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Strikka genser (Knitted Jumper)

Idun Baltzersen

March 7 – April 6, 2024

Press Release

Galleri Brandstrup is delighted to announce “Strikka Genser” (Knitted Jumper), a solo exhibition by Idun Baltzersen. The exhibition consists of works in woodcut on textile and collage, or painted wood relief. Some of the works in textile also incorporate embroidery, a technique Baltzersen aquired during her recent recidency in Paris, where the clothing and textile industry served as a wellspring of inspiration.

Following the passing of her mother last year, Baltzersen found herself surrounded by remnants of her mother's passion for knitting. As she sifted through the yarn and unfinished projects, she couldn't help but feel the weight of her absence. The knitting became more than just a hobby; it became a tangible connection to the women of past generations.

Reflecting on the knitwear she had received from relatives and friends, Baltzersen realized the profound significance of these garments. Each piece held a story, like the Icelandic sweater gifted by a friend—a connection to an Icelandic grandmother she had only met once but often thought of when wearing it.

As Baltzersen sifted through her mother's knitting supplies, she felt compelled to repurpose them, despite not being a knitter herself. Among the most poignant items were two Norwegian traditional sweaters, meant for one missing sleeves meant for Baltzersen and, the other lacking closures intended for her sister. Promptly, she captured herself wearing these sweaters as best she could, using her phone, laying the foundation for her series "Knitted Sweater I-III." Alongside, she photographed sleeves, yarn patterns, and socks, documenting the remnants of her mother's craft, while also capturing moments with her father and their dog.

In both her parents' home and her mother's studio—her mother being the late artist Anne-Tove Huse—she encountered numerous prints and photographs, many depicting traditional Norwegian attire. Drawing inspiration, Baltzersen sought to reimagine these images, borrowing motifs from her mother's knitting books, such as "Anemic Boy" and "Hole in a Landscape." Additionally, "Kneeling Figure 1-2" drew inspiration from Philip Guston's retrospective at Tate, exploring a fusion of styles with a touch of comic book flair, reminiscent of Guston's "Sleeping."

Baltzersen’s exploration extended to works inspired by photographs of her mother's studio. Having lived in Paris for seven months on a scholarship from the Langaards Foundation, she delved into the world of art, particularly captivated by the tradition of paintings of paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries.  Drawing from her experiences, she infused her creations with personal narratives.