(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(b.1937), and intended it to be a comment on gender and racial politics, the picture was very quickly withdrawn after it drew accusations of racism.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.