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Idun Baltzersen, Espen Kvålsvoll, Ada Nilsen

February 10 – March 5, 2022

Press Release

Galleri Brandstrup is proud to present “Idun Baltzersen, Espen Kvålsvoll, Ada Nilsen” a group exhibition featuring the three named Norwegian emerging artists. The exhibition will open on 10 February 2022 at 6 pm and will be on view through 5 March 2022.

Idun Baltzersen (1987 in Trondheim, Norway) lives and works in Stockholm. Her practise spans across monumental and spatial borders with a diverse range of drawing and graphics; on paper, textile, and wood. The works featured in “Idun Baltzersen, Espen Kvålsvoll, Ada Nilsen” are all different forms of woodcut. The works revolve around social hierarchies and the way people observe and evaluate one another; how the figures depicted in her work reject or hide from the observer's gaze.

In the work “Planeter, 2021» there is two eyes consisting of two planets. The “eyes ” flicker between being confrontational and evasive. One can also see a planet or a sun in the background of a deserted landscape. The figure at the top right holds something in front of the face. Maybe she's researching it, looking for information, but it's also a little too close, as a kind of protection. What she holds up looks like an abstract smile.

Baltzersen draws inspiration from film, television and Instagram, which is where many of the characters in the works are gathered. She specifically quests for body language and gestures that she thinks are unusual or strange. Additionally, the works are inspired by works from artists such as Pierro Della Francesca; the figures in his work are together but completely without communicating with each other.

The woodcuts are also a materialistic exploration of what can be achieved in woodcuts. Baltzersen starts her artistic process by colouring in printing plates and printing them by hand on different types of textiles so that each print is different from the previous one. These prints are then cut and sewn together into collages. The scale is important, and she prefers to work with the largest dimensions possible, to the point where her back gets crooked, and her fingers get splinters. She uses materials that are not traditionally associated with art, materials you can buy at a hardware store or IKEA. After she has printed on textile, Baltzersen further processes the printing plates with a jigsaw, oil paint, to make an assembly. The surfaces are then treated with varnish and epoxy, which creates different varieties of gloss.

Espen Kvålsvoll (1992, Trondheim) lives and works in Oslo. His art is centred around painting, built through processing a form of a collection of motifs, assembling elements from urban landscape, architecture, ornamentation, decoration, images, art and painting history across different environments and eras. Kvålsvoll isolates these motifs from their original context and gathers them into paintings. Each series of painting are developed over extended periods of time.

This new series presented in “Idun Baltzersen, Espen Kvålsvoll, Ada Nilsen” is connected to Kvålsvoll’s stay in Paris from May to September 2021. In his practice of processing a collection of motifs, the stay in France influenced how the artist perceived light and shadow, in different circumstances such as nights and sunny days. Kvålsvoll experienced the shade to be stronger in contrast to the sunlight in France than in Norway. This in turn resulted in a new approach to consider space and figuration in his art. His paintings are composed as scenes that work as an entrance to presenting motifs and objects as scenery in staged light. With his figurative approach, the scenes create room to play with drama through compositions.

Each of the paintings in the series presented is to be seen in context to one another, together they form a painting universe, where one can recognize features reappearing in several of the artworks. Because people tend to become the governing body for how to read action and narrative in paintings, the artist has refrained from painting people in the past. Three of the new works shown in the exhibition, however, depict human figures. After his stay in Paris, the perception of light and shadow offered a new approach to embracing people in his paintings; shadows were used to transform people into an "architectural" element. The humans depicted in this series of paintings are equal to objects with no more significance than the other elements painted; they are merely part of the landscape.

Ada Nilsen (1990, Oslo, Norway) lives and works in Malmö and Oslo. She holds a BA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo and from Stockholm University. She has previously participated in exhibitions at Hulias, Saksumdal Temple and Emanuel Vigeland’s Mausoleum. She is also a co-founder of the record label New World Entertainment.

Nilsen uses her work to explore topics she finds intriguing such as ecstatic engine and will. In recent years bronze is a recurring starting point in Nilsen’s practice. “I am fascinated by the material's long, and partly conservative history in the face of our time. A time that in many ways makes me think of a party in ruins.” States the artist. Through her art, she continuously explores how she can further distance her sculptures from their tradition, without completely losing touch. Nilsen has developed a distinct patination combination which she uses alternately with the raw bronze's own surface. She brushes this patination combination on her sculptures, in a grisette, an almost sloppy way that leaves the sculptures with a dirty/muddy/sooty expression in black, brown, silver and gold-like tones.