Arts and Gardens

Abstract Night

The coast is the subject of John Petter Havnerås’s Nocturne. The dark blue, which fills much of the picture, bears clear associations to the Norwegian sea, as it can be seen at night while there is still some light.

John Petter Havnerås: Nocturne.
John Petter Havnerås: Nocturne.
Alf E. Andresen

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The sun is still reflected in the water, in the middle of the picture there is a stain, red as blood. Some brighter areas of the image afford more glimpses of the sun, if they are not rather reflections of the moon or stars. Two dark shapes are perceived as rock formations, they accentuate the presence of the sea in the rest of the picture.

The size gives a monumentality to the subject. The painting measures 2.5 by 1.9 meters, and is also mounted high on the wall in the entrance area of the Lauritz Meltzer house. The motif is abstracted, to the extent that one can easily view the picture as shapes and colors on a surface.

John Petter Havnerås (1956-) works in the field of tension between figurative and non-figurative representations. His style is expressive and personal, and he harbors an interest in where the visual arts, and the rest of our society, are headed. On monumental canvases he investigates this in his own way, with thick layers of paint and a deliberate use of color. His style has been described as a combination of abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, and the romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich. Havnerås has exhibited in New York, Copenhagen and Stockholm.