London Art Reviews

Magazine of art press and reviews from London

Fascinating Norwegian themed exhibition ‘Skjerp Deg!’ at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.

David Franchi – Thursday, 24th March 2016.

Leave Your Weapons Here by Fredrik Raddum, 2016, Photo © Jonathan Milton

Leave Your Weapons Here by Fredrik Raddum, 2016, Photo © Jonathan Milton

The Norwegian exhibitionSkjerp Deg!” was interesting, at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London and also launched the new Projects Space.

The mix the gallery made of three different artists, such as Amir Chasson, Fredrik Raddum and Sverre Bjertnæs, was an interesting idea for the “Skjerp Deg!” exhibition by Kristin Hjellegjerde to bring Norwegian art to London.

A Norwegian expression, the title “Skjerp Deg!” indicates the main theme of the exhibition at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.

Skjerp deg’ could be translated as ‘Sharpen yourself up’. It usually means you’re making an idiot of yourself and it is used in many different situations, including telling to someone to pay attention or that is doing something silly.

The exhibition opened at the door with the intriguing ‘Leave your weapons here’ by sculptor Fredrik Raddum. It reminds of the old churches on the North Europe where there is a room to leave your weapons to get before to get in. For the artist it was a way to remember his own and his children youth when facing a difficult environment, making a parallel with the arms of old warriors. The following room displays other works such as The Nomad series or Human Excavation, confirming the distinctive uncomfortably themes of his works, forcing the viewers to question contemporary culture.

British artist Amir Chasson, instead, mainly presented paintings. Interesting was the series ‘Human Photo References for 3D Artists and Game Developers’ made of large male nude figures – nearly two metres high. These human figures represent the violence overestimated by computer games, stripped back to its most naked humanity. He said: “The work stems from my preoccupation with borders and space. This preoccupation also informs the way I want the work to be seen. The single, lone-standing figures are locked into tightly made-to-measure cropped frames, as if by accident I had run out of space. The idea was to force the viewer to look at it awkwardly from close up, rather than the conventional few steps back.”

Launching the new Kristin Hjellegjerde Projects, in addition to the main gallery, Sverre Bjertnæs showed paintings and sculptures in a separate space. Kristin Hjellegjerde Projects Space will be a way to introduce new artists to the gallery. It is an initiative that supports the organisation of pop-up exhibitions in various locations. The space is located just metres from the gallery. Bjertnaes is well known in his native Norway for his distinctive artistic language. Working with both classical figuration as well as experimental conceptualism, his exhibitions – as seen here – are visually dense and aesthetically expansive.

The Norwegian themed exhibitionSkjerp Deg!” was at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, from 12th February until 19th march 2016.


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