Øyvind Sørfjordmo (1987) graduated with his masters at Kunstakademiet in Oslo in 2018 and exhibited in the group show “Rethinking Media” at Galleri Brandstrup the same year. His first solo exhibition at Galleri Brandstrup “Vacation Time” in 2019, was a result of a longer stay in Paris at the residency Cité Internationale des Arts. In the fall of 2021, he presented his solo show “Faro” consisting of new paintings that have been created during Sørfjordmo’s artist residency at Nordic Artists’ Center in Dale, in the autumn of 2020. He currently lives and works in Oslo.
Sørfjordmo’s drawings, paintings and sculptures engage in dialogue with one another across their different media, with the joint goal of exploring the limitations within the materials used; resulting in a steady connection across the artworks exhibited. He masterly lets the viewer experience his exhibitions as one single installation, while we simultaneously get captured into each one of the individual artworks.
The exhibition “Vacation Time” continued his steady focus on this dialogue between different media, exploring and investigating possibilities and limits within the nonfigurative and abstract expression. Through his paintings, Sørfjordmo investigates their endless possibilities, as well as their boundaries by searching for ways to use the material at hand. This process of pursuing techniques that he does not yet master, evolves his works and artistry, though following a recognizable thread throughout.
After his stay in Paris at the residency Cité Internationale des arts, particularly one part of the city’s art history inspired him, the art group Les Nabis. Consisting of artists such as Édouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, the group worked at the end of the 19-century and played a great role in the transition from impressionism to abstract art. Sørfjordmo’s main inspiration is the rejection of easel painting as a window onto a fictional world. In the words of Maurice Denis, the results remind us that painting “is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order.” In contradiction to the bright pastels of Les Nabis, Sørfjordmo has used a much more darkened palette. Sørfjordmo says “I wanted to create an expression in my paintings that is similar to the sensory experience of looking out into the darkness at night. Like the dusk develops over time, I want to invite the viewer to see new things when studying the surface of my canvases, to finish the paintings for me.”
Remarkable to Sørfjordmo’s paintings exhibited in “Faro” is how his subject appear both as a negative and a positive surface to the image portrayed. The negative form that arises around the positive, is a result of the artist attentive “image building”, often working the negatives prior to finding the movement of the positive form in his paintings. Sørfjordmo compares his work on negative and positive imaging to observing a lighthouse at night; "seeing the lighthouse from a distance vs. how it is perceived close up. How the light shines through all of the air, weather clouds and sea and signals that there is something there in the dark, a fixed point that you can glimpse in the distance and can set the course towards. If you get right up close you will be able to find an intensely sparkling object.”
Sørfjordmo is a part of the permanent collection of artworks at Trondheim Kunstmuseum and has exhibited at Høstutstillingen at Kunstnernes Hus in 2018. He was awarded the Håkon Bleken Scholarship in 2018.