Bjarne Melgaard

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Bjarne Melgaard (born September 9, 1967) is a controversial contemporary Norwegian artist working in paintings, sculptures, and sensory installations. He was born to Norwegian parents in Sydney, Australia ​​, but raised in Oslo ​​, Norway ​​. [1]

Notable Investors

The Israeli ​- Russian ​ billionaire Roman Abramovic ​ purchased Melgaard art in May 2013, during a Bukowski auction in Stockholm ​, Sweden ​. Jose Mugrabi ​ and Vito Schnabel ​ purchased Melgaard art during the same auction. [7] ​ Among other notable investors are François Pinault ​ and Christen Sveaas ​. [17]

Bjarne Melgaard being interviewed on Skavlan ​.


Melgaard attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw ​​, Poland ​​ in 1990. In 1991 he attended the Rijksacademie ​​ in Amsterdam ​​, Netherlands ​. He graduated from the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts ​ in 1992. After that he went on to study at the Jan Van Eyck Academie ​ in Maastricht ​ from 1992 to 1993. [2] [1]


Gym Queens Deserve to Die

In 2015 police were called to Melgaard’s exhibition at the Munch Museum ​ in Oslo ​ where visitors complained about his video called Gym Queens Deserve to Die , which featured a model inserting a baby’s arm into his mouth in a sexualized manner. Melgaard was accused of pedophilia, but the Norwegian ​ police found nothing criminal. [20]

AIDS Roulette

In a performance piece called AIDS Roulette, he gathered together six gay men, one of whom was HIV positive, and then chose one man at random to have unprotected intercourse with. [19]

"Black Chair"

In 2014 there were accusations of racism and international outrage generated by his appropriated Allen Jones artwork “Chair” when an online magazine published a picture of Dasha Zhukova ​, a gallery owner and at the time Roman Abramovic ​’s girlfriend, sitting on a chair shaped like an almost naked woman tied up, offering her posterior as a seat and high boots as a backrest. [21] [22] Zhukova later apologized and released the following statement: “This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an artwork intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics. I utterly abhor racism and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image.” [24] [27]

Dasha Zhukova posing on Melgaard's "black chair". The picture caused international outrage and accusations of racism.


Melgaard creates paintings, sculptures, and sensory installations. He examines psychological angst, pedophilia, anxiety, pornography, sexual abuse and taboo-bending subcultures like the BDSM ​ scene in New York City. The New York Times has described Melgaard as a "projectile vomiter" of an artist. [23] ​ His works have become part of the permanent collections of major museums such as the Museum of Modern Art ​ in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles ​, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm , amongst others. Melgaard’s art belongs to a long tradition of expressionism that can be traced back to Edvard Munch ​ – Melgaard’s spiritual and stylistic mentor – and to the founding of Die Brücke in Dresden ​ in 1905 (by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluf and Emil Nolde). [2] [1]


Solo exhibitions (selection)

2016 Galleri Fineart, "Nye verk", Oslo
2016 Lars Bohman Gallery, "Right here, right now", Stockholm
2016 Karma Gallery, "Psycopathological Notebook", New York
2015 Galerie Thaddaeus Ropa, "The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment", Paris
2015 Faurschou Foundation, "Bitter Angel", Beijing
2015 Sammlung Friedrichshof, "Daddies Like You Don't Grow on Palm Trees", Zurndorf
2014 "This is what I do to make money", Galleri Fineart, Oslo
2012 "A House to Die In", Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
2012 "A New Novel by Bjarne Melgaard", Louxembourg & Dayan, New York
2012 Rob Bianco, "Laying the Ghost" (Bjarne Melgaard & Sverre Bjertnæs), Oslo
2012 Galleri K, "Climate Confusion Assistance" (Bjarne Melgaard & Sverre Bjertnæs), Oslo
2011 Lars Bohman Gallery, " Bjarne Melgaard: The Sadistic Skater - Part II", Stockholm
2011 Lars Bohman Gallery, " Bjarne Melgaard: The Sadistic Skater - Part I", Stockholm
2011 Galerie Guido W. Baudach, "The Night Within Us", Berlin
2010 "Jealous", Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo
2008 "Bjarne Melgaard", Greene Naftali Gallery, New York
2007 "The Glamour Chase", Galleri Faurschou, København
2006 "Les super", Guido W. Faudach, Berlin, Germany
2006 "A Weekend of Paintings; A Novel by Les Super," Leo Koenig Inc., New York
2006 "Minipigs in Space," Galerie Krinzinger, Wien
2005 "Jasmine La Nuit," The Horse Hospital, London
2005 Galerie Senda, Barcelona
2005 "Fin de Copenhague," Galleri Faurschou, København
2005 "Hallo Maybe," Haugar Vestfold Museum
2005 "Part 1: Chihuahua Hunger All Words Destroy," Galerie Crone, Berlin
2005 "Life is a Lonely Buffalo," Niels Borch Jensen Gallery, Berlin
2005 "Not a Painting Show," Stella Lohaus Gallery, Antwerpen
2004 Galleri Lars Bohman, Stockholm
2003 "Skam," Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen
2003 "The End of The Professional Teenager," Sketch, London
2002 "Black Low," MARTa Herford Museum, Hannover, Tyskland
2002 "Nothing Special," Galleri Faurschou, København
2002 "Interface to God," Kunsthalle at Kiel, Kiel
2002 Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italia
2002 "Beginnings," Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Køln
2001 Galerie Krinzinger, Wien
2000 "New Works," Nils Staerk Contemporary Art, København
1998 "More Pricks thank Kicks," Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo

Group exhibitions (selection)

2016 Romeo, "Baby I'm a Star", New York
2016 Frieze Art Fair, London
2016 Team Gallery, "Golden Eggs", New York
2015 Whitney Biennial, New York
2014 "Munch + Melgaard", Munch museet, Oslo
2013 Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
2012 Lars Bohman Gallery, "Drawings", Stockholm

Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, "Face/OFF", Berlin

2011 Moderna Museet, Stockholm, "Moment: Ynglingagatan 1"
2011 Luxembourg & Dayan, " Grisaille", New York

Maccarone, "The Social Failure", New York

2011 Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arkitektur og Design, " Absolute Installation", Oslo


Patricia Low Contemporary, "Sweat", Gstaad
2010 Katzen Art Center, American University, Washington DC, " Norse Soul: the legacy of Edvard Munch, social demorcracy, old myths, anarchy and death longings"
2009 Gallery Riis, " Latte in Watte", Oslo
2009 Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, "Nachspiel / Vorspiel", Vestfossen
2008 Greene Naftali Gallery, " Works on Paper by Gallery Artists and Ricci Albenda", New York
2008 Honor Fraser, "Jekyll Island", Los Angeles
2008 Faurschou, "Edvard Munch: Tribute And Inspiration (Georg Baselitz, Louise Bourgeois, Peter Doig, Asger Jorn, Per Kirkeby, Bjarne Melgaard, Edvard Munch, Alice Neel and Erik Parker)", København
2008 Galerie Guido W. Baudach, "That's The Way It Is", Berlin
2007 Rubell Family Collection, "Euro-Centric, Part 1: New European Art from the Rubell Family Collection", Miami
2007 Galerie Crone, "25 Jahre Galerie Crone - Jubiläumsausstellung", Berlin
2007 Destroy Athens: 1st Athens Biennale 2007, Athen
2007 Gagosian Gallery, "Beneath the Underdog", New York
2007 The Stenersen Museum, "Daydreams and Nightmares, Works from the Collection of Tor Juul", Oslo
2007 Arndt & Partner, "Aggression of Beauty II", Berlin
2007 Hotel, "Gallery Swap (Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin and Hotel, London)", London
2006 Stella Lohaus Gallery, "Bjarne Melgaard, Sven't Jolle, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Erik Van Lieshout, Angel Vergara", Antwerp
2006 Malmö Konstmuseum, "Marie-Louise Ekman / Bjarne Melgaard", Malmö
2006 Galerie Anne de Villepoix, "Helter / Helter", Paris
2006 Pollock Fine Art, "After Munch: Norwegian Contemporary Art", London
2005 Kunsthalle Wien, "Superstars: The Celebrity Factor. From Warhol to Madonna", Vienna
2005 Galleri S.E, "Willy Wonka, Inc", Bergen, Norway
2004 la maison rouge, "Central Station, The Harald Falckenberg Collection", Paris
2004 Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, "The Black Album, Rock e dintorni", Milano
2004 Palais de Tokyo, "Playlist", Paris
2004 Anton Kern Gallery, "Scream: 10 artists x 10 writers x 10 scary movies", New York
2004 Zach?ta National Gallery of Art, "In a Norwegian Wood. Norwegian Art of the Last Decade", Warsaw
2003 Galerie Roger Pailhas, "TABOO! The Art of Exotica Entertainment", Marseille
2003 Gimpel Fils, "Twilight", London
2003 Museum Het Domein, "Models & Mavericks: Exceptional positions in the collection contemporary art", Sittard, Netherland
2003 Neue Galerie Graz, "Phantom of Desire: Visions of Masochism in Art", Graz, Austria
2003 Gas Art Gallery, "Tra Est e Ovest", Torino
2002 MARTa Herford Museum, "Black Low // The Punk Movement Was Just Hippies With Short Hair", Herford, Tyskland
2002 Galerie Krinzinger, "Hommage an Rudolf Schwarzkogler, an exhibition to mark the 30th anniversary of Galerie Krinzinger", Vienna
2002 Magasin 3 Konsthall, "Extension: Works from the Collection", Stockholm
2001 Frankfurter Kunstverein, "New Heimat", Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2001 Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm
2000 5th Biennale d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, Halle Tony Garnier, "Sharing Exoticisms", Lyon
2000 Sammlung Falckenberg, Kestner Gesellschaft, "Civil Disobedience", Hannover, Germany
2000 Galería Senda, Barcelona
2000 Kunsthal Charlottenborg, "Organizing Freedom: Nordic Art in the 1990's", København
2000 Momentum: Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, Moss
2000 Kunstmuseum Bonn, "Zeitwenden: Rückblick und Ausblick", Germany
1999 Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), "Moon over Islam", Gent
1999 Palais des Beaux Arts, "Umfeld, Umwelt", Brussels
1998 Manifesta II, European Biennale of Contemporary Art, Luxemburg
1998 XXIV Biennale de Sao Paulo
1998 Galerie Arndt & Partner, Berlin
1997 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
1996 Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Gent

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