Odd Nerdrum

Swedish, b. 1944

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Odd Nerdrum

Swedish, b. 1944

763
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Biography

Though Odd Nerdrum studied under Joseph Beuys, he later turned to the Old Masters, including Rembrandt and Caravaggio, to help him explore subjects based on allegory, morality, and psychology. His painting is a rejection of modern art, with bizarre narratives and apocalyptic visions—likened to the work of his Norwegian forbear Edvard Munch—capturing the horrors of the 20th century in a highly figurative manner. “By choosing those qualities that were so alien to my own time,” Nerdrum has said of his subject matter, “I had to give up…the art of our time…I had to paint in defiance of my own era.” Nerdrum has argued that his work is kitsch rather than art; his manifesto On Kitsch helped solidify the agenda of a group of artists associated with him, who rejected concept and embraced narrative, emotion, and romanticism.

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Solo show at a major institution
MCA Chicago
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Artforum
Biography

Though Odd Nerdrum studied under Joseph Beuys, he later turned to the Old Masters, including Rembrandt and Caravaggio, to help him explore subjects based on allegory, morality, and psychology. His painting is a rejection of modern art, with bizarre narratives and apocalyptic visions—likened to the work of his Norwegian forbear Edvard Munch—capturing the horrors of the 20th century in a highly figurative manner. “By choosing those qualities that were so alien to my own time,” Nerdrum has said of his subject matter, “I had to give up…the art of our time…I had to paint in defiance of my own era.” Nerdrum has argued that his work is kitsch rather than art; his manifesto On Kitsch helped solidify the agenda of a group of artists associated with him, who rejected concept and embraced narrative, emotion, and romanticism.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
MCA Chicago
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum