Exhibition Hall


4.5.–22.9. 2019


Christer Glein: Natura morta
The Exhibition Hall (Utstillingshallen)

This season the Oslo-based artist Christer Glein (b. 1984) will be showing paintings in the Exhibition Hall of Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium. Glein, who studied art at Falmouth College of Arts in England, belongs to a new generation of Norwegian figurative painters. After completing his education in 2006, he worked for two years as assistant to artist Sverre Koren Bjertnes. He shares Bjertnes’ passion for painting, not least the medium’s narrative properties and the balance between these and formal challenges. At the core of his art is the painting process and the mastery of technique.


The modernistic painting had several agendas, and one of these was to use the artwork to focus attention on artistic qualities; in pursuit of this agenda artists moved away from faithful renditions of external realities. Glein shares with modernistic painters their attention to the autonomy and integrity of art, and in his work form, colour and composition are crucial components. He often introduces art-historical references and motifs into his works, building up a complex and constantly challenging visual world. He regards the motifs as a sort of still life, that is to say, an arrangement of lifeless objects. This is also reflected in the exhibition title, Natura morta, which might be directly translated as ‘dead nature’, and is the Italian term for still life painting.


Painting technique plays a crucial role in Glein’s artistic expression and he acknowledges the inspiration of painters such as Jakob Weidemann, Serge Poliakoff and Giorgio Morandi. For this exhibition he is presenting large-format oil paintings in which layer upon layer has been added with short brushstrokes and pale colours. The various motifs are also added in layers, as we see in the Trinity series, where religious motifs make up a background that is partly concealed by figures associated with the Congolese Luba people. In his use of art-historical references, Glein explores a set of ideals on which Western art is based, not least a collective Western memory that results in the exclusion of global perspectives. In this way, Glein’s art can be seen to present us with aspects of art history while simultaneously inviting is to read them in a new light.






Installation Photography:
Nina Ansten