Nordheim at Henie Onstad

The exhibition “ARNE NORDHEIM IN THE WORLD OF ART: NO “-ISMS” FOR ME, PLEASE!” is opening at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter on Thursday August 22. Notam is one of the exhibitions many collaborators.

Arne Nordheim (1931-2010) is widely regarded as Norway’s best-known composer after Edvard Grieg. But did you know that he was a multidisciplinary artist and that his work inspired several of the country’s greatest visual artists?

Arne Nordheim’s art extends way beyond the confines of music. Throughout his life, he also worked closely with other art forms, such as theatre, fine arts, ballet, film, literature, architecture and installation art. In 1955, a journalist asked the young, up-and-coming composer: “What about the present, the future and -isms?” Arne Nordheim replied confidently: “No -isms for me, please!” He refused to be categorised as belonging to the traditional music and artistic canon.

This retrospective exhibition shows how Nordheim’s 50-year long multidisciplinary and ground-breaking career lived up to this motto and established him as a key figure of Norwegian, post-war art. This is the first opportunity to see his pioneering works in the fields of television art, sound sculpture, ballet, theatre, multimedia and sound installations, created in collaboration with Carl Nesjar, Arnold Haukeland, Per Kleiva, Glen Tetley, Bjørn Winsnes and Rolf Aamot.

The exhibition also shows how Nordheim’s music has inspired and been inspired by visual art and includes works by Håkon Bleken, Hannah Ryggen, Ole Lislerud, Paul Klee, Åse Frogner, Inger Sitter and Sidsel Paaske – all artists whom Nordheim worked with during his lifetime. A separate section of the exhibition presents a selection of works from Nordheim’s own collection of art, music scores and books.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter has commissioned the composer and musician Helge Sten to reconstruct three of Nordheim’s major sound installations from the 1960s and 70s: Solitaire, Lydbar and Poly-Poly, which will be played from original tapes for the first time and placed in their original context.

Throughout the autumn, the exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive programme of concerts, featuring performances of Nordheim’s music.

A large catalogue has been published by Orfeus Forlag to accompany the exhibition and a DVD of unpublished works for television by Nordheim has been released by Prisma Records.

Curator: Lars Mørch Finborud

We wish to thank the following collaborators and supporters of the exhibition: the Arne Nordheim Centre at the Norwegian Academy of Music, the Norwegian Composers’ Association (NKF), the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), Neby Hi-Fi, Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen, the Norwegian Telecom Museum, Norwegian Centre for Technology in Music and Art (NOTAM), the National Library of Norway, Arts Council Norway, the Holm Foundation in Ålesund, The Oslo-Philharmonic, nyMusikk, the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival and the Freedom of Speech Foundation.

Arne Nordheim`s music is published by Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Copenhagen