'Imagine the Universe bursts into song', a quote from the late–Romantic composer Gustav Mahler, functions as a playful entrance to a new exhibition in London with seven young Norwegian artists.
The artists share an imaginative approach to the irrational and the spiritual as an artistic force. In different ways, they combine their own personal mythologies with mystical, mythical and romantic symbols and imagery from popular and media culture. Burlesque humour and deep sincerity are entwined unconstrained, placing the spectator in an odd state between laughter and contemplation. The artists all stand out with their highly personal artistic language and their unique formal sensibility.
The exhibition at London's Laura Bartlett Gallery features works from the artists:
Baard Ask (b. 1978, lives in Oslo)
Ask works mainly with video in large-scale installations. His video work, Notio Viri Placet, is a portrait of a choir as well as of individual singers. The music is specially composed and each singer is recorded individually, after which the different voices are joined together. The work plays on the dichotomy between the still and moving image, between the group and individual, and the longing for harmony and perfection. The music is composed by Jan Erik. Baard Ask graduated from The Art Academy in Bergen in 2005. He recently participated in the exhibition On Time at Fotogalleriet, Høstutstillingen and will have a solo exhibition at Gallery Fimbul in October 2006.
Sofie Berntsen (b. 1968, lives in Oslo)
Berntsen works with drawings, collages and watercolours, recently combined in larger installations and wall-pieces. Her precise and detailed work, inspired by geometric figur es, Japanese prints, popular imagery and design, are sensuous, refined, and dream-like. Her work explores themes of myth and passion within a structure of symbolism and visual codes. Berntsen is educated at Ecole Superieure d'Arts Graphique, Parsons School of Design in N.Y. and Paris School of Visual Arts. She has exhibited extensively in Norway, with solo exhibitions at F 15, Akershus Kunstnersenter and Munchmuseet.
Daniel Jensen (b. 1972, lives in Gothenberg)
Jensen works with sculpture, drawing and painting. Referencing popular culture, folklore and the occult, Jensen's chaotic installations have the semblance of a depraved fairytale. Daniel Jensen lives and works in Gothenburg. He is educated at the Art Academy in Oslo and Gothenburg Art Academy. He has exhibited in Stockholm, Gothenburg, London and Oslo.
Eline McGeorge (b. 1975, Oslo, lives in London)
McGeorge works wit h a range of materials such as plastic, wood, paper or colored tape. These are combined with low-tech animations and placed in an installation that reflects and reconstructs the physical and architectural landscape. The work expresses a domestic sensibility that, while familiar, tips into the realm of the mythic and unknown. Eline McGeorge lives and works in London. She graduated from Goldsmiths College of Art in 2001. She has exhibited in Oslo, Prague, Reykjavik and London.
Martin Skauen (b. 1975, lives in Oslo)
Skauen's large-scale drawings depict a Boschean world where grotesque, humoristic and flamboyant scenes unfold. Recently, the artist has started filming the drawings with a hand held camera and composing music to accompany the projection. The camera moves slowly over the drawings' surface directing the viewer across a base and beautiful landscape of hybrid characters. Martin Skauen lives and works in Oslo. He gradua ted from the Art Academy in Oslo in 2002. He has exhibited in Oslo, Malmö, Stockholm, New York, Copenhagen and London, and is represented by Laura Bartlett Gallery.
Lars Monrad Vaage (b. 1973, lives in Oslo)
Vaage's drawings and paintings depict ancient creatures and strange figurations. The work is distinguished by a humour and an almost childish enthusiasm, which nevertheless manifests a melancholic undertone. The artist was educated at The Art Academy in Oslo and Helsinki. Vaage has exhibited in several group shows in Norway, and will have his first solo exhibition at Galleri Riis next year.
Hanneline Visnes (b. 1972, Bergen. Lives and works in Glasgow)
Visnes's rich and intricate drawings and paintings employ repetitive and decorative imagery, appropriated from a range of historical and cultural sources such as Persian tiles or medieval manuscripts. In Visnes' work, the harmonious elements of design are punctured by the incongruous, resulting in an effect that is both charms and unsettles. Hanneline Visnes trained at Glasgow School of Art. She has shown in numerous shows internationally, including the Venice Biennale 2003, Prague Biennale 2003, Essl Museum, Vienna, CCA Glasgow. She has a solo show at Pumphouse Gallery in London from May 20 - July 16. Visnes is represented by doggerfisher, Edinburgh.
The exhibition is curated by Helga-Marie Nordby and Ida Kierulf.
'Imagine the universe bursts into song'
Young Artists from Norway
11 May – 17 June
Laura Bartlett Gallery
22 Leathermarket Street
London SE1 3HN
T. 020 7403 3714
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturday 12 – 5pm