ARoS’ new exhibition of 200 works from the museum collection focuses on themes of society, nature, and religion.

On Saturday 11 February, the exhibition Human Nature opens at ARoS, reuniting a cross-section from the museum collection. The exhibition present works by e.g. Jørgen Sonne, Vilhelm Bjerke Petersen, Vilhelm Lundstrøm, and 18 self-portraits by Svend Wiig Hansen.

Being an art museum, our collection is the most important asset, we have. It’s our job to present it in various ways, each time creating a new narrative. In Human Nature, we focus on how the works belong together thematically rather than giving visitors a chronological review of the history of art. Each of the exhibition galleries becomes a small jewellery box, says Erlend G. Høyersten, museum director, ARoS.

The 200 works in Human Nature are structured into different themes: nature, landscapes, religion, exploration, society, philosophy, psychology, and abstraction. These themes are pivotal for how people everywhere cope with life through the ages.

We want to use art as a catalyst to generate a greater and broader understanding of our society today. Human Nature gives our audience an opportunity to reflect on social issues, continues Erlend G. Høyersten. Among the 200 works are a number of well-known major works from ARoS’ collection, now placed in a different context (for example Udvandrere på Larsens Plads (Emigrants at Larsen’s Plads) by Edvard Petersen and Skagensjægere (Huntsmen from Skagen) by P.S. Krøyer), and several new acquisitions included in the collection during 2016.

The works are from a period spanning 200 years: the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The aim with this selection is to direct focus on the universal rather than the time-bound, on the assumption that good art can communicate across time and place and touch our lives here and now, says Erik Nørager Pedersen, curator, ARoS.