Generally, I say about my works that I am trying to give them wide room for interpretation. This is not hindered by the fact that many of my works have concrete associations at their base, or that beneath the work a picture may bring up associations I hadn’t thought about at its formation. This is a well-known phenomenon for many artists of my generation, and surely for many younger ones as well.
Click on the pictures to see them enlarged.
My last exhibition of 2020 was a viewing of 40 graphic works at Galleri Vanntårnet in Nesodden. It was so sweet for once to be able to only display graphic works! Over time, all of my old judgements against computer graphics have vanished. Whether some people think I should limit my work to lithographs, etching, or serigraphy does not bother me. The key matter is to show expression. Period!
In 1961 I began studying advertising at SHKS in Oslo. After two years of study I found that advertising work was not for me. Together with my girlfriend we travelled to Iran, and later to Spain. In these countries I began to experiment with photography as an artistic medium. However, this work did not resonate at SHKS, or later at the Kunstakademiet, so they were shelved.
After debuting at the autumn exhibit, with painting, in 1965 (the picture has unfortunately vanished) and after four years as a student at the Kunstakademiet in Oslo, I began my career as a teacher. First, as a teaching assistant at the Institute for form and color at the architecture school of NTH in Trondheim, and then as an amanuensis at the Institute for landscape architecture at NLH in Ås, then back again to NTH, and from 1979 as a teacher and eventually the manager for the painting school at SHKS. The entire time I was a teacher I found it difficult to combine that formal part of my career with my own personal artistic production. Aside from a display with colleagues in the Oslo Kunstforening in 1975, my business in the field was very small, and when I fell sick in 1981, I stopped activity in the studio almost entirely.
When I - after spending some years in rewarding collaboration on projects in lighting and interior design - decided to turn back to the visual art, photography was a natural choice. The times around the year 2000 was to some extent characterised by a conceptual and postmodernist mindset, and unsure as I was, I found the best approach for me was through serial projects.
Eventually I cast off my uncertainty, and I found that I wanted to experiment with the photograph treated as a painted object. This is an approach I choose to this day. The computer became a welcome tool in this process, and continues to be.
After I felt secure with the PC as a tool in my painting projects, decided to take things a step further. However, my first graphic works were characterised by the then current critical reluctance towards computer graphics. To get away from these criticism by the puritans, I called this work serigraphy, and designed them so that it would take a trained eye to see the difference.
,One day I had an epiphany that “honesty lasts the longest.” (Not entirely true). I decided that my graphic work should clearly show that it was made on a computer. I developed techniques to produced results, which in my opinion clearly show that they can only be created using digital tools.
I have, by this time, worked simultaneously with photography and graphics for many years. Eventually, I have come to the conclusion that what matters most are the basics of the image. This gave me freedom to take up subjects which have always interested me. Portraiture is a stimulating field, and as such I see that it provides a way of relating in my work to the Renaissance masters. These portraits of people I have known my entire life were shown at the exhibition “Adult Men,” at Galleri F15 in 2012.
Southern Europe has, since childhood, been a favourite travel destination. Here I’ve found motivation which is different from what I find at home. This gives me a sense of separation that adds freedom to the processing what I see, as the camera becomes a travel-companion, not just a duty-bound tool, in its use.
In 2009 my wife (girlfriend since 1959 - wife since 1963) and I, together with my colleague of many years, Gunnar Frydenlund, travelled with Cirkus Arnardo in Vestlandet for a week. The young photographer Cathrine Kivijervi also kept us company.
In 2010, I ended up by chance in the museum "David's collection" in Copenhagen. I was very annoyed that I did not have a camera with me. Two years later I returned with Gunnar Frydenlund and a Phase One camera and made my first series of pure interior photos. Contrary to what one finds in various interior magazines, I chose to make mine closer to that of the painter Vilhelm Hammershøi's interiors. This is natural, when you find yourself in Copenhagen. This was the start of a number of works I made using these motifs. I consistently love working with them.
I have had a relationship with Nidaros Cathedral since I lived in Trondheim in the 70's. I supervised students who drew the interior, as of course it was an important subject in the architectural department. In 2016 I travelled there with Gunnar Frydenlund. For a total of 4 hours over 2 days we were allowed to work there. "As if Our Lord has been behind the camera" wrote Tommy Olsson in Klassekampen about my exhibition in Trafo Kunsthall in 2017. I am proud of that!
Shortly after working with Nidaros Cathedral, we thought we were so well established that we decided to do a new interior project, and the choice fell on Bullahuset on Valestrand in Osterøen, north of Bergen. This building - which was also Ole Bull's haunt for several years - was an experience. Knut Hendriksen (who unfortunately died in 2020) had managed to maintain the place for many years without any public support. Admirable and marvelous!
In connection with my exhibition in Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall, Arendal in 2018, I agreed with the general manager and curator of the exhibition Harald Solberg (he unfortunately also died in 2020), to complete some graphic works that could be related to my work with architectural themes. The purpose of the exhibition was to show the breadth of my art, and it was a pleasure to collaborate with Harald Solberg on this.
Since I thought it was enjoyable to work with Bullahuset, I chose to invest myself in another one of Ole Bull's haunts, Lysøen. An inspirational «corny» interior. In 2017 I had already started to set myself up to exhibit in Bergen. It became a reality with Galleri Langegården in 2019, with a natural emphasis on Ole Bull.