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Fredrik Værslev – Fredrik Værslev as I Imagine Him

Press release   •   Sep 18, 2018 09:46 UTC

Astrup Fearnley Museet is pleased to present a solo exhibition by the Norwegian contemporary artist Fredrik Værslev.

Fredrik Værslev made his breakthrough on the international art scene at an early age, and has already taken part in a number of international exhibitions. His boundary-breaking work exploring the different ways painting can be perceived has made a valuable contribution to the international discourse on modern painting.

Værslev moves between different styles and his work is characterised by an insistent focus on the actual painting process. His art builds on the interface between architecture and painting, and evolves as a pictorial rendering of visual elements in his life, often moving back and forth between abstraction and representation. His ground-breaking series, Terrazzo, replicates the visual quality of Italian stone floors, which is also evident in staircases in Scandinavian apartment buildings. At the same time these paintings invoke the emotionalism and spontaneity of abstract expressionism. The Canopy series is based on the awnings in Værslev’s childhood home, but also calls to mind the stripes of modernist paintings such as those of Barnett Newman and Agnes Martin.

Værslev both draws attention to and challenges the painting process itself by exposing his works to external stresses such as outside weather, or by using unorthodox painting tools such as defective spray cans or line marking machines for marking sports fields. In the Shelf series he invited colleagues such as Allison Katz, Josh Smith, Stewart Uoo and Matias Faldbakken to become involved in completing the paintings.

The present exhibition shows 10 series from the last 10 years of Værslev’s artistic production. Værslev himself has determined how the paintings should be displayed, which make the exhibition an artwork in itself. The individual works become elements of a larger installation, whose structure avoids all obvious, orthodox solutions. Without introducing new walls or coming into conflict with the existing architecture, Værslev has hung the works in parallel formations that reflect the shape of the museum building, but in an unconventional way.

The title of the exbibition, Fredrik Værslev as I Imagine Him, is taken from a text written by the recently deceased Peter J. Amdam: artist, musician, curator, art critic and close friend of Værslev. The text was intended to be one of several in a book project with the same title that was to be published in 2018.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue containing articles by Peter J. Amdam, Martha Kirszenbaum, Gunnar B. Kvaran, Therese Möllenhoff, Dieter Roelstraete and Åsmund Thorkildsen. The catalogue is richly illustrated with reproductions of the artist’s works, designed by Zak Group and distributed by the publisher JRP Ringier.

The design of the exhibition’s Art Bag is inspired by the Canopy series, and the bag can be opened up and attached to a canvas stretcher. Each bag is numbered and signed by the artist, and after it has acquired the patina of regular use it can be hung on the wall as a signed work by Værslev. Thus the owner has participated in the creation of the artwork, in the same way as wind and weather have given a patina to the Canopy paintings.

The exhibition is curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff


Fredrik Værslev
(b. 1979) is educated at the Malmö Art Academy (2005–2010) and the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Kunst – Städelschule, in Frankfurt am Main (2008–2009). He has held solo exhibitions at Le Consortium in Dijon, Bonner Kunstverein in Bonn, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark, The Power Station in Dallas and the Museo Marino Marini in Florence. In 2016 he was the yearly Festival Artist at the exhibition All Around Amateur at Bergen Kunsthall. He is represented in several major collections at museums like the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo.

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Press opening Thursday 20 September at 11:00
On Thursday 20 September at 11:00 the exhibition will be opened to the press, with a guided tour by Director Gunnar B. Kvaran. Fredrik Værslev will be present to answer questions during the tour. The tour will be followed by lunch at Vingen Bar.

The press are also welcome to attend the official opening in the evening at 18:00.

For enquiries and registration please contact: press@fearnleys.no
Mob: 93 03 97 02 | Tel: 22 93 60 60 

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