Scenes from the Garden
by Kristine Øksendal
Venue: Vestfold Contemporary Art Center, Tønsberg, Norway.
06.10.2018 - 04.11.2018
Since she graduated from Central Saint martins College of Art and Design and the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo in 2009, Kristine Øksendal has been an active voice on the Norwegian art scene. She experiments with a variety of expressions and media. Common to the overall production is an interest in exploring abstract expressionism and its ability to convey a wordless and simultaneously existential content. Her work is improvised and expressive, the compositions are expressed through almost choreographically memorized movements in the studio. The starting point is often memories and sensual impressions from the artist's close surroundings and everyday experiences. The works act as autobiographical memories expressed through the discipline of abstract painting.
The use of the word the «Garden» in the title can be linked to the garden in an extended sense and is read in this context as the world / nature as a whole. The project is inspired by the eternal cycles in nature, its ever changing seasons and ecology, the impression it leaves on the human mind. The meaning of ecology can be seen here as describing the relationship between living organisms and their environment. The project consists of motifs that can be seen in connection with the body's constant unconscious reaction to colors and light. To separate one color from another can in an ecological perspective be seen as a mean to survive in nature.
The exhibition at Vestfold Art Center will include display a series of new monumental paintings, video, prints and watercolors. In addition to an artist book with contributions by Øystein Sjåstad:
«The surface of the canvas is like skin. The surface of the observer is skin. Experiencing a painting is a matter of ‘skin’ meeting skin, and this encounter is most keenly felt in abstract painting – in painting where thinking (in the sense of rational thought) is a virtually useless activity. So, the encounter between body and abstract painting involves friction between two skin surfaces. This friction is what we call ‘affect’: forces from the painting that connect with the body before it has time to think.»
«Becoming nature». August 2018 by Øystein Sjåstad, Associate Professor in Art History, Department of Philosophy, Ideas and Art History and Classical Languages, University of Oslo.
English translation by Rene Lauritsen.
With support from the Arts Council Norway, The Contemporary Art Centres in Norway and Vestfold County Council.
Photo credits: Carsten Aniksdal, Kristine Øksendal
© Kristine Øksendal 2018