Fredrik Værslev - Fredrik Værslev as I Imagine Him

21.09.2018 – 06.01.2019
Astrup Fearnley Museet

Astrup Fearnley Museet is proud to present a solo exhibition by the Norwegian contemporary artist Fredrik Værslev.

Fredrik Værslev (b. 1979) made his breakthrough on the international art scene at an early age, and has already taken part in a number of international exhibitions. His boundary-breaking work exploring the different ways painting can be perceived has made a valuable contribution to the international discourse on modern painting. 

His works shift between different painting traditions and are recognised by an insistent focus on the painting process. The works start out in the meeting between architecture and painting, and take form as painted renderings of motifs from the artist’s daily life. The paintings often shift between abstraction and representation, like his breakthrough series, Terrazzo paintings, that imitate the visuality of Italian stone floors and at the same time call upon the expressivity and spontaneity of abstract expressionism. The Canopy series are reminiscent of modernism and its stripe paintings, but they stem from the awnings in the artist’s childhood home. Værslev often themes and challenges the process of  painting by allowing outdoor conditions to take their effect or by making use of untraditional painting implements, like defect spray cans or equipment used to paint roads and sports arenas. The exhibition at Astrup Fearnley Museet will include a representative selection from Værslev’s artistic production from the past decade.

The present exhibition shows 10 series from the last 10 years of Værslev’s artistic production. Værslev himself has determined how the paintings should be displayed, which make  the exhibition an artwork in itself. The individual works become elements of a larger installation, whose structure avoids all obvious, orthodox solutions. Without introducing new walls or coming into conflict with the existing architecture, Værslev has hung the works in parallel formations that reflect the shape of the museum building, but in an unconventional way.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue containing articles by Peter J. Amdam, Martha Kirszenbaum, Gunnar B. Kvaran, Therese Möllenhoff, Dieter Roelstraete and Åsmund Thorkildsen. The catalogue is richly illustrated with reproductions of the artist’s works, designed by Zak Group and distributed by the publisher JRP Ringier.

The design of the exhibition’s Art Bag is inspired by the Canopy series, and it can be disassemble and attached to a canvas stretcher. Each bag is numbered and signed by the artist, and after it has acquired the patina of regular use it can be hung on the wall as a signed work by Værslev. Thus the owner has participated in the creation of the artwork, in the same way as wind and weather have given a patina to the Canopy paintings.

Watch the film about the Art Bag:

Curators: Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff


The exhibition is sponsored by ABG Sundal Collier and Aker ASA

Address: Strandpromenaden 2, 0252 Oslo

© Astrup Fearnley Museet