Bjarne Melgaard

b. 1967, Sydney, Australia, Norwegian
Lives and works in New York


Selected Works



Born in Sydney in 1967 to Norwegian parents, Bjarne Melgaard was raised in Oslo, Norway, and currently lives and works in New York. Melgaard studied at the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts before moving to The Netherlands in 1991 to complete his studies, first at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam until 1992, then subsequently at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht from 1992 until 1993.

Since the beginning of his artistic career, Melgaard’s installations have focused on subversive themes, often taking inspiration from various provocative subcultures such as S&M and Heavy Metal music. Melgaard’s current practice, known for crossing disciplinary boundaries, is comprised largely of expressionistic drawings and paintings that frequently incorporate text and a wide array of multimedia components. 

In 2000, Melgaard established himself as the “bad boy” of contemporary art with his first solo show in New York, in which he featured sculptures of apes engaged in explicit sexual acts. Since then, his works have become part of the permanent collections of major museums such as the MoMA in New York, the MOCA in Los Angeles, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, amongst others.

Bjarne Melgaard has participated in the Venice (2011), Lyon (2013) and Whitney (2014) Biennials. In 2013/2014 the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo opened an exhibition, curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff, presenting works from the past 20 years and representing all periods of Melgaard's œuvre. In 2010, the same museum exhibited Jealous, Bjarne Melgaard’s first retrospective exhibition.