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Svein Bolling: Kirsti Koch Christensen, 2005

Kirsti Koch Christensen (1940-) is a linguist, and since 1991 has been a Professor in Bergen, responsible for the Japanese studies. Before that, she was associate professor at both the University of Bergen and the University of Oslo.

Svein Bolling: Portrait of Kirsti Koch Christensen, 2005.
Svein Bolling: Portrait of Kirsti Koch Christensen, 2005.
Photo:
Alf E. Andresen

She sat one period as Pro-rector from 1996-98, before she became the first woman to be elected Rector of the University of Bergen, in 1999. She sat in the office until 2005. In 2003 she was appointed Officer of the Order of St. Olav, and in 2006 she was awarded the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun.

Her portrait is one of the less traditional in the Kollegierommet. Her face and hands are pixellated, sepia-colored, but presented with photographic accuracy. The red Rector’s robe and chain, on the other hand, are painted with almost sensual materiality. The outline of the figure is marked with bright white, so the contrast to the mustard yellow background is sharp. The combination of colors and tones that you do not normally see together creates the illusion that the painting is a manipulated photo.

Svein Bolling (1948-) started as a romantic in the 1970s, but soon began to produce disturbing images of lone people or animals in the city. Since then he has been searching for new expressions, and over the years has moved away from pure realism in painting. His formal style has been described as poetic. Even when he simplifies and stylizes, he makes contrasts and ambiguities appear, giving the pictures excitement and appeal.

NORA SØRENSEN VAAGE