The exhibition From Picasso to Weidemann consists of an exclusive range of Henie Onstad collection's masterpieces presented side by side with several hidden treasures that have not been presented in public for decades. The exhibition's structure is based on the strategy Sonja Henie and Niels Onstad, the two donors, had in mind when they bought the collection in the 1950s - and '60s.
The HOK collection originally had a strong representation of works from the Parisian school (1920 until 1960). Paintings by Picasso, Léger and Matisse were highlights of French pre-war artists, while names such as Soulages, Bazaine and de Stael was the generation of French post-war artists. The range has then been expanded by acquiring a series of paintings by European masters such as Paul Klee, Joan Miró and Hundertwasser and German abstract painters such as Karl Fred Dahmen, Hans Hartung and Willi Baumeister. Another strong focus were works by the COBRA group and its members Asger Jorn, Karel Appel and Pierre Alechinsky.
Just before the opening of the art center in 1968, Niels Onstad and Sonja Henie purchased several important works signed influential Norwegian modernists as Gunnar S. Gundersen, Anna-Eva Bergman and Jakob Weidemann. At the same time they began to build up a small collection of pop art.
Henie Onstad Art Centre was designed not only to be a permanent exhibition space for paintings. The institution should also be a producer and stage for music, performance, dance, theater and installation art. The intention was that the various artistic expressions should elaborate each other and show the spirit throughout its range. Therefore, documentation of concerts, performances and lectures that took place on Høvikodden between 1968-2012 has been included in this exhibition.