One of the most original and recognised voices in contemporary painting, Norwegian artist Fredrik Værslev navigates between different pictorial traditions. In his practice, he focuses on the process of painting, demonstrating the possibilities and relevance of the medium today.
His works are born out of the encounter between architecture and painting and take the form of painted renderings of motifs from the artist’s daily life. He treats his paintings as objects, often created by more or less laborious, serial or deterministic processes, in which time itself, as well as various external factors, become active co-creators of the work.
In several series, he has left his paintings outside for long periods, allowing time and external wear and tear to complete them. Other works use seemingly clichéd techniques, motifs or quotations from art history (for example, dripping and splashing). Fredrik Værslev also challenges the painting process by freely collaborating with other artists or by using non-traditional painting tools, such as spray cans or equipment used to paint roads and stadiums. His paintings often oscillate between abstraction and representation, as evidenced by his groundbreaking Terrazzo series, which mimics the materiality of Italian stone floors while appealing to the expressiveness and spontaneity of abstract expressionism. The Canopy series is reminiscent of modernism and its striped paintings, but has its origins in the awnings of the artist’s childhood home.
His forthcoming exhibition in October 2022 in Rennes, the fruit of a discussion begun in 2015 with Etienne Bernard, director of the Frac Bretagne and curator of the exhibition, is intended to be an important step in his career. It will constitute a form of retrospective of his entire production over the past 15 years. The artist will present a new series of 40 paintings that will serve as a “re-reading rail” for his older series. Thus, the exhibition presented on more than 500 square meters of the Grande Galerie Sud of the Frac Bretagne will bring together more than 60 masterpieces.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published in French and English by Dilecta, Paris.