The Tangen Collection

The Tangen Collection constitutes the very core of Kunstsilo. Comprising over 4,000 works by more than 300 artists, it is the world’s largest collection of Nordic modernist art. The collection is continuously growing.

Tangen-samlingen. Sørlandets Kunstmuseum. Kunstsilo. Þorvaldur Skúlason, Abstract Composition, 1951, oil on canvas
Birger Carlstedt. Still Life with Flowers (section). AKO Kunststiftelse/Tangen Collection

The world’s largest collection of Nordic modernism

The Tangen Collection, with its paintings, graphic art, sculptures, textile works, ceramics, handicrafts, photographs and conceptual art, contains such a wide range of art. Thus, it provides almost unlimited opportunities for creating a rich programme with changing exhibitions based on certain topics and overall artistry. There is also considerable international interest in the collection, making it possible to lend or exchange works and exhibitions with art institutions throughout the world. This will contribute to making the artwork at Kunstsilo even richer, more diverse, and more dynamic.

Did you know this about the Tangen Collection? Here are ten questions and answers.

About art collector Nicolai Tangen

The man behind the collection is Nicolai Tangen, a Kristiansand-born patron of the arts, investment manager and present CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management. Tangen bought his first work in the mid-1990s, several years before doing an MA in Art History on Rolf Nesch at the Courtauld Institute of Art. At first, he focused largely on constructive, abstract art. Gradually the collection was expanded by including surrealist and expressionist works. Today the collection consists not only of major, important artists, but it also contains important works by artists who have been neglected or forgotten about in the art market. The collection continues to grow, and the aim behind it is still to find the best Nordic works from the period 1930-1980.

The AKO Art Foundation assumed ownership of the Tangen Collection in 2016. With the completion of Kunstsilo, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum will have perpetual right of disposal. Parts of the collection are currently on loan to various international museums, while other works are in storage in Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo and Bergen. The collection will be transferred to Kunstsilo when the premises are ready.


Sonja Ferlov Mancoba. Vogtere af vår arv, 1973. Foto: A.Dannevig / Sørlandets Kunstmuseum ©Sonja Ferlov Mancoba/BONO 2021

Highlights from the collection

The Tangen Collection dives deeply into works by major, well-known artists. In addition, important work has been accomplished through collecting works from artists that history has ignored. Norwegian artists such as Gunnar S. Gundersen, Zdenka Rusova, Per Kleiva, Reidar Aulie, Johs. Rian, Mette Tronvoll, Anna-Eva Bergman, Rolf Nesch, Marianne Heske, Bjørn Ransve and Ryszard Warsinski are included in the collection. Finnish pioneers Sam Vanni, Birger Carlstedt, Lars-Gunnar Nordström and Ernst Mether-Borgström are also represented, along with a significant collection of Finnish photographic art. Other artists include Olle Bærtling, Otto Carlsund, Agnes Cleve, Ola Billgren and Sigrid Hjertén (Sweden) and Albert Mertz, Asger Jorn, Rita Kernn-Larsen, Vilhelm Bjerke-Petersen and Per Kirkeby (Denmark).

Per Kleiva The American Angst 1971

AKO Kunststiftelse/ Tangen Collection ©Per Kleiva/BONO 2021

Charlotte Wankel By the pier 1930

AKO Art Foundation / The Tangen Collection.

Ola Billgren Fönster 1968

AKO Art Foundation / The Tangen Collection

Mette Tronvoll Knut Åsdam, Camille Norment 1996

AKO Art Foundation / The Tangen Collection

Rita Kernn-Larsen Skitse til Valmuen Unknown

Press and media

Please contact us if you have any questions about Kunstsilo and/or the Tangen Collection.

Reidar Fuglestad, Managing Director
E-mail: reidar@skmu.no
Tel: +47 481 59 900

Eldbjørg Dahl, Commercial Director
E-mail: eldbjorg.dahl@skmu.no
Tel: +47 938 04 000

Trude Gomnæs Ugelstad, Artistic director
E-mail: trude@skmu.no
Tel: +47 915 30 472

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Outdated Browser

×