En sen kveld
In the fall of 2011, Josefine Lyche, Anders Sletvold Moe and Lars Morell were on a round trip together in Northern Norway. "Without Frame, New Spaces" was an exhibition tour organized by 'Se Kunst i Nord-Norge' and 'Tromsø Kunstforening', where each exhibition was newly produced, with only partially overlapping selection of works from place to place. In other words, "A Late Night" is a kind of reunion, much like the Nordland exhibition series could be seen as a band tour. At the same time, group exhibitions are not concerts, and these three artists are not band members who work exclusively towards one common result. But even so, they were very well suited to just one type of exhibition where both the individual and the collective are given the opportunity to shine.
Common to these artists is that all three have worked extensively on murals, and all have worked "experimentally" and location-oriented for many years. In this work, they have all worked extensively with so-called integrated art - what in the old days was referred to as "embellishments" - i.e. permanent projects in public buildings or in public spaces.
Anders, Josefine and Lars belong to a generation of Norwegian artists who came on the scene after the 90s artists paved the way for temporary projects outside the white cube with various relational and social projects, but at the same time free of this generation's fear of the notion of conventional painting . For if they have not always worked completely site-specific, then at least with a context-sensitive painting at all times also in their other studio practices. From a purely artistic point of view, however, it is as much what separates them as what ties them together. Simply put, we may say that these are two mystics and one analyst.
Anders Sletvold Moe is among the Norwegian artists of his generation who have most directly engaged in concrete dialogue with Nordic modernism. In his gradually iconic work series "Black Letters", he creates small-format love letters to artists that have meant a lot to him, in a way that redefines the monochrome as something more than critical gesture and iconoclasm, and which has taken on a form of dialogue-based hommage. Such an active relationship with historical art generally also characterizes the works that point less directly to specific sources of inspiration or references. Regardless of which medium he works in, the work is characterized by extremely tight precision.
Josefine Lyche has for many years conducted a rigorous research into the relation of visual culture to a particular intellectual and spiritual thought that, for many, appears to be far removed from the rationalist discourses of contemporary art. Lyche explores the link of a non-figurative, post-conceptual painting with a kind of cosmic, psychedelic and New Age iconography mixed with references to classic picturesque forms of language given esoteric injections. The works are characterized by a combined materiality and striking visuality that points to the notion of a reciprocity with promises of eternal spiritual enlightenment.
Over the past few years, Lars Morell's neat shadow paintings have become increasingly freer and more abstract. Where the picture world used to be more specific, it is now more intuitive, and it must be possible to say perhaps also formalist. In that sense, they play the viewer's imagination more than before. One is invited into what can either be a world of shadow landscapes or perhaps also an aquatic universe where the viewer moves from canvas to canvas like a diver who has no map of the terrain to deal with. The work, as such, is a type of existentialist maneuver.
Where "Without a Frame, New Room" was a kind of tour with variables that evolved organically from place to place, room to room, then it might be more correct to think of "A Late Night" as a performance, as a brief but explosive one single event. Still, it is an exhibition that can be seen as - for the time being - the last step in precisely the process that began eight years ago, and in which the artists again demonstrate a form of self-curation characterized by a flexibility and a willingness that an exhibition does not necessarily something that needs to be detailed from the outside, but which can rather occur almost spontaneously when three artists and their work - from each side - meet in the same room.