2021 exhibition programme

2021 exhibition programme

Candice Breitz Profile, 2017 (Seen Here: Name of Artist in Still Image) Single-channel video, colour, sound, loop Duration: 2 minutes, 20 seconds Commissioned by the South African Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2017 Courtesy: Goodman Gallery, London

2021 is going to be a kaleidoscopic exhibition year at ARoS during which the museum presents a wide range of art from the African continent, Danish 19th century art by Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann, works by British J.M.W. Turner, immersive installation art by Icelandic Shoplifter / Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, a fascinating universe by Chinese Lu Yang, and modern Danish art by Sif Itona Westerberg.

The two exhibitions Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe – COLONY SOUND, 2019-2020 and Asger Jorn and Per Kirkeby – JORN / KIRKEBY continue into 2021. The same holds good of the presentation of ARoS’ big expansion project The Next Level & James Turrell – While We Are Waiting.


27 March until 24 October 2021, level 1

March sees the opening of THIS IS NOT AFRICA – UNLEARN WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED, a highly topical exhibition featuring a number of leading contemporary artists. The artists are mostly from the African continent, but there are also some from other countries. The exhibition, comprising about 25 works, presents artworks including a new work for the museum façade, site-specific installations, video works, sculptures, paintings and photos as well as a performance programme.

THIS IS NOT AFRICA – UNLEARN WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED disrupts a conventional and stereotypical western narrative of Africanness. It includes works that in various ways parody, break through, deconstruct or establish new cognitive parameters and forms of expression. By way of exception, ARoS is going to create an art satellite in close collaboration with the ambitious and artistic powerhouse SCCA and Red Clay in Ghana.

Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann – Between Worlds

8 May until 12 September 2021, level 5  

As from May ARoS presents a comprehensive exhibition with Danish artist Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann (1818-1881). Jerichau-Baumann represents one of the, sadly, far too few women artists from the 1800s. She was born in Poland and trained at the art academy in Düsseldorf, which broadened her horizons more than those of most of her contemporary Danish artist colleagues. She belongs to the group of Danish artists going by the name of the ‘Europeans’, who were opposed to the ‘national’ artists. The Europeans were often openly inspired by international currents, and Jerichau Baumann’s oscillation between the global and the national lends her voice immense interest while simultaneously making her a counterpoint to the national orientation and the art school of the time.

Sif Itona Westerberg

27 August 2021 until 23 January 2022, ARoS Focus Gallery, level 5                                                                

Sif Itona Westerberg’s (b.1985) art, which ARoS will be showing from August in the Focus Gallery, deals with the great shift that has taken place in recent years when human impact on nature has accelerated and climate disaster seems to be lurking on the horizon. Her art lays bare the issues that unfold in an age in which the boundaries between technology, man, and nature seem to be eroded. Sif Itona Westerberg’s works reveal an interest in spirituality and mysticism. They show how modern man has committed hubris by depleting the Earth’s resources; and the realisation of the state of the Earth has catapulted modern man into an existential crisis which Westerberg succeeds in capturing. Her works often reference the sculpted friezes of classical Antiquity, from where she borrows a great deal of her motifs and materials.

Joseph Mallord William Turner Apollo and Python exhibited 1811 Oil on canvas. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 Tate, photo © Tate

Lu Yang, Delusional Crime and Punishment , 3D animation, 2016.

J.M.W. Turner: Sun is God

16 October 2021 until 20 February 2022, level 5

ARoS has been given an exceptional opportunity to present an extensive exhibition dedicated to the world-famous British painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851).  Produced in collaboration with Tate, the exhibition will explore Turner’s fascination with atmospheric phenomena; the sun, moon and clouds, as well as the vast, humbling forces of nature. It will present how Turner mastered the art of depicting light and darkness, as well as the experimental techniques that allowed him to capture the intensity of natural elements with an unparalleled expressive accuracy. He saw these elements as abstract forces with their own symbolic significance, but what did they represent? A Romantic worldview? A fusion of reality and fiction? A break with painterly tradition? The exhibition features 24 oil paintings and 80 works on paper from Tate’s collection and will be a tour de force through Turner’s sublime landscapes and mythological tales.                     


4 December 2021 until 24 April 2022, level 1

At the end of 2021 Icelandic Shoplifter / Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (b.1969), who represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale in 2019, takes over half the big gallery on level 1. In Venice she had created the all-embracing immersive installation Chromo Sapiens, where she used synthetic hair as her main material. For Shoplifter hair constitutes a very special thread, growing from our bodies, which we utilise to display our differences. She views both artificial hair and real hair as unique sculptural materials that are just asking to be worked into ever new forms.

Lu Yang

4 December 2021 until 24 April 2022, level 1                                                                                       

At the end of the exhibition year the other half of the gallery at level 1 is given over to Chinese Lu Yang. Her work spans 3D animated films, installations resembling video games, holograms, neon, virtual reality and software manipulations. Her visual imagery draws on Japanese manga aesthetics, temple gable ends, the internet and electronic music, and she is fascinated by Japanese pop culture, eastern religion and philosophy, gender identity and sexuality, brain research, and body representation in the gaming world’s subculture.

Press photos can be downloaded free of charge from Dropbox when citing the name of the photographer.

For further information, please contact: 
presse@aros.dk / 0045 2888 4464