22/03 – 28/04/2013
Preview: Friday 22/03 19:00
Liudvikas Buklys, Allison Katz, Theodor Kittelsen, Rolf Stenersen, Ruth White, Federico Domínguez Zacur
Say it with flowers!
The tussie-mussie was an indispensable fashion accessory of Victorian times, a hand-held posie carried in an elaborate holder made from ivory, glass, or mother-of-pearl, and decorated with jewels or etchings. The small bouquets gained a new dimension through floriography, the art of sending messages through flowers. Each and every flower and colour of flower had a meaning and a thought behind it, something that made the composition of a bouquet a complex and time-consuming process. Even the way a bunch of flowers was presented held a coded message, which could be of acute importance when the aim was to express feelings for a loved one.
Newly wed and living in the idyllic small town of Hvitsten, Theodor Kittelsen produced some of his darkest works. His version of the folktale water spirit Nøkken was said to live in Haugertjern, a nearby lake overgrown with water lilies. He decorated several walls and ceilings in his house, but the only remaining paintings are a few careful studies of cut flowers on the doors to the front parlour adjoining his studio.
In Liudvikas’ study for flowerpots, table corners take the shape of shelves that hold parts of the show.
Hammering away at a typewriter in his office, stockbroker Rolf Stenersen would sometimes pause and let his thoughts wander. He would latch on to some train of thought and let his fingers follow dreams, childhood memories and strings of immediate ideas. The paragraphs he wrote in between his business correspondence formed the basis for his output as a novelist. In the preface to his experimental Stakkars Napoleon (Pity Napoleon) he wrote: “Only by pulling the subconscious into the waking mind can we reach an approximate comprehension of ourselves.” His editor told him to go see an analyst.
For a long time now Allison has been secretly painting store-bought bouquets still in their cellophane wrappers.
Federico’s online translator sometimes presents contradictions. “Only two paintings are, and anything more,” it says, describing his contribution to the show. “I folded slightly paints. In order to modify the size and the ream wrapper.” It has a competent grasp of practical matters, as well as unbending optimism: “Do not worry, with a little heat from a iron on the back of the works will be perfect. It is difficult to have a concrete way to bring his own work elsewhere. I'll watch your notice when they finally reached the paintings. It will be a time of joy and peace!”
And also a temple smelling the evil* inside itself.
* The Flowers of Evil (1969), composed and realized by Ruth White, an electronic setting of the poem of Charles Baudelaire.
About the artists:
Liudvikas Buklys (b. 1984, Vilnius) is a Brussels-based artist, and a recent graduate of HISK, Ghent. He is one of the artists representing Lithuania at this year’s Venice Biennale. Recent and upcoming shows include Raum für Kunst, Luzern, Switzerland; CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania; Francesca Minini, Milan, Italy; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany; Frutta, Rome, Italy; Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna, Austria; Tulips & Roses gallery, Brussels, Belgium.
Allison Katz (b. 1980, Montreal) lives and works in London. Her work is currently part of Notes on Neo–Camp at Office Baroque, Antwerp, curated by Chris Sharp, which will travel to Studio Voltaire in London this June. Recent group exhibitions include The Stairs at Algus Greenspon, New York; solo presentations at Liste, Basel; Daymark at 1857; and a billboard project for Pastificio Cerere in Rome. Upcoming exhibitions include a collaborative project with DAS INSTITUTE in Gaylen Gerber at the MCA Chicago and a solo show at Johan Berggren in Malmö.
Theodor Kittelsen (b. 1857, Kragerø; d. 1914, Jeløya) is one of the most popular artists in Norway. He studied painting i Munich, but became famous as a draughtsman and illustrationist. His images of trolls and other mythical creatures have defined the popular image of Norwegian fairy–tales. From 1891 – 1896 he spent five productive years in Hvitsten, south of Oslo, where he finished some of his most well–known works, including Har Dyrene Sjæl?, “Nøkken” and “Svartedauen”.
Rolf Stenersen (b. 1899, Kristiania; d. 1978, Bergen) made his fortune in the rubber trade and shipping stocks, though his life–long passion was art. He represented Norway during the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, and was a Norwegian champion sprinter. He became a close friend, and financial advisor, of Edvard Munch as well as an important collector of works by Munch and other Norwegian and European artists. The Norwegian part of his collection was donated to the city of Oslo, and became the Stenersen Museum in 1994.
Ruth White (b. 1925, Pittsburgh) is a publisher, educator, and an American electronic music pioneer, most notably in her late 1960’s explorations of sound using the moog synthesizer and other pieces of electronic musical equipment. In 1971 she formed the company Ruth White Films to to produce videos for the new CTV technology, and by 1973 she was producing multi–media projects aimed at getting children to read. Since the early 2000′s White has been working on a musical theatre trilogy, for which she is writing text and score, using acoustic and electronic music and a variety of special effects.
Federico Domínguez Zacur (b. 1983, Cordoba) lives and works in Mar del Plata, Argentina. He has participated in exhibitions in Plataforma 12, Mar del Plata; Kabinett+SLYZMUD, Buenos Aires; and the Bienal de Bahía Blanca, MAC Bahía Blanca; La Harinera. Mar del Plata. His most recent solo show was at Mundo Dios, Mar del Plata. This is the first presentation of his work in Norway.