Early in his career, Værslev experienced a breakthrough on the international art scene. His works shift between different painting traditions and are recognised by an insistent focus on the painting process.
The works start out in the meeting between architecture and painting, and take form as painted renderings of motifs from the artist’s daily life. The paintings often shift between abstraction and representation, like his breakthrough series, “terrazzo” paintings, that imitate the visuality of Italian stone floors and at the same time call upon the expressivity and spontaneity of abstract expressionism.
The “Canopy” series are reminiscent of modernism and its stripe paintings, but they stem from the awnings in the artist’s childhood home. Værslev often themes and challenges the process of painting by allowing outdoor conditions to take their effect or by making use of untraditional painting implements, like defect spray cans or equipment used to paint roads and sports arenas. The exhibition at Astrup Fearnley Museet will include a representative selection from Værslev’s artistic production from the past decade.
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 it can be disassemble 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.
Watch the film about the Art Bag:
Curators: Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff
The exhibition is sponsored by ABG Sundal Collier and Aker ASA