Kunstnernes Hus is an art institution in the centre of Oslo. Established by artists in 1930 to show both Norwegian and international art, it has since then become the most important independent institution in Norway led by artists, specifically dedicated to contemporary art.
We strive to be a conscious contributor to
society with responsibility for safeguarding artistic freedom of expression and
the role of art in the public sphere. With exhibitions, films, talks, concerts,
lectures and seminars, we are a major venue for art and culture.
Kunstnernes Hus has held major international exhibitions and Norwegian exhibitions since it opened in 1930. The building is an architectonic landmark designed by architects Gudolf Blakstad and Herman Munthe-Kaas, and is one of the foremost examples of the intersection of neoclassicism and functionalism in Norway.
The cinema at Kunstnernes Hus opened in 2016. The space was designed by architects at Atelier Oslo. The cinema screens a broad spectrum of art films: more recent feature films, genre-challenging documentaries and films made by both Norwegian and international visual artists. The auditorium is a significant part of Kunstnernes Hus’ efforts to create a living arena for artistic interdisciplinary activities, talks and debates.
Kunstnernes Hus is owned by the Stiftelsen Kunstnernes Hus, an independent artist-run foundation. The building is guarded by two lions made by Ørnulf Bast in 1931 symbolising freedom and creativity.
Several generations of artists work at Kunstnernes Hus: recent graduates show at the Akademirommet, artists at the start of their careers work in our studios, new and established filmmakers in the cinema and professional artists from all generations on the ground and first floor. Under the same roof you will find a restaurant run by Lofthus Samvirkelag, the ecological art project Oslo Apiary & Aviary, the book shop Nordic Art Press and the office of Norway's leading website for contemporary art, Kunstkritikk.
Nordic Art Press (NAP) is located in our book shop on the ground floor. NAP is a network for the distribution and propagation of Nordic art books; selling books and publications from major publishing houses and publishers in the Nordic art scene.
Their network concept is based on a structure where selected publishing houses are in focus and take over the entire area of the book shop.
In both Norway and Scandinavia, Kunstkritikk is the leading journal for contemporary art. The editorial office is located on the third floor with its entrance at the back of the building. The website puts an emphasis on art criticism and cultural commentary, but is also features news, interviews, essays and special reports.
Kunstkritikk was established in the autumn of 2003 and currently comprises four editions: kunstkritikk.no, kunstkritikk.dk, kunstkritikk.se. Kunstkritikk.com, which is the international edition, will be launched with an extended release in 2019.
In cooperation with the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, eight recent graduates from the Academy are awarded a one-year studio grant every year which allows them to work in a stimulating and social environment with close links to Kunstnernes Hus, where they have their own student gallery on the ground floor: Akademirommet. The entrance to the studios for young artists from the Academy can be found at the rear of the building.
In addition to offering workspaces and tour opportunities to recent graduates, the studio programme is an important part of Kunstnernes Hus’ aim to be a hub for both the display and production of new art. The studio programme is funded by its initiator, Fondet for kunst- og designstudenter (FKDS), a fund that aims to support students from the departments of Art & Craft and Design at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts through various grant schemes.
Akademirommet is an arena for exhibitions and presentations located on the ground floor with its entrance at the rear of the building. This space has been run by the Oslo National Academy of the Arts since 2014. From October to May, they arrange weekly exhibitions, concerts, presentations, launches and workshops here. From 1930 until the 1990s, this was one of the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts’ teaching rooms. The space now gives the students the opportunity to present a broad spectrum of expressions, methodologies and strategies, and to explore and challenge the limits of exhibition.
Akademirommet’s programme in 2017 included seventeen exhibitions in total in addition to seminars with over seventy participating art students from Norway and further afield.
Oslo Apiary & Aviary is situated in the overlap between art and urban husbandry with a particular focus on ecovention and performance. In the parasitic/symbiotic spirit, they have spent the last four years working from an unused ventilation room on the roof of Kunstnernes Hus, immersing themselves in relationships with things that live in, around and on top of the building.
Marius Presterud and Mikkel Dagestad, who are responsible for this work, base their activities on cooperation with artist groups and institutions rather than holding traditional exhibitions. They have had beehives on the forecourt of Galleri F15 in addition to roof gardens at Kunstnernes Hus, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and ROM for kunst og arkitektur. Their original apiary with dovecote has become part of Green Space project Losæter following an invitation from the artist collective Futurefarmers.