Several hundred thousand have come to see the Norwegian painter Peder Balke's exhibition in London, UK. It is about time that we export more Norwegian art, says Norwegian museum director.
Peder Balke's paintings of the landscape in Northern Norway have been a success at the National Gallery in London. The paintings were removed on Tuesday, after being part of the museum's exhibitions since November.
"It is amazing that such a large audience has had the chance to become better acquainted with Peder Balke's art. That makes him an established name in the history of world art," says Knut Ljøgodt, director of Northern Norway Art Museum in Tromsø.
It is the Northern Norway Art Museum that sent Balke out into the world. Curator Chris Riophelle at the National Gallery in London praises their effort.
"The exhibition has been a great success. It is a shame that it is over," he says. Close to 250 000 people visited the museum to see Balke's paintings, twice as many as expected.
According to Ljøgodt, Norway has to become better at promoting their own artists.
"So far we have worked to showcase Edvard Munch, but we have so many others that are worth mentioning. It would have been amazing if different parties could collaborate and make an effort to make the art better known outside of Norway," he says.
At the Northern Norway Art Museum they have noticed an increase in interest for what happens up north. A Scandinavian trend they call it.
"People want to see more from Scandinavia. There has been an increased interest for literature, movies and television from the countries in the north, something that I notice when I speak to colleagues in England or the U.S.," says Ljøgodt.
Riophelle agrees. "People travel to Tromsø and Northern Norway to see the nature that Balke has painted," he explains.