To see a wall
In auditoriums 1-3 at the Faculty of Law the concrete walls, which are mainly held in a rough blue, show hints of other colors in rectilinear fields. The painted fields are produced by artist Thomas Hestvold.
The color fields are not glaring, though in some cases the colors are contrasting. They range from reddish-brown and pink to turquoise, but in subdued tones that do not demand our attention. You can sit in the auditorium for hours without being conscious of them. But if you do happen to notice them, you will be struck by how they challenge the wall’s role as a mere dividing line between this room and the next.
The decorations are so simple that they are almost imperceptible. Many other decorative projects seek to create an illusion, for instance of a room inside the room. In the auditoriums at the Faculty of Law, on the other hand, the wall is presented, without being made conspicuous. The fields of color are a pleasant surprise to the observant visitor, who is made aware of the natural variations found in a painted concrete wall.
Thomas Hestvold (1957-) has long been concerned with formal issues in painting, and explored the contrast between space and surface. He is inspired by late modernism, but does not share the Modernist ambition of finding the "eternal laws" of art. The decorations in Dragefjellet bear clear associations to the color-field painters, particularly Mark Rothko. Simple expressions, clear lines and a focus on color were characteristic of the color-field movement. In Hestvold’s decorations the simplistic lines seem to accentuate the wall as a wall.
NORA SØRENSEN VAAGE