Arts and culture

Norway has a vibrant arts and culture sector. Today, as in the past, many Norwegian artists and other cultural professionals find inspiration beyond Norway’s national borders.


Norwegian architecture, music, literature and visual arts have won international recognition, and a number of Norwegian artists, writers and musicians rank among the best in the world. Internationalisation of Norwegian arts and culture has increased awareness of, and interest in, modern Norway.

Nine Norwegian artists – more than ever before – were selected to take part in documenta, the world’s most important exhibition for contemporary art, in 2017. Several countries have purchased rights to produce their own versions of the Norwegian television series SKAM. And in 2019, Norway will be the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time ever.


The plays of Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) are among the world’s most frequently performed, while Jon Fosse is one of the most widely performed living playwrights.

Visual arts

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) captured his own anguish – and arguably the suffering of the human condition – in his iconic painting The Scream. Ida Ekblad is currently making her mark on the Norwegian and international art scene with installations that combine paintings, sculptures, performances, films and poetry.


Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was a composer in the national romantic tradition who revolutionised the music of his day. Today, hits by young Norwegian musicians such as Aurora and Astrid S can be found topping international charts. Another well-known name is Mari Boine, who mixes elements of jazz into traditional Sami chanting songs (joik).


Alan Walker strømmes i Shanghai og Sao Paulo, og Sigrid ble BBCs Artist to Watch i 2018.


Alan Lucien Øyen og Winter Guests besøker scener i Europa og Nord-Amerika.


Deeyah Khan is a two-time Emmy award winner in the category best documentary. In 2016, she was appointed the first-ever UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity.

Architecture and design

Among the architecture firms that have made their mark abroad is Snøhetta, the firm behind the Oslo Opera House, the new library of Alexandria (Egypt) and the National September 11 Memorial Pavilion at the World Trade Center site in New York City. Daniel Rybakken has received a number of national and international awards for his furniture and lighting design and various art installations.


A great many Norwegian books are translated and published abroad. Jo Nesbø’s books are best sellers from Seattle to Singapore. Maja Lunde’s ‘A History of Bees’ topped the bestseller lists in Germany for much of 2017. And Karl Ove Knausgård’s books have been translated into 30 languages.

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Designfirmaene Northern og Vestre skaper verdier og arbeidsplasser i Norge ved å fremme norsk design og norske designere.


Keramikk av Elisabeth von Krogh og tekstilkunst av Ellen Grieg var blant høydepunktene på den årlige designmessen i Miami i 2017.