Eli Okkenhaug

Chief Curator, KODE Art Museums of Bergen

KODE and the art of printmaking

In this paper and As a Chief Curator at KODE I choose to look at graphic art from a museum professional’s view. The collections at KODE Art Museums of Bergen comprises approximately of 43000 works divided between art and design. The art collections contain 10 314 works where a large part of the collection 7504 are paper based. The remaining works are divided into 2345 paintings, 315 sculptures, videos and installations, and 150 pieces of furniture and objects. The collections are built through acquisitions, donations and long-term loans of collections from private owners.

The last few years the long-term loans of collections from private owner as well foundations have been predominant in the growth of the collections, largely because of the acquisition budget being unchanged.

I have chosen to present this paper in two parts. First I will explore graphic and paper based artworks from our collections and look closer at the importance of these artworks as a part of the collections at KODE during the last twenty years. In order to explore this angle it is natural to look at the museums acquisition politics in that period and how private owners also have had an influence in shaping the museum’s collection. What governs the acquisitions and can we see any tendencies in the acquisitions that have been made?

In part two, I will look at my experience when creating collection based exhibitions with graphic and other paper based artworks. What challenges do I have as a curator when I use graphic art or paper based artwork? What can I learn from it?

Key words: art collection, collection based exhibitions

Eli Okkenhaug, Norway, Chief Curator at KODE Art Museums of Bergen where she has been working since 1999 specializing in contemporary art. At KODE she has organized numerous exhibitions including Love and Death (2013), Larry Clark (2013), Per Inge Bjørlo, (2012), Desire (2012), Real Life Stories (2012), Blodig Alvor Norwegian Art in the 80s (2010), BGO1 (2010), Ansel Adams (2008), Hreinn Fridfinnsson (2008), Jon Gundersen (2005), Mikkel McAlinden (2004). From 1995-98 she worked at the Hordaland Art Center as curator.

Panel 2: Contemporary Constitutes of Print
September 16, 2015
2 p.m  -  4:30 p.m