OPEN TODAY 10 - 17
Under the patronage of
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II

Leonard Rickhard - Between War and Peace

Leonard Rickhard: Scene after Sunset, 2008-09

Leonard, Rickhard: Scene after Sunset, 2008-09

12 FEBRUARY – 15 MAY 2016, LEVEL 5

★★★★★ - Århus Stiftstidende

★★★★★ - Kristeligt Dagblad

★★★★★ - Jyllands-Posten

Hushed emptiness. Noisy reality. Lyrical melancholia. Contrasts meet in the works by the Norwegian Leonard Rickhard, known as the ‘painter of stillness’. 

When ARoS opens its doors to the exhibition BETWEEN WAR AND PEACE by Leonard Rickhard (b. 1945), the museum will be presenting the artist’s first large-scale show outside his native country. Featuring 65 paintings and some 200 drawings, BETWEEN WAR AND PEACE is Leonard Rickhard’s largest exhibition to date.

‘Leonard Rickhard is an expert when it comes to capturing stillness and emptiness. Anxiety and drama lurk just beneath and the contrast makes his works interesting and relevant. The visitor is drawn to his melancholic imagery and his special pictorial space. The exhibition allows visitors to muse on stillness for a while,’ says museum director Erlend G. Høyersten, ARoS.


Leonard Rickhard’s preferred motifs are quiet forest views, red barracks, collections of stuffed birds, and tired model plane constructors. At times, his paintings are enclosed by over-dimensioned frames where the human presence in the painting is merely represented by an anonymous figure – a melancholy figure steadfastly trying to bring order to the chaos of this world. At other times, his people are literally split in several parts. The same is true of objects such as tractors and engines, dissembled and presented in the painting as systematic fragmentations. In this way, he manages to create a contrast between fragmentation and symmetry/order. 

’Leonard Rickhard’s art provides food for thought: detailed, sensitive, and rich. At the same time, it projects grave stories relevant to most people. The exhibition strikes new chords in contemporary art and their resonance skilfully embraces a complex reality,’ continues Erlend G. Høyersten. 


The exhibition sets out with a wall incorporating about 200 small drawings. Visitors are then introduced to the artist via a film before finally being guided through a series of galleries whose design reflects Leonard Rickhard’s favourite themes: the model plane constructor, bird collections, military barracks, snow landscapes, and contemplating man.


Leonard Rickhard was born in 1945 in Tvedestrand, Norway. For more than 30 years, he has been one of Norway’s leading painters. He is part of a painting tradition addressing history’s great questions and his interest in painterly composition from the Renaissance and Baroque is unmistakable. We sense the Cold War’s fear of annihilation in his works from the 70s and 80s where a scarred landscape forms the backdrop for an encounter between idyllic buildings and military vehicles or installations. In his recent works, the pivotal point is often the position of the individual in a disintegrated reality. According to Leonard Rickhard, the themes in his paintings have dictated his choice of facture. His paintings are never non-figurative and his painterly process shows clear references to the tradition emerging in the wake of French Impressionism.

Press photos (via Dropbox)

Exhibition curator: Erlend G. Høyersten, museum director, ARoS
Curator-in-charge: Jakob Vengberg Sevel, ARoS


Press office:

Anne Riis: / 0045 2888 4464

Jens Henrik Daugaard: / 0045 2888 4467

Press photos (via Dropbox)

LeonardRickhard_Ryggvendt figur i nattlig interiør II_2007-09

Leonard, Rickhard: Back-Turned Figure in Nocturnal Interior II, 2007-09

BETWEEN WAR AND PEACE has received generous support from:Spons _leornarrickhard

©ARoS 2017