The night has inspired artists across the centuries. Whether lit by the moon or by neon, our nightlives can be transgressive or melancholy, social, lonely, peaceful or sleepless. Darkness also transforms the physical world unleashing the supernatural and revealing cosmic wonders. Norwegian artist Ida Ekblad selects extraordinary works of art on the theme of the night. Inspired by the 1936 documentary film Night Mail with contributions by W H Auden and Benjamin Britten about the night train delivering Britain’s post, Ekblad takes us on a journey through great masterpieces of 19th & 20th century Norwegian art alongside paintings and sculptures by important artists of our times, including work by Nikolai Astrup, Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Theaster Gates, Thorvald Hellesen, Howard Hodgkin, Ilya Kabokov, Edvard Munch, Ed Ruscha and Rosemarie Trockel, amongst many others.
They are selected from among the marvels of the Christen Sveaas Art Foundation, one of the pre-eminent collections of modern and contemporary art in Scandinavia.
This accompanying catalogue includes a written response by Ida Ekblad to Auden's poem 'Night Mail', plus a new interview with Ekblad, full-colour plates of all selected works and installation photography of the display at Whitechapel Gallery.
This is the first of four publications which chronicle artist selections from the Christen Sveaas Art Foundation, shown at Whitechapel Gallery from 2021–22.
Paperback, 128 pages, 225 x 155 mm
colour illustrations throughout
First published 2021