OSL contemporary is proud to present the exhibition off season by Norwegian artist Vibeke Slyngstad. The exhibition is the painter’s third at the gallery.
Slyngstad is prominently positioned among Norway’s contemporary figurative painters and is known for her psychologically poignant figures and interiors. In her latest body of work she captures a notion of hidden connotations and, through her landscapes, the mysterious in natural surroundings. Slyngstad’s painting style is anchored in Romanticism while referring equally to contemporary photography’s critical view on the impact of human existence.
The selected landscapes are not coincidental. As the exhibition title suggests, these are familiar locations. The depictions expose something new, however. Minor disturbances hint at intrusion in the landscapes, resulting in a sense of agitation. In Slyngstad’s paintings each location has its own distinct expression based on its geography, climate and vegetation, alongside local culture and history. The result is the artist’s trademark: paintings charged with psychological tension.
In a scenic landscape, taken from Slyngstad’s childhood, a curved line stretches across the canvas surface. There are some small white marks that are hard to spot. In the paintings from Palestine one is at first surprised by the green and flourishing landscape. That initial delight at the greenery, however, quickly becomes unsettled by shadowy formations on the horizon.
These small disturbances in the paintings are not related to the illustration of motif, but the artist’s approach to painting. Each brush stroke has its own value as Slyngstad never reworks a stroke she is not content with. Instead, she starts the stroke afresh. This results in the qualities of a watercolour. One can admire the calligraphic virtuosity with which she paints a twig and creates a living abstract ornament of lines and dots. The viewer’s gaze is at first drawn towards an unlimited spectrum of greens and blues before suddenly it shifts to a yellow smudge, or a stain that had gone unnoticed but now creates disharmony. In Slyngstad’s work there is an ongoing will to create tension – and resistance.
Vibeke Slyngstad (b. 1968) lives and works in Oslo. She received her education at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Slyngstad is exhibited extensively in Norway and beyond. In 2009 she was represented at the Venice Biennial as part of the exhibition The Collectors, curated by Elmgreen & Dragset. She took part of the show Inside Outside Architecture at the the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo and 2017 saw her acclaimed solo exhibition Color me Gone at Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum. Slyngstad is represented in several private and public collections, amongst other: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Equinor Art Collection, Nordea Art Collection, Storebrand and Telenor Art Collection. Other exhibition highlights include her solo presentation at Kristiansand Kunsthall (2018).