January is a dark and cold month. This month, we therefore focus on works that can give some impression of light and warmth, both literally and figuratively. There are countless techniques, motifs and colors that can give a work a feeling of warmth, and in the end it is probably the personal experience of the work that determines precisely this. Here are some works that might provide some feeling of the lighter seasons we have ahead.
Christian Tunge (b. 1989, NO) holds a BFA in photography from the University of Gothenburg (2015). Tunge works primarily with photography, printing and art books. He is interested in how todays society relate to images, and several of his recent photo series deal with digital image sharing. Tunge has made a name for himself within the graphic medium and has in resent years produced several of his artworks as prints rather than traditional photo-prints. In 2022, Tunge was awarded the Norske Grafikeres Fonds graphics prize for a series of riso prints exhibited during the annual Autumn Exhibition. Several of his more recent works have ornamented frames, an element that plays on the historical and traditional design of frames, as well as the current use of signs and images in digital communication. Tunge explores photography as a medium and photography’s development in today’s society in a number of ways. In addition to his own artistry, he is the founder of the art book publisher Heavy Books, which specializes in printed publications from young artists. The publications are at the intersection between books and works of art, and come in limited editions. Tunge is also one of the people behind the artist-run photo gallery MELK, which opened its doors in 2009.
Linda Soh Trengereid (f. 1984) holds a degree from the Art and Design Academy in Bergen. Her drawn and painted canvases give associations to hand coloured photographs, balancing between fact and fiction, a sort of alternative realism where the motifs are taken out of time and place. Trengereid works serially in varying sizes, from small and intimate to large formats that fill the entire field of vision. The starting point for each motif is places she has visited. Trengereids’s background as an adopted child from South Korea can be said to have an underlying influence here. In the execution of her images, Trengereid works layer upon layer with charcoal and and acrylics towards her desired hybrid between a drawing and a painting. The acrylic paint can sometimes erase parts of the drawing, other times she retouches the paintings with coal again on top. The people in her works are often absent or appear as empty sections of untreated canvas where the paint has partially penetrated through. Only the contours of human life stands out, defined by the surrounding landscape.
Trengereid has been acquired by Stavanger Kunstmuseum, Haukeland University Hospital, the University of Bergen and Fana Kulturhus, amongst others. She has public decorations at REV Ocean (2020), Tertnes VGS (2018-2019) and Klostergarasjen in Bergen (2015).
Jon Benjamin Tallerås (b. 1984, Oslo) investigates the relationship between the individual and the urban environment. His work questions ownership through exploring different ways of navigating, seeing and exploring the ever-changing landscape of the city. domain. Looking and reading about Tallerås’ artists practice, the word flaneur easily comes to mind. In his film “Errant Wondering” (2012) the artist is using the urban landscape in unconventional ways – jumping over fences, walking on roofs and train-tracks, climbing buildings, lampposts and gutters. Unusual acts of utilizing and seeing the city is at the center of his works. The work “Traversing the city” (2017) shows Tallerås walking the city from east to west in the underground – a passage of travelling used by large amounts of people every day, though always safely inside a train. The romantic way of using nature is the way Tallerås uses the city, challenging rules of where to go and not. In all of his works, Tallerås is performing social readings of the ways of the city - questioning what is private versus what is public domain, and the relations between juridical, social and physical constructions. Tallerås’ interpretations of the changing urban language can be applied to many rapidly growing cities in Europe and the world.
Tallerås is acquired by Oslo Municipality Art Collection and Arts Council Norway.
Lars Morell (b. 1980, NO) is educated at the Oslo National Academy of Fine Arts. Over the past few years, Lars Morell has created a complex and diverse body of work consisting of photographs, sculptures, and installations. Morell’s work has always encompassed and questioned the visible/invisible and what seems to be something that it is not. In numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally this iconography has been thoroughly developed, and in his recent works distorted shapes, which now “grow” over the canvas, are constructed from imagery in his previous works – paintings, sculptures and drawings. We see colored constructs that at first glance are reminiscent of branching root systems; we recognize the outlines of chains and hooks – and thus again objects that are used in illusion and deception. Morell develops these works out of figuration and sees them as distorted still lives, as a dilemma between abstraction and representational painting.
Morells works is in numerous private collections as well as the Malmö Art Museum, Sørlandet Art Museum, Equinor Art Programme, KLP and the Hoff Collection.
Sverre Bjertnæs (b. 1976, Trondheim) has a degree from the Art Academy in Oslo (1999) and the Duch Art Institute in the Netherlands (2004). Bjertnes has been apprentice to some of Norway's most famous figurative artists, such as Tore Bjørn Skjølsvik (1989-93) and Odd Nerdrum (1993-94) already as a sixteen-year-old. His previous work is characterized by an attraction towards dark tones and still-life, portraits and model studies. During his time at the academy, Bjertnæs explored a more photorealistic painting method with more subdued colours with Villiam Hammersøy as an obvious source of inspiration. His recent work also reflects an exploration of the creative process's dialogue-based starting point, based on greater collaboration with other artists, directors, actors and writers. Through the use of literary and art historical references, Bjertnæs creates a distinctive artistic expression, which has made him one of Norway's most sought-after artists.