Two of a Kind
30.11.12 – 2.2.13
Galleri Opdahl, Stavanger
Paintings covering earlier paintings - a retrospective
Natasja Askelund has done something crazy, horrible and brave. She picked some of her favourite paintings and painted them over. This is not like the historical poor artists in lack of material had to paint on their canvases already painted. This is a deliberate action looking back on her line of works through the years. There is no way back, history is history, the paintings are forever gone. What is left are prints of photos of the original works lined up with the new version.
Can we really believe she painted over earlier paintings? And if so, how can we be sure those are her favourites, not some paintings she is happy to get rid of? She answers these questions through her works. Actually the same motive is painted again, only this time in one color only. Only the strokes and the lines are the same, but they reveal what is underneath. And they reveal her urge to repaint the motives.
In addition to the old/new diptychs, there are single standing paintings in wild colors. We can not be sure whether these are new paintings or if something is painted over. There are motives that hint to what may have been underneath, but we will never know. We will just have to enjoy what we see and what we imagine may be covered.
I am thrilled by what she has done in these paintings. In one way I am horrified by the though of losing the paintings forever, but I also see the beauty and the brave act of actually doing this. The originals are not lost, they are just covered, and live on in people's memories. Something new are created, with their immediate appearance and their depth.