Artist Presents Two Blank Canvases to Museum Which Paid Him $84,000

Artist Presents Two Blank Canvases to Museum Which Paid Him $84,000 October 4, 2021Leave a comment

Modern art is always changing. Some people question whether simple shapes and colors on a canvas have any place in a fine art gallery, while others celebrate works of art that showcase complex ideas in simple forms. But even the museum director was left laughing when he received a new art piece from artist Jens Haaning, which was nothing more than a blank white canvas.

Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg

The two works of art titled “Take the Money and Run” are currently on display at the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark. And it seems that the artist, who was loaned $84,000 by the museum for the art, did exactly that. Haaning was commissioned by the museum to make two recreations of his previous works of art titled “An Average Danish Annual Income” and “An Average Austrian Annual Income.” Both of these works of art physically show the average salaries earned by a worker in these countries. But instead of using the money to recreate these works, Haaning created something new by not creating anything at all.

Museum director Lasse Andersson described his opinions about the matter saying, “Jens is known for his conceptual and activistic art with a humanistic touch. And he gave us that—but also a bit of a wake up call as everyone now wonders where did the money go?” 

And Haaning himself commented that “Everyone would like to have more money and, in our society, work industries are valued differently. The artwork is essentially about the working conditions of artists.” While Haaning did receive money from the museum for the work, the cash was only a loan, so he will have to return it once the museum returns his work of art back to him.