Bjarne Melgaard (Norwegian, b.1967) is Norwegian artist who has lived in New York since 2009, and has been described as the most famous Norwegian artist since Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863–1944). In the early part of his career, Melgaard created controversial installations that referenced subversive subcultures. Today, he is also known for his expressionistic paintings, which often incorporate text, and are frequently violent or sexually explicit. He had his first solo show in New York at the Alleged Gallery in 2000, where his exhibition, The Mutilation of the Apes, featured sculptures of apes engaged in sex acts.

Particularly controversial was a work he created in January 2014. Chair first generated outrage when a picture of it was published on a fashion magazine website. The “chair” in the image was actually a black woman on her back, a seat cushion on her thighs, with the white magazine owner sitting on the cushion. Though Melgaard stated that Chair was based on a similar work by British pop artist Allen Jones (b.1937), and intended it to be a comment on gender and racial politics, the picture was very quickly withdrawn after it drew accusations of racism.

Bjarne Melgaard has shown his work in exhibitions around the world, including at the fifth Biennale de Lyon in 2000, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2006, and London's Institute of Contemporary Art in 2012.

Timeline

1967
Born in Sydney, Australia
1990
Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw
1991
Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo
1991–1992
Rijksacademie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1992–1993
Jan van Eyck Academie, Maarstricht, The Netherlands
Lives and works in New York

Exhibitions

2013
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; 9 Artists (Yael Bartana, Liam Gillick, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Renzo Martens, Bjarne Melgaard, Nástio Mosquito, Hito Steyerl, and Danh Vo), curated by Bartholomew Ryan, 2014 (cat.)
2013
12th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France; Curated by Gunnar Kvaran, September-December
2013
Momentum, The 7th Nordic Biennial for Contemporary Art, Moss Norway, curated by Erlend Hammer and Power Ekroth
2013
Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York (solo)
2013
Frieze New York (Gavin Brown’s enterprise), New York (solo)
2013
The Armory Show 2013 (Rod Bianco Gallery, Oslo), New York; Bjarne Melgaard Sverre Bjertnes (solo)
2013
Fineart, Oslo; Bjarne Melgaard New Drawings and Prints (solo)
2013
Hole, New York; Chicken or Beef?, curated by Jesper Elg
2013
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; Empire State – Art from New York, curated by Norman Rosenthal and Alex Gartenfeld
2013
White Columns, New York; Looking Back: The White Columns Annual, curated by Richard Birkett
2012
Venus Over Manhattan and White Columns, New York; Bulletin Boards, curated by Matthew Higgs
2012
Zach Feuer Gallery, New York; Context Message, curated by Tyler Dobson
2012
Visual AIDS at La MaMa Galleria, New York; Undetectable, curated by Nathan Lee and Rachel Cook, featuring work by Mary Walling Blackburn, Andy Campbell, DUOX, Helen Epstein, Cevdet Erek, Kenyon Farrow, Robert Flack, Carl George, Ann Lauterbach, LAMAR, Bjarne Melgaard, Laurie Parson, Bradley Pitts, Heather Rowe, Richert
2012
Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm; Drawings
2012
Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Berlin; Face/OFF
2012
Venus Over Manhattan and White Columns, New York; Bulletin Boards, curated by Matthew Higgs
2012
Zach Feuer Gallery, New York; Context Message, curated by Tyler Dobson
2012
Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Berlin; Face/OFF
2012
Visual AIDS at La MaMa Galleria, New York; Undetectable, curated by Nathan Lee and Rachel Cook, featuring work by Mary Walling Blackburn, Andy Campbell, DUOX, Helen Epstein, Cevdet Erek, Kenyon Farrow, Robert Flack, Carl George, Ann Lauterbach, LAMAR, Bjarne Melgaard, Laurie Parson, Bradley Pitts, Heather Rowe, Richert
2012
Schnorr, SKOTE, and Carey Young
2012
Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm; Drawings
2012
Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Berlin; Face/OFF
2012
Luxembourg & Dayan, New York; A New Novel by Bjarne Melgaard (solo)
2012
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London; Bjarne Melgaard: A house to die in, curated by Matt Williams (solo)
2012
Karma, New York; Bjarne Melgaard: 
No More Chinotto Forever, Again... (solo)
2012
GaleriArtist, Istanbul, Bjarne Melgaard, April 12-May 2 (solo)
2012
Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum, Tønsberg, Norway; Baton Sinister, Venezia-Installasjonen (solo)
2012
The Armory Show 2012 (Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin; Greene Naftali Gallery (solo)
2012
New York; and Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna), New York; Armory Focus: The Nordic Countries, curated by Jacob Fabricius (solo)
2012
Rod Bianco, Oslo; Laying the Ghost (Bjarne Melgaard & Sverre Bjertnæs (solo)
2012
Galleri K, Oslo; Climate Confusion Assistance (Bjarne Melgaard & Sverre Bjertnæs) (solo)
2011
The Night Within Us. Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin (solo)
2011
Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm; Bjarne Melgaard: The Sadistic Skater (solo)
2011
Bjarne Melgaard – The Night Within Us, Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin (solo)
2011
After Shelley Duvall 72, Maccarone Gallery, NY
2011
Scandinavian Rhapsody, Galerie Proarta, Zurich, Switzerland
2011
Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
2011
LITOS GRAFERA, Kunst Centet Silkeborg Bad, Silkeborg
2010
Lars Bohman Gallery, Stockholm; Group Show
2010
Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad; Sweat, curated by Fabienne Stephan & Marilyn Minter
2010
Team Gallery, New York; Forced Exposure, curated by Miriam Katzeff
2010
Katzen Art Center, Washington DC, Norse Soul: the legacy of Edvard Munch, social demorcracy, old myths, anarchy and death longings (Arne Ekeland, Marianne Heske, Bjarne Melgaard and Marthe Thorshaug)
2010
Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad; Inside Patricia (solo)
2010
Stella Lohaus Gallery, Antwerp; Neon Angel (solo)
2010
de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam; Bjarne Melgaard/ Rod Bianco Super Normal (solo)
2010
Greene Naftali, New York; The Synthetic Slut: A Novel By Bjarne Melgaard (solo)
2010
Bergen Kunstmuseum, Bergen, Norway: Bjarne Melgaard – Jealous (solo)
2010
Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; Bjarne Melgaard – Jealous (a mid-carreer retrospective exhibition), curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran, Hanne Beate Ueland and Grete Årbu (solo)
2009
Rod Bianco, Oslo; DAMASCUS (Bjarne Melgaard, Thaddeus Strode, Axel Hütte, Andreas Widerøe Hagen, Big Fat Black Cock Inc.)
2009
Gallery Riis, Oslo; Latte in Watte
2009
The Amie & Tony James Gallery, The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, New York; Two Shows: Peeps/Pistoletto, curated by: Romy Golan and Amy Herzog
2009
Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Vestfossen, Norway; Nachspiel / Vorspiel, curated by K. Jærn Pilgaard
2008
Faurschou, Copenhagen; 
Edvard Munch: Tribute And Inspiration (Georg Baselitz, Louise Bourgeois, Peter Doig, Asger Jorn, Per Kirkeby, Bjarne Melgaard, Edvard Munch, Alice Neel and Erik Parker) 

2008
Greene Naftali Gallery, New York; Works on Paper by Gallery Artists and Ricci Albenda
2008
Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad, Switzerland; Works on Paper (Adam Saks, Andre Butzer, Bjarne Melgaard)
2008
Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; Jekyll Island, curated By Erik Parker & Max Henry, July 12-
 August 28
2008
Greene Naftali Gallery and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York; Painting: Now and Forever, Part II
2008
Faurschou, Copenhagen; Accrochage (Michael Bevilacqua, Erik A. Frandsen, Michael Kvium, Christian Lemmerz, Bjarne Melgaard, Erik Parker, Tom Sanford and Nina Sten-Knudsen)
2008
Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin; That’s The Way It Is
2008
Faurschou, Copenhagen; 
Edvard Munch: Tribute And Inspiration (Georg Baselitz, Louise Bourgeois, Peter Doig, Asger Jorn, Per Kirkeby, Bjarne Melgaard, Edvard Munch, Alice Neel and Erik Parker) 

2008
Greene Naftali Gallery, New York; Works on Paper by Gallery Artists and Ricci Albenda
2008
Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad, Switzerland; Works on Paper (Adam Saks, Andre Butzer, Bjarne Melgaard)
2008
Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; Jekyll Island, curated By Erik Parker & Max Henry, July 12-
 August 28
2008
Greene Naftali Gallery and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York; Painting: Now and Forever, Part II
2008
Faurschou, Copenhagen; Accrochage (Michael Bevilacqua, Erik A. Frandsen, Michael Kvium, Christian Lemmerz, Bjarne Melgaard, Erik Parker, Tom Sanford and Nina Sten-Knudsen)
2008
Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin; That’s The Way It Is
2008
Faurschou, Copenhagen; 
Edvard Munch: Tribute And Inspiration (Georg Baselitz, Louise Bourgeois, Peter Doig, Asger Jorn, Per Kirkeby, Bjarne Melgaard, Edvard Munch, Alice Neel and Erik Parker) 

2008
Greene Naftali Gallery, New York; Works on Paper by Gallery Artists and Ricci Albenda
2008
Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad, Switzerland; Works on Paper (Adam Saks, Andre Butzer, Bjarne Melgaard)
2008
Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; Jekyll Island, curated By Erik Parker & Max Henry, July 12-
 August 28
2008
Greene Naftali Gallery and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York; Painting: Now and Forever, Part II
2008
Faurschou, Copenhagen; Accrochage (Michael Bevilacqua, Erik A. Frandsen, Michael Kvium, Christian Lemmerz, Bjarne Melgaard, Erik Parker, Tom Sanford and Nina Sten-Knudsen)
2008
Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin; That’s The Way It Is
2008
Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Bjarne Melgaard: Chickenhawk (solo)
2008
Guido W. Baudach, Berlin; Miss Bjarne Melgaard: A Kidwhore In Manhatten – A Novel
2008
Art Brussels (Galerie Krinzinger and Faurschou), joint booth (solo)
2008
Greene Naftali, New York; Greenland, A Novel (solo)
2007
Beneath the Underdog, Gagosian Gallery, Madison Avenue, New York
2007
Patricia Low, Gstaad, Switzerland (solo)
2007
Galerie Anne Villepoix. Paris, France (solo)
2007
Baro Cruz, Sao Paoulo, Brazil (solo)
2007
Galerie Senda, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
2007
The Glamour Chase, Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo)
2007
Galleri Lars Bohman, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
2006
After Munch, Pollock Fine Art, London, UK
2006
Minipigs in Space, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2006
Malmö Konstmuseum (together with Marie-Louise Ekman), Malmö, Sweden
2006
Les Super, Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2006
A Weekend of Painting; A novel by Les Super, Leo Koenig, New York, USA (solo)
2006
Helter Helter, Galerie Anne De Villepoix, Paris, France
2006
Superstars: The Celebrity Factor, From Warhol to Madonna, Kunstahlle Wien, Austria
2006
In a Norwegian Wood, Norwegian Art of the Last Decade at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland
2006
Playlist, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
2005
Jasmin la nuit, Horse Hospital, London, UK (solo)
2005
Galerie Senda, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
2005
Fin de Copenhague, Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo)
2005
Part 1: Chihuahua Hunger All Words Destroy, Galerie Crone, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2005
Willy Wonka Inc., Galleri SE, Bergen, Norway
2005
Superstars The Celebrity Factor. From Warhol to Madonna Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
2005
W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2005
Hallo Maybe, Haugar Vestfold Museum, Oslo, Norway (solo)
2005
Life is a Lonely Buffalo, Niels Borch Jensen Gallery, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2005
Not a Painting Show, Stella Lohaus Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium (solo)
2005
Ascan Crone, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2005
Bjarne Melgaard introducing Andy Warhol TV June at The Horse Hospital, London, UK
2005
The Summer Show August at Galeria Senda, Barcelona, Spain
2005
Fin de Copenhagen September at Gallery Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark
2004
Tirol Transfer, Österreichisches Kulturforum, Warsaw, Poland
2004
Secrets of the 90s, Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Arnhem, The Netherlands
2004
In a Norwegian Wood. Norwegian Art of the Last Decade, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland
2004
Diarys & Dreams, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal, Germany
2004
Phoenix Hamburg (Sammlung Falckenberg), Germany
2004
Galerie Senda, Barcelona, Spain
2004
Central Station - the Harald Falckenberg collection, Maison Rouge, Paris, France
2004
PLAYLIST, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
2004
Galleri Lars Bohman, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
2004
Expressive Nordic Painting, Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark
2004
The Black Album, Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, Milano, Italy
2003
The End of The Professional Teenager, Sketch, London, UK (solo)
2003
TABOO ! The Art of Exotica Entertainment, Roger Pailhas, Marseille, France
2003
Models & Mavericks : Exceptional Positions in the Collection Contemporary Art, Museum het Domain, Sittard, Nertherlands
2003
Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark
2003
Bjarne Melgaard, Svent Jolle, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Erik van Lieshout, Stella Lohaus Gallery, Antwerpen, Belgium
2003
Tirol Transfer, Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna, Austria
2003
Skam, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway (solo)
2003
Phantom der Lust, Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria
2003
Tra Est e Ovest, Gas Art Gallery, Torino, Italy
2003
Tattoo, Roger Pailhas, Marseille, France
2003
Twilight, Gimpel Fils, London, UK
2003
Ascan Crone, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2003
De bortbjudna – Malmö Art Museum is visiting Rooseum, Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö, Sweden
2003
The Painting never dries..., Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway
2003
Phantom der Lust. Visionen des Masochismus in der Kunst, Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria
2003
group show, Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark
2003
Moderna Museet c/o, Baltic Art Center, Visby, Sweden
2003
M_ARS - Art and War, Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria
2003
Bjarne Melgaard - The End of the Professional Teenager, Sketch, London, UK
2003
Bjarne Melgaard, Svent Jolle, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Erik van Lieshout Stella Lohaus Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
2002
Black Low, MartA Herford, Hannover, Germany (solo)
2002
Interface to God, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany (solo)
2002
Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy (solo)
2002
Hommage an Rudolf Schwazkogler, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria
2002
Nothing Special, Galerie Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo)
2002
Extension:Works from the Collection, Magasin 3, Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
2002
Beginnings, Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, Germany (solo)
2001
Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2001
New Heimat, Kunstverein Frankfurt, Germany
2000
Sharing Exoticisms, 5th Biennale de Lyon, France
2000
Civil disobedience, Sammlung Falckenberg, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany
2000
Galería Senda, Barcelona, Spain
2000
Sammlung Falkenberg, Hamburg, Germany
2000
Galleri Lars Bohman, Stockholm, Sweden
2000
The myth of a young washing machine, Oslo Museum of Contemporary Art Galleri Riis, Oslo, Norway
2000
Rückblick und Ausblick, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany
2000
New Works, Nils Staerk Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo)
2000
Momentum 2000, Momentum - Nordic Festival of Contemporary Art, Moss, Norway
2000
Organising Freedom - Nordic art in the 90s, Charlottenborg udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen, Denmark
1999
Zeitwenden - Retrospect and Outlook, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
1999
Moon over Islam, Stedelijk Museum for Aktuelle Kunst, Ghent, Belgium
1999
Umfeld, Umwelt, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium (with Joseph Beuys, Stan Douglas, Panamarenko)
1999
Biennale São Paulo
1998
Manifesta II, European Biennale of Contemporary Art, Luxemburg
1998
XXIV Biennale de Sao Paulo, curated by Bart de Bare and Maretta Jaukurii
1998
Soft Core Arkipelag TV, curated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Historical Museum Stockholm
1998
More Pricks than Kicks, Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, Norway (solo)
1998
Galerie Arndt & Partner, Berlin, Germany
1997
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1996
Museum van hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent, Belgium

Public Collections

Musée de Strasbourg, Strasbourg

The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The National Gallery, Oslo

The Rubell Family Collection, Miami
Saatchi Gallery Collection, London
Collection S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent
Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo
Billedgalleri
, Norwegian Art Council, Oslo
KIASMA Museum of Contemprary Art, Helsinki

Malmö Konstmuseum,
Bergen Norway
MARTa Herford Museum, Herford Germany
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm
Museet for Samtidskunst, Oslo

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Moderna Museet, Stockholm


Literature

Bjarne Melgaard & Ann Demeester, Rob Bianco, de Appel Arts Centre, Design: An Art Service, 2010, English
Gunnar B. Kvaran, Hanne Beate Ueland and Grete Årbu; Bjarne Melgaard: Jealous; published on the occasion of “Bjarne Melgaard: Jealous” at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, January 21-April 25, 2010
Bjarne Melgaard & Halvor Bodin, Societé Anonyme, 2002, artist book published on the occasion of the exhibition “Bjarne Melgaard - Interface To God,” Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel Germany, June 16-August 18, 2002
Bjarne Melgaard, Black Low, published on the occasion of the exhibition “Black Low // The Punk Movement Was Just Hippies With Short Hair,” MARTa Herford Museum, Herford Germany; May 5-July 14, 2002