OSLO, NORWAY – MUNCH MUSEUM
The works of the celebrated Norwegian artist have a dazzling new waterfront home.
You can’t miss it. Towering 13 floors, with an artistic tilt at the top and a recycled aluminium-clad façade that reflects Oslo’s ever-changing light, the new Munch Museum (munchmuseet.no) appears to shimmer.
A stroll from the historic city centre, in the port district of Bjørvika, the spectacular 11-gallery venue (opening 22 October) showcases the art of renowned Norwegian Expressionist Edvard Munch. The prolific artist bequeathed more than 28,000 artworks, including several versions of his most famous work, The Scream, to the city of Oslo, where he went to art school and spent the last years of his life. “It’s really exciting. We’re now in a wonderful part of town and have five times more exhibition space than before,” says Stein Olav Henrichsen, the saxophone-playing director of the museum, which has relocated from its cramped former quarters in the city’s Tøyen neighbourhood.
Though the museum’s new building was designed by Madridbased architects Estudio Herreros, it has unmistakable Nordic vibes: from the bright three-storey podium (where the groundfloor café sells freshly baked cinnamon buns) to the glimpses of Oslo’s fjord as you ascend the levels.
“We can show so much more now, not just from our Munch collection but work from other contemporary artists,” says Henrichsen. Temporary exhibitions, such as The Loneliness of the Soul (until 2 January 2022), which explores Munch’s influence on British artist Tracey Emin, complement the permanent displays. The museum’s façade may gleam but it’s the purpose-built sixth-floor gallery that dazzles. Beneath double-height ceilings, Munch’s largest work, The Sun, spans almost eight metres and depicts a surreal sunrise over the Norwegian coast.