Arts and Gardens

Pictorial associations

It is probably a landscape. Both the shapes and colors give the distinct impression of grass, sky, nature. But exactly what we are looking at is uncertain: The brown shape which is the focal point of the scene may be a stump, or a mountain. Bjorn Kolbjørnsen’s abstract painting leaves a lot to the imagination.

Bjørn Kolbjørnsen
Bjørn Kolbjørnsen
Alf E. Andresen

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Is it a panorama picture or a study of details? As so often with abstract images, the excitement lies precisely in our associations to known motifs. The painting is full of contrasts: dark to light, green to red, large color fields to narrow stripes.

Like most of Kolbjørnsen’s paintings this one is large, more than two meters wide. We have to stand a good distance from the canvas to see anything in it but dabs of paint, that themselves create a landscape of small bumps on the canvas. The paint has been allowed to run in some places, like small natural brooks.

This picture was one of five paintings commissioned for the Bergen Music Conservatory in 1989. The idea is that each painting is a music movement, the five together making up a larger musical composition. After the Conservatory became the Grieg Academy, integrated into the University of Bergen, some of the pictures have been moved to other University buildings.

Bjørn Kolbjørnsen (1955-) paints abstract pictures often based on landscapes, and works with photography and drawing. He has been active in theater both as an actor and in directing, script writing and set design. Kolbjørnsen has created public art for the Agricultural University in Ås, Lyngbøtunet in Bergen and Gullfaks C in the North Sea. He has held numerous solo exhibitions and has participated several times in the Western Exhibition and the National Autumn Exhibition. His pictures have been purchased by the Arts Council Norway, the National Gallery and the Stadt Lünen in Germany. The University of Bergen owns several paintings by Kolbjørnsen.