Skip to content

The history of the Equinor art programme

Johannes Høie (b.1981). Untitled, 2015 Acrylic paint on wall 499 x 1530 cm. Equinor art programme.
© Johannes Høie/BONO
  1. Home
  2. About us
  3. Artprogramme history

When Equinor was founded in 1972, there were no plans for a corporate art collection. The company employed a photographer whose role was to document important events in the company’s development, and in doing so created a record of milestones in the early years of Norway’s petroleum adventure. The spectacular photographs of the company’s activities also became a notable feature of its workplaces.

In 1988, work started on building an art collection. The company wanted a cultural profile that would be stimulating for the employees of a modern technological business. The first governing document for the art collection, adopted in 1991, stated that the collection should aim to focus on Norwegian contemporary art of high artistic quality and should include paintings, tapestries, sculptures and site-specific commissions.

In 2008, the Equinor Art Programme was established and the acquisition strategy was revised. In the ensuing years, the collection continued to focus primarily on Norwegian contemporary art, but to reflect the company’s ever more global and digitized activities, the acquisition strategy was expanded to include international photography and new media. In addition to the collection itself, the Art Programme was to encompass several other areas of activity: exhibitions, dissemination and learning, and art prizes.

In 2019, Equinor again revised the strategy for the Art Programme, adopting new collection guidelines that were not much different from those originally adopted in 1991. Our goal today is to create a distinctive, coherent and respected art programme by collecting and exhibiting an important collection of Norwegian contemporary art, with a primary focus on artworks from 1972 to the present.

The Equinor Art Programme has ambitions to expand both the collection itself and activities linked to the Programme. The courage and openness that characterizes contemporary art can inspire us to think in new ways as we progress towards the future.

Selected artworks from the collection

Man in chair in front of artwork

Vibeke Slyngstad (b. 1967)
Villa Stenersen II, 2011
Oil on canvas
180 x 150 cm
Equinor art programme
© Vibeke Bärbel Slyngstad/BONO


AK Dolven (b. 1953)
1.30 am North, 2003
C-print 177 x 143 cm
Equinor art programme
© AK Dolven/BONO


Sverre Malling (b. 1977)
Norwegian Mountain Goat, 2011
Charcoal on paper
55 x 65.5 cm
Equinor art programme
© Sverre Malling/BONO


Lars Ramberg (b.1964)
Caring, 2014
Neon tubes and electrical wiring over aluminium chassis
Ø: 400 cm
Equinor art programme
© Lars Ramberg


Bjarne Melgaard (b. 1967)
Untitled, 2009
Oil on canvas
240 x 300 cm
Equinor art programme
© Bjarne Melgaard/BONO