mbamba, Germain Ngoma, and Jorunn Hancke Øgstad.

This hour of reckoning between modern masters and contemporary artists raises several issues, among which, the lack of female artists in the original donation and the museum’s contemporary role as both a retrospective and forward-looking agent-institution. Meanwhile, several of the newer artists continue the abstract tradition that characterizes the original collection, using a language that is affected by the digital and technological. These are some of the issues that Henie Onstad actively examines. It is at the intersection of the past and the present that we aim to bridge the divide between society at large and the artistic community.


During the exhibition period, several platforms will be activated:

  • August 26: New works are presented by Anna Daniell, Pedro Gómez-Egaña, and Germain Ngoma
  • August 28 and November 33: Performance by Marianne Heier and Anna Daniell
Herman Mbamba 2
↑ Herman Mbamba, Playing Games, 2021

Henie Onstad Collection

Hos00227
↑ Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, L´Embarcadère / The Wharf, 1955

Henie Onstad-samlingen. Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

  • The Hour of Reckoning ─ The Original Henie Onstad Collection Meets the Contemporary 
Skjermbilde 2021 06 25 kl 13 57 03
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HOS00148
↑ Fernand Legér, Les Danseuses aux oiseaux, 1953-54.

Henie Onstad Collection. Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

Hos00159
↑ Henri Matisse, Les citrons, 1943

Henie Onstad Collection. Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

Installations shots:

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    Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

  • DSC8084

    Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

  • DSC8049

    Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

  • DSC8094

    Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

  • DSC8058

    Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

  • DSC8095

    Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

  • Picasso kunstpl
  • Matisse
  • Leger