North by New York: New Nordic Art, a focused survey of contemporary Scandinavian art, opened at Scandinavia House on April 14, 2011. Showcasing the work of fourteen artists, the exhibition was organized by the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) and curated by internationally renowned scholar and critic Robert Storr, with art historian and independent curator Francesca Pietropaolo. North by New York features works by established leaders of contemporary Nordic art, such as Per Kirkeby and Cecilia Edefalk, as well as mid-career and emerging artists, including Marte Aas, Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson, Sara-Vide Ericson, Petri Sirviö and Mieskuoro Huutajat (Screaming Men’s Choir), Henrik Lund Jørgensen, Tal R, Gunnel Wåhlstrand, and Saana Wang, among others. All five Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden—are represented.
Encompassing a wide range of media—including performance, video, and installation art, as well as painting, drawing, and photography—the exhibition revealed a multiplicity and complexity of content and form that undermines the widely held notion of a homogeneous Scandinavian society. Indeed, the proliferation of new art by Scandinavian artists in recent years highlights the fact that the Nordic countries are today as pluralistic as any place in the world.
North by New York was accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with an introductory essay by Robert Storr and Francesca Pietropaolo.