NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Munan Øvrelid creates spaces of painting in his paintings. Øvrelid is concerned with the relationship between the world and our inner images of it. It is as if his images are created in a merry hover between time and space. From 15th century tapestries and paintings from art history, to feathers, wings, tomato soup, sticks, gloves, lanterns, apples, flowers, laundry and weird headdresses. He has painted rooms on surfaces of surfaces, painting by painting by painting, and rooms by carpets on surfaces by rooms. The rooms contain things that do not have a clear meaning, things that have potential as symbols or beings. A sensual melon opens, dead fish bodies stare blankly out of the painting, while the butterflies have a living gaze on the wings.

The tomato soup offers itself, the stick holds a hat and reminds of the spears in the loom behind, the canvas has a rip against a floating apple. It is as if the painter wants to awaken a collective imagination, tease the eye and surprise the thought. In the hover between surface and space, interior and exterior, stillness and movement, light and shadow, a myriad of interpretive possibilities arise. With concentrated eyes and meticulous strokes, Øvrelid has painted life cycles, death, rebirth, life-affirming maelstroms, as from an old depth, shadows from strange beings, on the edge of the cliff. Shadows of actions and being outside the painting make the illusions of the rooms extend beyond the surface, and into our inner rooms. There is a severe darkness, where the light evokes shadows and makes a lush darkness visible. And the darkness highlights the light. Things in the world emerge through conditions, contrasts and contradictions, but on closer inspection they oppose simple explanations. The words light and darkness can mean the same thing, but evoke different images. In a similar way, Øvrelid moves with clear grips towards something vague and incomprehensible. A lantern, two gloves and their shadows face a picture of the struggle for life and death at sea. The lantern repeats itself in the boat in the motif on the wall behind, it is far away in space, but close by on the canvas or wall. And above, is it a seagull wing or an angel wing we see? It is possible to develop a new understanding of the world. In an experience, we encounter something concrete and unexpected, and we are gripped by something we do not fully understand. This is how we are reminded that we humans may not be here alone. The world is full of things and beings that can attach themselves, can rearrange our minds and create new light or new darkness.

Gallery name: Galleri Haaken

Address: Tjuvholmen allé 23, Oslo

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12:00 - 17:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00

Open: 20.08.2020 - 13.09.2020