Arts and Gardens

Roundness, Hardness

Sharply defined shapes in contrasting colors. Pink, yellow, black. In the prints of Gunnar S. Gundersen the shapes seem to vie for attention, and for the space in the foreground. There are no smooth transitions, but we can see that there is movement in the picture, that forms flow past each other.

© Gunnar S. Gundersen / BONO
© Gunnar S. Gundersen / BONO
Alf E. Andresen

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A narrow triangle divides the image vertically in half, and seems to accentuate the impression of movement while simultaneously opposing it. While the other forms are monochrome, the triangle of dark gray gradually fades into a lighter shade towards the tip. Gunnar S. contrasts curve to line, surface to depth, warmth to coldness. Despite the cool, angular shapes, the picture reveals an exciting dynamics.

Gunnar S. Gundersen (1921-1983) was one of the most important non-figurative artists in Norway. He is known for his ”hard edge” style. Hard edge was originally a wing of the "color field" movement, and was dominated by artists like Frank Stella and Kenneth Noland. Gunnar S. was less focused on the flatness of the painting than his American colleagues. He was interested in the relationship between surface and space, and was also influenced by contemporary Norwegian art. His compositions stood various forms against each other, often in contrasting sizes and colors. In 1950 Gunnar S. won the contest for a facade decoration of the Artists’ Association in Oslo, which he carried out with Louis Eikaas. His other monumental decorations includes the Høyenhall School in Oslo.