29 January 2014

Magne Furuholmen: Norwegian Wood Remix

Norwegian Wood Remix
Magne Furuholmen
Kunstgalleriet, Stavanger
Oil on canvas, motives based on Beatles song titles

Kunstgalleriet at Madlaveien have been able to attract several high-profile artists lately. This has been a boost to number of visits and apparently also to sales. This exhibition by Magne Furuholmen was sold out on the opening day. Which I think is great, I am really happy for Kunstgalleriet.

At the same time it is not easy do distinguish between a celebrity and his art. The music and cultural achievements of Magne Furuholmen are unconsciously present in my impressions of his paintings. If the artist was the most important, he might just put himself on display, but I tried to approach the paintings without having the artist in mind.

Magne Furuholmen: Back in the USSR + Let it be

The catalogue claims the artworks are oil pantings on canvas. I find that hard to believe, as it rather seems like coarse wood prints on unprepared canvas, in a limited range of colors. Even the text is on several occations reversed, just like what would happen the first time you make a wood-print. The artist has created an illusion by creating the same features as a print by painting.

Magne Furuholmen: Strawberry Fields Forever

The paintings appear like decorative abstracts, but the very instant a letter is introduced, the abstract ceases to impress, and the letter expresses all the importance. Thus all my attention is drawn to trying to decipher what is written on the canvas. This is not that difficult, as the text is also present in the title of the painting. They all are titles of classic Beatles song titles.

Magne Furuholmen: Come Together

For a Beatles-fan strong emotions may be triggered that very instant a song title is mentioned or printed. For others these are just words on a decorative background. In this way the artist creates an illusion of an artwork, while the real art was created long time ago by the Beatles, and is recreated in the mind of the viewer.

For me it would have had more nostalgic impact if titles by the band a-ha was quoted, but that would have been rather awkward in this context.