Kåre Kivijärvi – Artist with a Camera

March 31, (2017) to February 04, 2018

Henie Onstad Kunstsenter is devoting this year’s exhibition of works from its collection to the photographic artist Kåre Kivijärvi. Kivijärvi is primarily known as a master of black and white photography, and was the first Norwegian photographer to win nationwide acclaim as a visual artist. Henie Onstad’s collection contains a number of key works by Kivijärvi which, along with works on loan from The Museum of Reconstruction in Hammerfest and Norway’s Sami Parliament, have been brought together to show the full breadth of his oeuvre in the exhibition Kåre Kivijärvi – Artist with a Camera.

In addition to iconic black and white images depicting work and daily life in Northern Norway, the exhibition will show films, publications and archive material on loan from, among others, the National Library of Norway and the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation from Finland, relating to Kivijärvi’s work as both a press photographer and an artist.


Kåre Kivijärvi (1938-1991) was born in Hammerfest. He became interested in photography at an early age, acquiring his first camera when he was 12 years old. In the late 1950s, he studied photography under Otto Steinert at the School of Arts and Crafts in Saarbrucken and Essen in Germany. In 1960, he completed his studies and returned to Norway. He made a living as a freelance photographer for picture magazines in Norway and Finland, while he gradually established himself as a photographic artist.

Kivijärvi’s story is closely linked to Henie Onstad. He was highlighted in a wide-ranging retrospective exhibition here in 1985, and again in 1989 when an important catalogue of Kivijärvi’s works was also published.

The pictures in the exhibition are accompanied by a specially commissioned work by the Norwegian musician Geir Jenssen (1962), better known as Biosphere. The work is a 20-minute long piece of music entitled Berg, which will start playing every half hour in the exhibition space.

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