2 March – 27 April 2024

Sverre Schyberg Olsen OSLO (b. 1971) lives and works in Oslo. He holds a BA Honors Fine Art degree from Staffordshire University, UK. Olsen has worked as a professional artist since 1998.

The exhibition shows works with acrylic paint on canvas. In Olsen's work we can see different fulcrums; on the one hand the abstract in the face of light, sharp primary colours, dynamic compositions and hints of a landscape or something cosmic; On the other hand, the sailboat, which can be an allegory for the artist's concept, is a symbol of life's journey where the boat brings people on to a destination, crashed or random. And almost always in blue.

Olsen's love of the colour ultramarine is a hallmark of his oeuvre. As you move through the exhibition, you encounter a world in blue. The colour blue can symbolize heaven and eternity on a spiritual level. The deep blue colour is the colour of the sea, but also of the unlimited sky and universe. Colours may have symbolic meanings for Olsen, but that changes over the years. The constant factor is blue which for him can symbolize a maritime landscape, river courses, waterfalls, waves, and the sky; or a jazz of all this.

Through his use of media, his work presents articulated sharp fields of colour, rooted in soft, organic, and fast, edgy shapes and formations, reminiscent of natural systems found in the discipline of biology and geology. His paintings take us back to our origins, and perhaps Olsen gives us a glimpse of the universe on both a macro and micro level with his powerful expressions of colour, pace, and form.

Olsen has a strong fascination for nature, its attraction, and its ever-changing dynamics, which he can express in an interesting and energetic way. The motifs are the interaction between light and colour compositions as well as abstracted natural landscapes. He examines the ability of painting in which he varies techniques and tries to balance the planned and the unpredictable to invite the eye to a round dance of new reflections in form and colour.

The artists who have influenced Olsen the most are Edvard Munch, Richard Diebenkorn, Willem de Kooning and Gerhard Richter. The styles of abstract expressionism and 20th century colour field painting are important references for his painting style. Abstract expressionism emphasizes spontaneous, automatic, and subconscious energy and the emphasis on artistic process, rather than the finished result.

Olsen has had solo exhibitions all over Norway, as well as in Germany. Olsen was nominated as one of three Nobel Peace Prize artists in 2010. Olsen's works have been purchased by, among others, the Norwegian Shipowners' Association, the Ministry of Justice, Norsk Hydro and Norges Bank, and in addition purchased for large collections and 60 different corporate art associations. He has also had various decorations, including the cruise ship Explorer of the Seas owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line AS.

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