Arts and Gardens

Arvid Pettersen: Sigmund Grønmo, 2013

Sigmund Grønmo (b. 1947) was Rector from 2005 to 2013. Grønmo is a professor of Sociology, with economic sociology and social science methodology as his specialties. He has held a number of important offices within research politics.

Arvid Pettersen: Portrett av Sigmund Grønmo
Arvid Pettersen: Portrett av Sigmund Grønmo
Alf E. Andresen

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The portrait of a Rector is more than the depiction of a single individual. The institution is honored, too. In other Rector portraits, we find the Rector wearing an ermine coat, with an impressive chain on his chest. In Grønmo's portrait, the symbolic splendor is reduced to a minimum; a golden button on his lapel with the university's owl is the only visible mark of his position. Arvid Pettersen has taken advantage of the tools of painting in order to showcase Rector's authority: Grønmo is standing behind a lectern. He commands it completely, looming within the picture frame. The lectern is shown at a slightly tilted angle, creating a tension with the flatness of the wall behind it. The light entering the picture from the right contributes to modelllng his head, giving a sharp profile to his face. 

Arvid Pettersen (b. 1943) has painted several portraits, including one of Rector Inge Lønning at the University of Oslo. He is a master at creating pictorial interest in his motif, which may be insignificant objects such as a worn shoe, a pocket knife or a plastic bag. An old wall with the remnants of posters and random flakes may be transformed into a visual feast. In addition to numerous echibitions at home and abroad, Pettersen has played an important role as a teacher, first at Vestlandske kunstakademi (Western Norwegian Art Academy), then at Statens kunstakademi (The Academy of Fine Art) where he became a full Professor of Painting in 1993. From 1996 to 1999 he was Rector of that same institution.