Artist given $84,000 by museum and returns two blank canvases called ‘Take the Money and Run’

Artist given $84,000 by museum and returns two blank canvases called ‘Take the Money and Run’

A Danish artist who was loaned $84,000 (£61,986) to incorporate into his work has since returned two blank canvases to the museum.

The kicker? He appropriately called the concept, “Take the Money and Run.”

Kunsten Museum of Modern Art asked Jens Haaning to recreate two of his 2010 artworks entitled “An Average Danish Annual Income” and “An Average Austrian Annual Income’” which used physical currency to depict the average income of Austria and Denmark residents at the time. 

The money went towards new additions for an exhibit called “Work It Out.”

“[It] features works of art by many different contemporary artists,” Lasse Andersson, the museum director, told Indy100, adding that “he hasn’t broken any contract yet as the initial contract says we will have the money back on 16 January 2022.”

When staff at the museum received the pieces of art, Andersson stated: “The staff was very surprised when they opened the crates. I was abroad when the crates were opened, but suddenly received a lot of mails.”

“I actually laughed as I saw it”, he said.

“Jens is known for his conceptual and activistic art with a humoristic touch. And he gave us that - but also a bit of a wake-up call as everyone now wonders where did the money go?”

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The museum confirmed that they are currently in contact with the Haaning. When asked whether they’d work with the artist again, Andersson said: “If he returns the money.”

“If the money is not returned on 16 January as agreed, we will of course take the necessary steps to ensure that Jens Haaning complies with his contract.”

However, it seems as though the artist has different plans after he told CNN that he has no intention of giving it back.

The Conversation (0)