Sunday guided tour

Message from the people

05. Feb 2023 KL. 14:00 - 15:00

Get more out of your art experience!
Welcome to a Norwegian guided tour of the exhibition Message from the people - Reidar Aulie and Arne Ekeland.

About the exhibtion
Throughout history, artists have always commented on the role of human beings in the world. The artists Reidar Aulie (1904–1977) and Arne Ekeland (1908–1994) lived before, during and after the Second World War, and they depicted their own times through the lens of a strong socialist commitment. Both artists believed in people’s ability to work together to build a better future. They believed in art’s ability to agitate for political perspectives, but they never resorted to aesthetic expressions that could be described as propaganda. Both men painted their pictures in light of reflections on social conditions and problems which all people face. Arne Ekeland, in an interview, once said that ‘art shouldn’t be at “the grassroots” because art is something that lifts us out of the trivial, out of everyday life’. The two artists took many trips abroad, were well-oriented in European art and were concerned about solidarity in a wide sense. According to Reidar Aulie, one of art’s foremost tasks is to spread understanding across national borders.

In this exhibition, whose title is borrowed from a drawing by Arne Ekeland, we present a selection of works from the Halvdan Hafsten Collection as well as three loans from a private collection. Hafsten gave his collection of 208 works of art to Stavanger Art Museum in 1984. Ekeland and Aulie are two of eight artists represented in the collection, and we have made this exhibition because the selected pictures depict a reality with parallels to our own times. Can Aulie’s and Ekeland’s political attitudes, depictions of injustice, and belief in the power of communities be of inspiration to us today?