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Galleri Brandstrup is pleased to introduce the exhibition "Hvor til nå – Where To Now" by Kjell Torriset, opening on Wednesday, September 20th at 6 pm. The exhibition opening will also feature the exciting  book launch of "Inn i kunsten" by Kjell Torriset and Mathilde Fasting.

Torriset is celebrated for his eloquent visual language, a nuanced interplay between abstraction and figuration. The artist's profound understanding of art history, architecture, language, literature, and philosophy enriches his work, resulting in a diverse, multi-dimensional vocabulary that absorbs and reinterprets collective symbols and art-historical conventions. These references from the cultural and historical milieu become seamlessly woven into an inner artistic landscape.

The direct impulse of drawing permeates his paintings, which exhibit a diverse grammar, culminating in enigmatic constellations. Torriset's meticulous handling of color and texture earned him a prominent position in the 1980s and 1990s, rekindling the significance of the human figure in painting. His compositions portray weightless figures interacting with architectural elements and abstract symbols, overlaying soft, luminous landscapes.

The revival of the human form during postmodernism represented a reversal of its historical exile during modernism, often infused with mythological dimensions. Torriset's work is a clear testament to this, with its mythological and art-historical references. It reflects a longing for a foundation far removed from contemporary concerns, where the body sought refuge from modern society's instrumentalization. This critical perspective on civilization continues to evolve in Torriset's paintings from 2004 to 2011. These works display a fragmentary fusion of various elements into a new form of mimetic narrative. The relationship between figure, space, and surface evokes body portraits punctuated by plastic pictorial elements, exploring themes like alienation and transience.

Torriset's engagement with religious iconography is evident in many of his works. This theme was prominently featured in the National Gallery's exhibition "East-West" in 2004, where Torriset's pieces engaged in a dialogue with the museum's collection of Russian icons. He constructed an iconostasis on one wall, juxtaposed with his own works characterized by materiality and abstract pictorial elements, drawing inspiration from minimalism. On the floor, a white-painted cross, directly referencing Cimabue's crucifix in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, further symbolized the interplay between abstraction and iconography.

Torriset's exploration of well-known religious and art-historical motifs can be likened to a language evolving slowly while maintaining a connection to its roots. This process forges new connections between the present and the past, challenging contemporary understanding to remain rooted in history. The continuity of past language forms plays a pivotal role in Torriset's art, as evident in his "Accademia Della Morte" series, where the Pieta motif is revitalized with a contemporary expression.

In 2005, Torriset was invited to exhibit at St Thomas à Becket in Fairfield, Kent, a medieval church displaying only oval wooden tablets with Bible texts. In this space, Torriset introduced his own oval text boards, "The Fairfield Dialogues" (2005), featuring translations into Arabic, Latin, Greek, Spanish, Russian, and Japanese. This series later found a home at the Old Aker Church in Oslo in 2012.

In 2019, Torriset participated in the group exhibition "Metafysica" at Haugar Vestfold Museum of Art, contributing his monumental 72-panel painting "11:11." Covering the exhibition walls from floor to ceiling, this work showcased an architectural affinity seen in many of his public commissions, including the university library in Oslo. The paintings revealed a spontaneous and sketch-like approach, characterized by impulsive brushwork, a departure from Torriset's previous detail-oriented style. Interwoven within the paintings were elements of religious pathos, symbols, landscapes, abstractions, and everyday scenes, all executed with masterful use of color. Viewers were left to decipher these enigmatic encounters, opening doors to fresh visual dialogues between the concrete, the sensual, and the metaphysical.

In 1992, Torriset was chosen as the official exhibitor at Festspillene in Bergen, and in 1999, he presented a solo exhibition at the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo. He has undertaken large-scale, site-specific projects for the Oslo University Library and other key institutions in Norway. His works grace esteemed collections, including the British Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, The National Gallery of Norway, The Astrup Fearnley Museum, The Norwegian Arts Council, Haugar Vestfold Art Museum, and Oslo Municipal Collection.