Per Krohg, Two Sisters, Statens Museum for Kunst, SMK Foto.

When Matisse Became a Movement in the North Countries of Europe

Astid Holm, View of Collioure, SMK, SMK Foto.

Jean Heiberg, Guldfisk, 1915.

Arvid Fougstedt, Boxare, 1920 ©BUS 2010.


GL Strand
Gammel Strand 48
+ 45 3336 0262
Nordic Students of Matisse
February 9-May 4, 2008

Nordic Students of Matisse focuses on the entry of the Avant-garde and Modernism in Scandinavia. The exhibition presents key names among the more than 40 Nordic artists, who sought out the art school of Henri Matisse in Paris during its lifespan between 1908-1910. The school was the breeding ground regarding new ideas and experiments in painting. Some of the most innovative Nordic students were Isaac Grünewald, Sigrid Hjertén, Astrid Holm, Per Krohg and Henrik Sørensen, who are all represented in the exhibition.

Académie Matisse intended to introduce the young artists to the expressive idiom and art appreciation of Fauvism. The school was extremely popular among artists from Northern and Central Europe and even the USA. It became important not only for those students who were accepted to the school, but also for those, who later became introduced to the thoughts of Matisse by the returned students. In that way the school contributed to a foundation and a starting point to a Nordic Modernism.

The exhibition shows, the Matisse students offer great variety in their work. Some were strongly inspired by Fauvism and in particular by the king of “the wild beasts” Matisse. Several others also tried out other modes of expression of the many parallel Avant-garde movements of that period, and a few resisted the new ideas. In addition to the individual achievements of the artists, the exhibition also sheds light on the period after 1910, where the artists moved to the north and carrying with them new debates about art.

They were known as the front figures, whereas several others were characterized as colourful personalities who brought other cultural tendencies as the Argentine tango to Denmark. Among them were Per Krohg, Isaac Grünewald, Sigrid Hjertén and Ludvig Karsten, who made Copenhagen in to an attractive centre of art during the 1910s.

A richly illustrated double catalogue is available; one part contains Norwegian-Swedish articles and another part holds a Danish contribution by art historian, Dorthe Aagesen dealing with the Danish art scene in the 1910s. The exhibition has already been shown with great success at Kristinehamn konstmuseum (Sweden) and Lillehammer Kunstmuseum (Norway).

Sigrid Hjertén 1885-1948, View over Stadsgården and Gamla Stan. (d), ca. 1930s. 54.5 x 45 cm.

Nils von Dardel, Marthe, 1930, 52 x 47 cm.

Jean Heiberg, Figure Study, 1909, oil on canvas, ca. 29 x 21", Drammen Museum.

Per Krohg, Søndagseftermiddag.