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International Loan Exhibition of Early Modern Scandinavian Painting Opens October 25 at Scandinavia House New York City

Works by Munch, Hammershøi, and other pioneers of Nordic Modernism featured in retrospective celebrating centennial of American-Scandinavian Foundation

Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America, 1912, an international loan exhibition of paintings by Edvard Munch, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Anders Zorn, and other Scandinavian pioneers of modernism, opens October 25, 2011, at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America. The exhibition, which remains on view through February 11, 2012, brings together approximately 50 works by leading late 19th- and early 20th-century Nordic artists from more than 20 public and private collections in Europe and America.

The final of three exhibitions presented by The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) in recognition of its centennial, Luminous Modernism revisits the landmark ASF-sponsored exhibition of 1912—a ground-breaking display of contemporary Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish painting that gave many in this country, including emerging modern artists, their first introduction to Scandinavian art.

While Luminous Modernism features 20 of the same artists and 8 of the same works presented in the 1912 exhibition, it has been expanded in scope to encompass all five Nordic countries, including Finland and Iceland, illustrating the richness of artistic expression throughout the region during this period. Ranging from the visionary landscapes of Munch, Harald Sohlberg, and Akseli Gallen-Kallela, to the intimate domestic interiors of Hammershøi and Harriet Backer, to depictions of rural life by Carl Larsson and Lauritz Andersen Ring, the exhibition reveals the varied and original ways Scandinavian artists responded to modernist innovations at home and abroad.

Luminous Modernism has been organized by the ASF in collaboration with an international team of scholars headed by Patricia G. Berman, Professor of Art History at Wellesley College and the University of Oslo. A leading specialist in early modern Scandinavian art, Dr. Berman is the author of numerous important scholarly publications in the field. She worked closely with the late Kirk Varnedoe on the memorable exhibition Northern Light: Realism and Symbolism in Scandinavian Painting, 1880–1910, which toured the United States in 1982–83.

Edward P. Gallagher, President of The American-Scandinavian Foundation, states: “During the 100 years of its existence, the ASF has played a leadership role in promoting awareness in America of Nordic culture. In looking back at the 1912 exhibition of Scandinavian modernists, we pay tribute to our founders’ vision and to a pivotal event in the study and appreciation of Nordic art in this country.”

Image: Edvard Munch, Bathing Boys, 1904–05, The American-Scandinavian Foundation

Scandinavia House is located at 58 Park Avenue, at 38th Street, New York City. Hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 12–6 pm. For additional information:

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