Where does the painting begin and end? In a series of window paintings, Fredrik Værslev intervenes in the history of the Artists' Association and the skylight hall. This year marks 100 years since the skylight hall was inaugurated, and in that connection Værslev makes an intervention in the exhibition space that reminds us of the hall's various transformations during the time that has passed. Overlyssalen, the art institution and its exhibition history form the framework around Værselv's new paintings and exhibition architecture.
In an application for facade changes from 1948, it emerges that the artists thought the original parapet in black tiles "doesn't suit the pictures" and would therefore be replaced by a parapet in wood. This shift in artistic preferences forms the basis for Værslev's intervention.
Above the reconstructed chest panel, he exhibits a series of new paintings in which he makes one of art history's classic motifs his own. One starting point is the living room window in the artist's former apartment in Drammen, another is the reference to Henri Matisse and his window motifs.
In Værslev's latest series of paintings, the window is not a painted illusion, but a window made by a cabinetmaker as a faithful copy of the window in Drammen (only glass and joints are missing). The frame is at the same time a painting frame and a window frame. In the window panes we see Værslev's abstract, luminous and almost vibrating painterly surfaces. Photographs of the window and the view taken at different times of the day and year are the basis. Typically for Værslev, the painting has a concrete starting point linked to a place and one's own life, but the painterly process eventually takes over and follows its own logic.
Placed in the skylight hall, Værslev's window paintings are a salute to an institution that was founded in 1910 by Matisse students, became an exhibition space for the Matisse students and for Matisse himself. Matisse was among the artists represented at the legendary exhibitions of French art in 1916 and 1918. The chest panel shows how the hall has changed and reflects how the exhibition space takes up the aesthetic ideals of the time. Værslev's open windows are testimony to how life and art are intertwined and how the exhibition space can bring it all to light.
In connection with the exhibition, a catalog will be produced by Mousse Publishing with new texts by Professor Espen Johnsen from the University of Oslo, the curators Andrea Kroksnes, Øystein Ustvedt and Wenche Volle from the National Museum in Oslo. The catalog contains, in addition to Værslev's new paintings, extensive archive material relating to the Artists' Association.
The exhibition is curated by Wenche Volle.