My art's raison d'être

My art's raison d'être, my university studies in art history, history and social anthropology, and my passion for art come from growing up in a family and an environment where art and theatre were highly cultivated through generations.

From my art lab in Switzerland

"Spotted", from the Confrontations Series

My great grandfather, Lucien Claudius Dedichen, was Edvard Munch's doctor and friend

I come from a family where art and communication with artists have been emphasized through generations. My great grandfather, Lucien Claudius Dedichen (1867 - 1944), was Edvard Munch's doctor and friend, and my other great grandfather, Hans Blehr, was married to Tulla Larsen, who previously had been engaged to Edvard Munch. My first job in the art world after graduating from the university was at the Munch Museum.

My great grandfather Lucien Dedichen and Jappe Nilssen, painted by Edvard Munch. «Edvard Munch, Lucien Dedichen and Jappe Nilssen, (1925–1926). Photo © Munchmuseet».

My great grandmother, Agnes Mowinckel, was first to use Edvard Munch's paintings at a Norwegian stage

My great grandmother, Agnes Mowinckel (1875 - 1963), was a Norwegian actress and theatre director. Born in Bergen into a distinguished family, she became Norway's first professional stage director. She was a pioneer in bringing painters to the theatre and was first to use Edvard Munch's paintings at a Norwegian stage. Growing up in an environment where art and theatre were cultivated has a great influence on my artistic practice.

Below are paintings of Agnes Mowinckel painted by several artists, such as Edvard Munch, Christian Krogh, Kai Fjell, Henrik Sørensen and Arne Kavli.

My first job after graduating from the university was at the Munch Museum

At the Munch Museum in Oslo, my job was to assist the chief conservator in examining the museum's collection of 17,300 prints in preparation for the catalog raisonne.

Munch's litho stones at the Munch Museum

Learning printmaking in New York

I always try to learn about, but also how to perform the different techniques used by master printers. Visiting Gemini in LA and Atelier Clot in Paris has given me a lot of insight into the process of making prints. In New York, I learned various printing techniques at Pace Editions .

At Pace Editions, New York

Working as research associate at Harvard University and meeting collectors

As research associate at Harvard University (1999-2000) I met dedicated art collectors who marked me forever. Phil and Lynn Straus had at that time the most impressive collection of works by Edvard Munch in the world. They welcomed me with open arms to their houses, and I learned about their collection as well as the passion of collecting, and what to look for when buying works on paper. This knowledge has been very valuable in my subsequent works, as I have been engaged by many collectors around the world to build their art collections.

Straus and Dedichen, NY 2000. Philip Straus was one of the most generous art collectors in the world.

Warhol and Tim Hunt at the Warhol Foundation

In New York I met Tim Hunt who was exclusive agent for prints and photographs at the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. We became friends, he introduced me to Warhol's After Munch silkscreens, and he showed me around at the Foundation.

Tim Hunt, former exclusive agent for prints and photographs at the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.

Munch and Warhol after Munch on the residential ship, The World

In 2002, aboard The World, I organized and curated the inaugural exhibition titled Munch and Warhol after Munch, with opening of the exhibition and departure from London, sailing around the world.

Munch and Warhol after Munch, inaugural exhibition on The World, 2002
The World is the largest private residential ship on the planet
Dedichen at the gallery entrance on The World
The World in Venice where the christening of the ship took place on 17 May 2002

Warhol After Munch at the Louisiana

Another journey took place in 2010 in Copenhagen at the Louisana Museum of Modern Art, where I provided all the Warhol works and most of the Munch works for the exhibition Warhol after Munch. It was with great pride and pleasure to see them all on the Louisiana wall, in the spirit of Warhol - quantity and repetition.

Henriette Dedichen at the opening of Warhol After Munch at the Louisiana
Warhol After Munch at the Louisana Museum of Modern Art, 2010

Warhol Munch

In 2010 I edited and also wrote four of the texts in Warhol Munch published by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Publications. Three of the texts are interviews with people who worked with Warhol and with people who works with Warhol's estate. My aim in my texts was to explain the making of the Warhol After Munch series in dazzling new color tones including silver and gold based on four of Munch's major subjects, the iconic “The Scream,” “Madonna,” “Self-Portrait” and “The Brooch”.

In "On distinctiveness in Andy Warhol's after Munch series" I interviewed Tim Hunt, who at the time was the exclusive agent for print and photography at the Andy Warhol Foundation in NY. Hunt's vast experience from working with Warhol's prints and photographs provides a valuable insight that is worth reading.

Warhol Munch, in Louisiana shop, edited by Henriette Dedichen

In "On the making of Andy Warhol's after Munch series", I interviewed Donald Sheridan, who had been a former assistant to Rupert Jason Smith, the master printer of Andy Warhol. Sheridan's knowledge of the making silkscreen prints provides in this interview detailed information about the process from photography and images found to Warhol's works of art.

In "Andy Warhol's Munch Source Material", I'm in dialogue with Matt Wrbican, who was the archivist at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Wrbican refers to a file containing information about the ordered After Munch series, stored in the Pittsburgh archives. The Warhol After Munch series was a planned series, but never realized, therefore all Warhol After Munch works are unique proofs. In this dialog, the information in the file shows the planned number of editions as well as the planned number of colors.

Warhol's Polaroids of H.M.Queen Sonja - Impulse and Intensity

In 2012 I wrote the text "Warhol's Polaroids of H.M.Queen Sonja - Impulse and Intensity" for the publication following the exhibition of H.M.Queen Sonja´s Art Collection at the Henie Onstad Art Center in Norway. The text gives an in-depth description of the visit H.M.Queen Sonja of Norway made to Andy Warhol's renowned studio The Factory in New York in 1982 where after a make-up session with Warhol's creative team, a series of 29 polaroid shots were taken which served as the basis for his silkscreen prints. Warhol's use of his Big Shot camera, the atmosphere between Warhol and his model during the photo session, the lightning in the studio and finally Warhol's selection of the one polaroid to be used for the silkscreens resulted in a series of 6 silkscreens of Crown Princess Sonja which formed part of Warhol's famous series Celebrities.

Landskap og Rom / Landscape and Room, 2012

Warhol's Queens

In 2013 I edited and also wrote part of Warhol's Queens which was publised by Hatje Cantz. With this book, my aim was to offer a surprising mosaic consisting of Andy Warhol’s portraits of royal queens and images of drag queens. I found it astonishing that noone had made this focus earlier, and I contacted writers that I knew would contribute on a high and interesting level with texts from different angels about Royal queens and drag queens. Warhol's Queens goes in depth on how for Warhol, both genuine as well as fake queens slipped into the role of idealized movie-star femininity and how he characterized the drag queens as “living testimony to the way women used to want to be, the way some people still want them to be, and the way some women still actually want to be.”Warhol's Queens presents intense faces with exceptionally colored lips, eyes, and hair that serve as sexual fetishes and are too tempting to resist.

Warhol's Queens (Hatje Cantz), 2013