I finally made it to Kode for an absolutely free Thursday visit thanks to my student ID (the folks at the front desk were very impressed, by the way, with the new app student ID that UiB started offering this semester).
KODE combines five museums: the Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen, the Harald Sæverud Museum Siljustøl, the Ole Bull Museum Lysøen and the Bergen Art Museum and the West Norway Museum of Decorative Art. KODE strives to be an inclusive, educational environment which stimulates reflection on art and fosters social change.
I made it to see Beyond G(l)aze in its final week. This exhibit highlights a selection of Norwegian and Chinese contemporary ceramic artists. Intriguing, crafted with skill, at times extremely beautiful, and sometimes downright disturbing, I’m certainly glad I got a chance to see this exhibition before it leaves. If you too want take a look get there on or before 12th April 2015.
I also got a chance to see some of the ongoing exhibits including that of Nikolai Astrup, a highly regarded Norwegian painter of the 1900s. My companion and I noticed a theme of shadowy figures watching people from hiding places in a few of his works. We enjoyed joking about these creepers, and theorizing about the artists intentions regarding including them.
Ultimately Astrup won me over with his depictions of Nordic landscapes, but even more so with his Japanese wood block prints. Apparently he liked to create wood block prints because it gave him the chance to explore different color palates with the same subject matter. The Kode website offers an app that explains Astrup’s works and shows the locations of his motifs. I’m thinking I might need to go back and learn more with help from my smartphone. Maybe I’ll finally find out the secret of the creepers!
There were many highlights of this experience, including Tom S. Kosmo’s charming and surreal work in KODE Contemporary, Diego Rivera’s piece in the International Modernism section of KODE 4, as well as many of the pieces (such as early Bergen landscapes) from 1400-1900 also in KODE 4. I absolutely want to go back. At the very least, I must see some more Munch, as I only saw a few of his works and not the dedicated Edvard Munch collection.
I’d also love to see the upcoming Dream Dust, an exhibition of contemporary Norwegian children’s books illustrations, while I’m neither a child, nor am I planning to be a child-haver, I love surreal, stylistic, and whimsical art designed for children (depending of course on the specific style), and this collection looks like great fun.
Ready to mount an albatross and fly to the museum? You may also want to check out Soft Monuments, an exhibition featuring all-female works of Norwegian textile art. It opens on the 22nd of May! Student, remember to bring your ID for a free visit on Thursdays!