October 1, 2011, the exhibition ”Odd Nerdrum - Taxes and Mistreated Animals” will open at EdsvikKonsthall in Sollentuna, a fifteen minutes drive by car from the center of Stockholm, Sweden.
The exhibition is the result of the cooperation between Edsvik Konsthall , Galleri Agardh & Tornvall and The Nerdrum Institute.
Showing about forty of Odd Nerdrum´s self-portraits, this is the most comprehensive exhibition of hisself-portraits ever. The paintings are lent by museums and private collectors. Several paintings arearriving directly from Nerdrum´s studio in Paris and will be exhibited for the first time.
In addition to the self-portraits, the exhibition will show ten still-lives, all related to the theme “Mistreated Animals”.
Within the opening of the exhibition, the Swedish publishing Company Atlantis Bokförlag, will publishthe book (produced by Mr. Bengt Tornvall from Galleri Agardh & Tornvall) entitled:
“Odd Nerdrum - Self-Portraits”.
The 160 pages book contains about 100 reproductions in the format of 34 by 20 cm, and will bepublished in English and Swedish. The main text is written by the art historian Mrs. Allis Helleland,Director of Museum and Exhibition Department of The Nerdrum Institute.
The 5th of March, an exhibition of 40 works by Odd Nerdrum opened in Panorama Museum, Bad Frankenhausen, Germany. The exhibition which is a result of the cooperation between Panorama Museum and The Nerdrum Institute, will last till the 19th of June has already been seen by more than 12000 visitors.
It is a great pleasure for The Nerdrum Institute to cooperate with this distinguished German institution that for decades has accepted responsibility for the tradition of contemporary figurative art. The Director of The Panorama Museum, Mr. Gerd Lindner has kindly accommodated our request to inform our readers about the museum’s practice and about his opinion about the works of Odd Nerdrum.
B. L.: Mr. Lindner, what do you consider to be the Panorama Museum’s most important function within the German art scene of today?
G. L.: As far as I can see, the Panorama Museum at Bad Frankenhausen (opened in 1989) is the only public museum in Germany and possibly even throughout Europe (if we do not consider some very few smaller private institutions for instance in Holland) that is programmatically dedicated to figurative art of most distinguished international standing today.
This goal of conception is the result of a very unique character of the museum itself. Centre stage of the museum takes a monumental panorama painting (14 meters high and 123 meters all around) by Werner Tübke (1929–2004) created in oil on canvas within eleven years, from 1976 to 1987. This work, a universal epoch painting carried out in the artists own very personal way, depicts the turning point from the late Middle Ages to the Modern Era in the Christian West as a whole ‘teatrum mundi’ of human passion and behavior. Subject is the history of man represented by everlasting archetypes, based on a revival of tradition. Stylistically you can characterize it as a sort of neo-mannerism in the way of the old masters which is, according to Umberto Eco, tantamount to postmodernism.
In addition, since 1992 there are held temporary exhibitions of different art historical subjects as well as of contemporary representational art, predominantly of a very specific old-masterly, metaphorical style appropriate to the work of Werner Tübke. But the conceptual spectrum of projects is pretty broad. Artistically it ranges from realism to fantastic fiction. The idea is to contextualize the work of Werner Tübke as one of the most significant achievements in the arts of today. To portray this context is the most reasonable and distinguished mission of the Panorama Museum. What concerns me primarily is to give priority to comparable artistic achievements which are absolutely not in the focus of today’s art scene, but exist throughout the times as singular feats constituting the world’s finest art history. Top artistic qualities such as mastery of means, perfect skill, worldliness and complex intellectual purport are basic values and indispensable preconditions for any acceptance to get exhibited at the Panorama Museum. Sure, this is a very unique concept and bound to be most subjective. But it’s also the only stable basis for a veritable work at the museum.
This concept manifests best in the series of exhibitions held at the Panorama Museum since 1992. These exhibitions, 66 total up to now, represent a kind of ‘imaginary museum’ of mostly contemporary figurative and representational art of highest international standing that, for about 20 years now, pursues rather obvious primary routes as well as some times hidden byways of art history which, to a great extent, are forgotten or at least widely ignored by other public museums and art critics nearly worldwide. Even the academic discourse omits turning to these subjects, masters and artistic currents. Thus the Panorama Museum is unceasingly running against the often trivial output of the mainstream of the modern art scene, insisting on everlasting values of great art such as skill and mastery or being bound on tradition as well as the depiction of a complex conception of the world in total. This approach is quite conservative but complies perfectly with the primal understanding of what a museum actually is representing. Conservation is a key term of any museum self-understanding even today. It should be reintroduced into the museum as one of the basics of work again. It is not at all enough to repeat continuously blockbuster shows of modern art either, not to speak of all the widespread trivia to be found everywhere. Art museums are not only focal points of the cultural memory of man. They are committed to preserve first of all the top of artistic legacies independent of current trends and any prevailing zeitgeist. This is my opinion, this is what I deeply believe in and what I try to enforce, and this above all gives the Panorama Museum its distinctiveness and such a singular position within the contemporary art scene as it meanwhile might has obtained not only in Germany but in Europe and – maybe – even beyond.
B. L.: It seems to me that the evaluation of figurative art in Germany still is influenced by the fact that the figurative expression was the preferred official expression both during the Nazi and the Communist era. That artists and critics are afraid of being identified as being under that kind of influence. To what extent is such an impression in your opinion based upon reality?
G. L.: History is taking place in alternating counter-movements. The same applies of course to art history. In this respect it is easily comprehensible that the sole validity of figurative representational conception of art with all the associated ideological indoctrination under the Nazis and subsequently also under the communists (at least in the 1950s and 1960s) led to opposite efforts once the dogma of ideological motivated representational renderings had collapsed. Besides we certainly know that the dominance of abstractionism in western postwar art was widely based on ideological targets as well. We should not forget this fact.
The German reunification was no fusion of equal-ranking partners but rather an accession of the East to the West. The only field in which there has been a real contention of equipollent opponents at eye level is the visual arts. What happened has been a full-fledged ‘iconoclastic controversy’. You can put it like that. Despite of all repressive ideological restrictions there had evolved an eminently powerful, independent and vital figurative representational art in the eastern part of Germany, a kind of art that found increasing broad interest in western Germany (and even beyond) in the 1970s and 1980s, for it was considered by the West as an integral part of a unitary culture although alien to western esthetic ideas and obviously different from everything created within the scope of any modernist art movement. But suddenly, in the course of the reunification, eastern German art of figurative expression became a serious menace to the previously unchallenged modernist art establishment of the West. It was and is about money and market power but also about delimitation of ideological connotations and discredit. It is not at all about quality of art. Representationalism and figurative expression are identified with art of dictatorship, non-representational shaping and abstractionism instead with freedom, modernism and social advance. This conflict is not eliminated yet. But I hope, or rather, I am convinced that time is on our side. Finest artistic quality, whether the rendering is figurative or abstract, will finally always come out on top even if it goes slowly and lots of top artists will never witness the final breakthrough of their work. What I sorely miss in our days is the capacity of museum curators and art critics to discern true artistic quality. The players of the modern art scene never learned how to judge it. This is a grievous loss comparable with the enormous loss of profound academic training at most of the art academies at least throughout Europe. There is a lot to do to rectify the situation and to improve the training.
To bring it back to your question: Yes it’s true, figurative art and a good many other ways of traditional representational rendering seem to be still discredited to a great extent by both the legacy of Nazi art and the no less questionable experience of the so-called Socialist Realism of worst Stalinist character that widely dominated eastern German art during the 1950s and 1960s. Up to this day both critics and artists in Germany are affected by this fact. But things are changing…
B. L.: When we recently met in Odd Nerdrum’s studio, you told that it for many years had been a dream to exhibit his works. How would you like to characterize him as painter?
G. L.: It is very hard to characterize Odd Nerdrum as a painter in a few words. His work is too complex to get it briefly summarized. That’s why I actually would prefer just to refer to my article about him in the catalog to his show at the Panorama Museum. The article is entitled ‘Painting for Eternity’, the catalog ‘Odd Nerdrum – Prophet of Painting’. These phrases tell already a lot. According to me Odd Nerdrum is one of the very rare Grand Masters of painting today. His entire painting work is a visual sensation which captivates and fascinates, but unsettles as well and irritates. A ‘stop and stare’ kind of wondrous amazement is always countered by a very strong feeling of being repelled by something strange in the subject. You may compare it with being totally smitten by the dreadful or, if you focus on the vocabulary of his artistic expression, you witness a kind of ‘shock of the old’. Well, I consider him first of all as a real leading master of painting. What he places before our eyes is painting in its most highly refined form, demonstrating stupendous ability and perfect mastery of means. This is painting at its best which explicitly acknowledges tradition, the defining example of the Old Masters, especially Rembrandt and his resonant tenebrism, sensuousness and expression of emotion, worldliness and a complete image of humanity. Hence Odd Nerdrum is an important and indispensable figure of orientation not only for his continuously growing band of close followers but for lots of other mainly young painters throughout the world as well. Whether he is regarded as a realist or a classicist, as self-styled ‘kitsch painter’, as visionary or mythical symbolist, or as ‘the postmodern question itself’ as Art in America’s senior editor Richard Vine thought, is insignificant. Odd Nerdrum’s contribution to the salvation of painting in the sense of tradition already has a historical dimension, for we owe him quite considerable thanks for the ongoing defense not just of masterful and accomplished painting, but for a multilayered and complex archetypical image of Man which is the preserve of only the very great throughout art history.
For all these reasons it was a long-cherished dream to exhibit his work at the Panorama Museum in Bad Frankenhausen. I don’t remember exactly when I took notice of his work for the first time. Maybe the first hint was given to me by an Italian art dealer sometime in the 1990s. Anyway! In 2000 I had occasion to see a solo show of his work at the FIAC in Paris. It was an absolutely great experience! What deeply impressed me was his incredible skill and virtuosity in painting, but also his most serious conception of the world, and his ability to bring both together to a coherent entity, an image of a world on its own. This is painting accomplished with masterly skill. Odd Nerdrum is a ‘New Old Master’ on a par with his examples leading a whole generation of young followers by example himself. This is an achievement of unique importance in a world of art that has become widely empty of sense and feeling, interchangeable and meaningless, and thus has lost all its significance to us. But painting is alive, vital and very potent – not least thanks to Odd Nerdrum.
B. L.: Is there any painter in Germany today that might be compared to Odd Nerdrum; that has a related expression?
G. L.: In a strict sense with Odd Nerdrum comparable painters are not to be found in Germany today, at least as far as I can see. Rather speaking I don’t know any painter of distinction of similar stature if you take stylistic expression as the only decision criterion. But it doesn’t mean that nowadays there are no distinguished painters, graphic artists, drawers and sculptors of excellent quality, surpassing skill and outstanding importance in Germany and elsewhere in the world that represent shining talent and unique achievements of abiding artistic merits which finally make the course of any history of art. If you ask for names, you may also take a look at the web archive of past exhibitions at the Panorama Museum. I’m sure you will find a lot of interest…
B. L.: Still Odd Nerdrum is – like most figurative painters working in the classical way – disputed or more or less rejected from the official art scene. What is in your opinion the reason for this conflict?
G. L.: The official art scene is widely dominated by big, global networked art institutions, brand leaders and spin doctors in terms of the currently accepted canon of values of the Western society. These forces altogether try as much as possible to seize complete control of the accumulation of value in the field of art. They even need to do so, for it is not only a matter of non-material values but of lots of money too, pretty well comparable with the stock exchange. Moreover the art scene is a mirror of the society. Who’s not fitting into the scheme has merely a chance as a reject. The final consequence is usually a barely sufficient marginal existence on the fringes of the art scene. But who meets the art scene head-on like Odd Nerdrum, has promptly all it’s power apparatus against one. Odd Nerdrum has challenged the modern art world in ways that necessarily had to engender ignorance and radical refusal by crowds of self-proclaimed custodians of the mainstream of modernism throughout the West. His concept of ‘kitsch’ couldn’t have been more provocative! But there is a light on the horizon. There are not only most sensible private collectors of sufficient funds but also wise experts appreciative of sterling art, working at institutions such as museums, galleries and academies across the world who don’t let themselves be taken in by the zeitgeist, and who keep on preserving their independence. You just need to find them!
B. L.: And how do you think the German critics will welcome Odd Nerdrum? And the audience?
G. L.: First and foremost: Odd Nerdrum is still far less well-known in Germany than I initially thought. Accordingly, it is pretty difficult to draw the attention of both experts and the wider public to the work of Odd Nerdrum and his retrospective exhibition at the Panorama Museum. After the show is running for some time now, we realized two facts that confirm all the afore-mentioned deliberations:
1. Professional German art critics simply ignore Odd Nerdrum as well as his very first solo exhibition in Germany and remain absolutely silent on him. At least up to this moment. Lack of understanding and strict denial form an unhallowed alliance that prevents any fair-minded rapprochement with the authentic artistic substance of Nerdrum’s painting. To obtain broader acceptance of his stunning work in professional circles of today’s German art criticism is correspondingly difficult. We just experience this fact on the occasion of his show at our museum.
2. Admittedly, the broad public seems to be irritated by Odd Nerdrum’s work too, but interested and willing to engage itself in this kind of art. Sometimes I am really smitten with surprise by the depth and intenseness of examination of both Nerdrum’s work and his conception of the world through common visitors at the show. However, experience has already shown that the response is two-minded. Odd Nerdrum’s motifs are mostly considered to be taken much getting used to, but his painting is widely accepted and recognized as a real feat of art of absolutely rare, top-ranking quality comparable to that of the very great throughout the past.
B. L.: Mr. Lindner, thank you so much for giving of your time
In the Panorama Museum Bad Frankenhausen, www.panorama-museum.de, and in cooperationwith The Nerdrum Institute, the exhibition “Odd Nerdrum - Prophet der Malerei”, opens Saturday the 5th of March.
Including 40 paintings from the last thirty, this is the most extensivepresentation of Odd Nerdrum´s works for the last years, and the largest presentation ever in Germany.
The exhibition catalogue includes articles written by the famous German author BothoStrauss, Allis Helland; Director of the Museum Department, The Nerdrum Institute, Dr. GerdLindner; Director of the Panorama Museum Bad Frankenhausen, Bjørn Li; CEO The NerdrumInstitute, and by Odd Nerdrum.
All articles are published in German and English and the catalogueincludes all paintings participating at the exhibition.
In San Francisco, AXIS Dance Company and inkBoat Dance Company are preparing a new premiere for the 5th of November: The performance, titled Odd, is based upon the compositions of Odd Nerdrum.
AXIS Dance Company is a contemporary repertory ensemble that features professional dancers with and without physical disabilities. inkBoat Performance Company is a collective built by and with the collaborative efforts of choreographers, dancers, musicians, visual artists, directors and actors. AXIS is collaborating with choreographer Shinichi Iova-Koga, (Artistic Director of inkBoat) and composer Joan Jeanrenaud (formerly of Kronos Quartet) on a work inspired by Odd Nerdrum´s paintings and aptly titled ODD. Shinichi has been an admirer of Nerdrum´s work and upon viewing his paintings in books and online, Judith Smith, Artistic Director of AXIS Dance Company, agreed they are indeed a very rich source for material. All of the artists involved, 15 total, are very moved by the emotions in Nerdrum´s work, Judith Smith tells to The Nerdrum Institute.
Question (Bjørn Li, The Nerdrum Institute):
What kind of emotions do you think Odd Nerdrum´s work stimulate and why?
“Emotion” can’t quite capture my relationship to the paintings. I am interested in the relationship of human to landscape. Though the paintings feature human figures most prominently, there is a strong presence of land and sky and atmosphere deeply intertwined with the body. It’s this sense of non-separation that I take most to heart. Personally, I am stirred by the struggle to stand. We are in a constant relationship to gravity that on some days feels easy, on others, a battle.
Answer (Judith Smith, AXIS Dance Company):
I fell the paintings speak to the difficulties of human existence but also to a determination to persevere in spite of them. There is to me, a sense of hope in spite of the darkness.
Are there elements in the paintings of Odd Nerdrum that makes them distinctly related to physical disabilities?
Yes. Whether the figures in the paintings have disabilities or not, there is a determination to survive that I see as evident. This determination speaks most strongly of the core of a human being. Working with AXIS Dance Company, I see that Rodney and Alice, who work in wheelchairs, have learned how to function well in a society that presumes use of legs. I presume legs constantly, and still can’t help saying sometimes “everybody stand.” And then there they are, unfazed by my thoughtlessness, ready to do their own version of standing.
Answer (Judith Smith, AXIS Dance Company):
There are figures in Odd’s paintings that are missing limbs. I feel that Odd presents these figures in a way that is very matter of fact, just part of life. That is how AXIS also approaches disability. For us, it is a fact of our existence and everyone is equal and valued and important to the aesthetic of our work.
Which titles is the performance based upon? And in what way would you say that those titles establish a continuity or theme for the performance?
Though there are some paintings, such as Lunatics, Dawn, Wanderer Imitates a Cloud, Wanderers by the Sea, Hermaphrodite (1992-96), Isola (1987-95), Man Bitten by Snake, that may have a more clear or track-able influence on the performance, there is a totality of works by Odd Nerdrum that permeates us. The dancers have utilized many of the forms seen in the paintings, and in the process of translating the paintings to dance, there is a new life that develops. It’s like eating the paintings and there is digestion, resulting in energy, motion and shared experience between unrelated persons. Or it’s like a rock dropped in the water, sending waves. We have felt a dark energy that carries through the work, but not without that lingering (and seemingly perpetual), twilight.
After all painting is a static kind of art, creating the illusion of movement. What have been the main challenges to transform that expression into dance, an expression of art that entirely is based upon real movement? What have you been winning and what may you have lost of expression compared to the original paintings?
In the dance, we have established some still moments, directly influenced by the static nature of the paintings. These moments become suspensions, holding points between actions. We have treated these stillness’ as alive, ripe for change and development. The body of paintings we have worked with present many stories with many characters. This is reflected in the dance, this panorama of experience that is dreamlike in its’ non-linear nature of development. One paintings melts into the next, telling a story that words cannot articulate.
How many times do you intend to perform ODD in San Francisco and do you have plans for a tour to other places in the USA? And what about a visit to Europe if possible?
ODD will be performed 3 times in San Francisco and 3 times in Oakland. Some parts will be toured by AXIS alone, some parts will be toured by inkBoat alone. I hope we can have as much touring with both companies as possible. Europe? Yes please. We must arrange it. We hope that we might someday be able to present the work with Odd Nerdrum in the audience. This would make me very nervous and excited.
Answer (Judith Smith, AXIS Dance Company):
AXIS has not toured in Europe and we would definitely welcome the opportunity! Companies in Europe that like AXIS are physically integrated-meaning they have dancers with and without disabilities- have been very well received. Thank you so much for your interest in our project and your support. We will look forward to meeting in person some day.
Judith Smith and Shinichi Iova-Koga, thank you for giving of your time. The Nerdrum Institute congratulates AXIS Dancing Company and inkBoat Performance Company and is looking forward to follow the performance further!
As announced, Odd Nerdrum has been invited to hold master classes at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and in The New York Academy of Art. The events took place two weeks ago. During his visits, a theatre ensemble compounded by brilliant actors from New York , did read Nerdrum´s play “Marlowe” at both academies. Odd Nerdrum´s plays, that all have been neglected by Norwegian theaters, have met enthusiasm in Sweden´s major newspaper. In Philadelphia and New York, Marlowe met great appreciation among the audience even the play was not performed, but read by the actors.
Mrs. Patricia Traub, Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is one of the organizers of Nerdrum´s visit to the USA. The Nerdrum Institute has asked her some questions.
Mrs. Patricia Traub, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts has invited Odd Nerdrum to hold a master class. Why?
There are several important reasons. First ,the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is the first and oldest art school in America initiated by Charles Wilson Peale and formalized in 1806. We are also the birth place in the United States for the study of the human body. This included Artistic anatomy and dissection classes. Painters across the country know the academy. This is the perfect place to gather contemporary figurative painters from all parts of the United States who wish to study painting with Odd Nerdrum. Odd Nerdrum is an icon to many painters in America. By having a Master Class at the academy, this gives an opportunity to those who can not study with him in Paris or Norway. As Andrew Wyeth said, Odd Nerdrum is the greatest painter of our time. Why not have an Odd Nerdrum Master Class at the greatest and most prestigious art school in America. In my opinion this is a perfect combination.
What kind of knowledge do you think Odd Nerdrum might offer the students?
As a friend and painter, I have observed Odd painting on many occasions. He is one of the most generous painters I have ever known. He gives so much to his students. Not only painting techniques and discussions on composition but also the philosophy of kitsch, poems and plays he has written. A true inspiration for all contemporary figuratives. Odd brings to the eyes of his students the paintings of Rembrandt, Titian, Tintoretto, Fredrick Watts and other masters. In a time of technology, Odd has kept the aesthetics of the Old Masters alive. Through his masterly painting, Odd is giving the next generation of painters the true meaning of “Beauty” from classical times. Once a young painter is introduced to Odd’s work, she or he becomes a follower and Odd becomes their father.
How many students do you expect to join the master class?
We expected a group of twenty but so many students from the Pennsylvania Academy wanted to observe Odd painting that we had about forty. The studio in which Odd was painting could only accommodate twenty, most students watched from the door entrance. The attendance of his play “Marlowe” was a full house. We had about ninety students attend. Odd’s slide presentation was attended not only by students from his Master Class but also students from the academy’s Certificate , Bachelor of Fine Arts, Post - Baccalaureat and Masters programs.
How would you characterize Odd Nerdrum as a painter?
I would characterize Odd Nerdrum as a true genius, a master painter of the human body and a true humanist. A great Kitsch painter! His paintings reach the souls of humanity. His paintings are a universal language. His paintings feel alive. He paints life and death for all to see. I would say he has gone beyond Rembrandt.
How would you characterize the interest for classical, figurative art among American art students? Is it in progress or is it waning?
I believe we are in progress of slow growth. In my opinion, I think the small Ateliers, which we have in this country will assist in this growth. One example would be Studio Incamminati founded by Nelson Shanks. There is also Ateliers by Jacob Collins and Andrea J. Smith. Andrea J. Smith has moved her Atelier to Rome and is called Atelier Canova. There are several larger institutions such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the New York Academy, who promote classical style with contemporary issues. Although the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has a variety of styles when it comes to painting. But larger art institutions have conceptually based programs with no programs for the serious study of the figure.
My own question is: What is the future for contemporary figurative painters? This is difficult to answer. We can all agree the paintings of Odd Nerdrum keep classism alive in contemporary times.
The Kitschbiennale 2010 is finished. It opened the 16th of September and when the doors to the exhibition rooms in the second floor of Palazzo Cini, Venice, were closed the 17th of October, the exhibition had been visited by several thousands.
Odd Nerdrum, who is the father and inspirator of the kitsch movement, attended with five paintings. Bjørn Li, CEO The Nerdrum Institute was a member of the jury; together with Odd Nerdrum, Helene Knoop, Richard T. Scott and David Dalla Venezia.
The exhibition was set up in collaboration between World Wide Kitsch www.worldwidekitsch.com and the Giorgio Cini Foundation onlus, who owns an illustrious collection of Italian old master paintings that are permanently exhibited in the first floor of the palace. Jacopo Pontormo´s “Portrait of Two Friends“, is perhaps the most famous painting in this collection.
Due to Odd Nerdrum´s claim that comparison is the best way of education and that the old masters were not gods, but human beings only, his motive “Young Woman” was exhibited just beside Pontormo´s double portrait. Odd Nerdrum was not disappointed about the result. Nor were the audience who were astonished.
Indeed, the set up was a suggestive example of how the expression of painting may cross the border of time.
The Nerdrum Institute is happy to announce that we have decided to cooperate with Edsvik Konsthall outside of Stockholm, Sweden, to arrange an exhibition showing Odd Nerdrum´s self-portraits. The exhibition will last from October to December 2011 and will present self-portraits from the 1970ties until today.
Like the oeuvre of Edvard Munch, the self-portraits represent a substantial part of Odd Nerdrum´s production.
Last summer Edsvik Konsthall arranged the exhibition called “Figurations”, introducing Norwegian figurative painters to the Swedish public. The exhibition caused the most heated debate in Swedish art that year.
Odd Nerdrum is highly recognized in Sweden where there have been several important exhibitions showing his works. 1999 the poster reproducing the motive “Selfportrait in Golden Cape” was forbidden at public places, a rather unique situation on the Scandinavian art-scene.
The Chief Curator of Edsvik Konsthall, Mr. Ricardo Donoso, says:
For me it is the fulfillment of a dream to be able to exhibit the greatest European painter of today. I remember very well my first meeting with his paintings in The House of Culture in Stockholm 1978. In particular I remember the strong impact the painting “The Murder of Andreas Baader” made on me. It was as fixed to my retina and I was so moved that I started to visit all his exhibitions in Norway and Sweden. His paintings give access to a dreamy state of mind that challenges our fantasy
Mr. Ricardo Donoso, continous: It is a great honor for us that we, in cooperation with The Nerdrum Institute, are going to exhibit a major part of Odd Nerdrum´s self-portraits and that we will be able to introduce this unique event for the Scandinavian public.
The June issue of the Norwegian art magazine Kunst contains the second article of three where Odd Nerdrum is talking with his former pupil Helene Knoop and Bjørn Li (CEO, The Nerdrum Institute) about paintings that have made a strong impact on him.
They have been visiting Petit Palais and Louvre in Paris in order to look to paintings by Eugène Carrière and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Danish museum Ordrupgaard, famous for its distinguished collection of paintings by Paul Gauguin and French and Danish 19 century art, is opening a new exhibition May 22. The exhibition, called
Shades in black, has been curated by the Danish Art Historian Merete Sanderhof from Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. The Museum will exhibit paintings by the Danish painters Thomas Kluge, Ulrik Møller, Preben Fjederholt, Peter Martensen, Balder, Olrik, Martin Bigum and Michael Kvium. Odd Nerdrum is the only painter invited from outside of Denmark. He is represented by the titles The Iron Law, Sole Morte, Volunteer in Space and Sleeping Courier.
Under the leadership of Mr. Robert Curcio, who has established several art-fairs with great success,
TheGreatNude Invitational Art Fair will be arranged for the first time in New York. The art fair committee has invited galleries from all over the USA to present artists working with the subject "The Nude".
As a result of co-operation between The Nerdrum Institute and the Committee of TheGreatNude Invitational Art Fair, Odd Nerdrum has been specially invited to exhibit three significant paintings from his oeuvre. He has chosen "String", "Second Birth" and "Dissolving".
TheGreatNude Invitational Art Fair will open for the public in the Roger Smith Hotel, New York, Thursday May 13 and will end Sunday 16.
The Norwegian art magazine Kunst has invited Odd Nerdrum, Bjørn Li (CEO - The Nerdrum Institute) and Nerdrum's former pupil Helene Knoop to Stockholm, Paris and Venice where Odd Nerdrum is telling about why and how mature works of Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Tizian and Caravaggio has made such a strong impact on him.
The first article - written by Bjørn Li, has just been published in Norway.
The next articles will be published in June and September. Kunst has kindly allowed The Nerdrum Institute to publish the articles in English in our newletter.
The American tattoo artist Kat von D, known from the TV-series Miami Ink and LA Ink, has recently been visiting Norway. In a television program she told that she is a great admirer of Odd Nerdrum and that she has made a tattoo of Nerdrum's motive "Buried alive" on the back of one of her clients.
"Odd Nerdrum is the painter I admire most", she tells on her twitter profile.
Odd Nerdrum was invited to hold a master class at the distinguished Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts during the last part of April. The academy intended to exhibit Nerdrum's painting Horse Bath and two paintings by the great American painter Andrew Wyeth who passed away 2009. Due to the volcanic ash coming from Iceland and snarling the air traffic, the master class has been moved to the most likely date of October 8-10.
October 16-18 Odd Nerdrum will hold a master class at The New York Academy of Art.
Turid Spildo Nerdrum's and Odd Nerdrum's son Øde Nerdrum, 15 years old, has recently (April 15) been interviewed by the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, where he talked about his great interest: Film making.
Øde Nerdrum is talks about his constructive co-operation with his father who appears in some of his films - always seen from behind, dressed in a long, black coat.
I want him to look like a mysterious Dracula. I don't want to make his face visible. The films are not about my father; he is just a spectator...
Øde tells the newspaper.
Nevertheless, the work with a new film often starts with a conversation with his father. In the interview Øde tells that his films often is about the great things; life and death and that he and Odd Nerdrum is working closely together untill the film is finished
Read the article in Dagbladet (in Norwegian) here.
For more films by Øde Nerdrum go to Odd Nerdrum's channel on YouTube.
The painter Odd Nerdrum has for many years received international recognition and attention from art museums to galleries worldwide as well as sparked academic interest and captured the eye of collectors. Up until now Turid Spildo, wife of Odd Nerdrum, has dealt with the administrative tasks and the general arrangements. But due to the growth in recent years, Odd Nerdrum, now also situated in France, wishes to focus on his work and as a consequence he has decided to establish - The Nerdrum Institute.
The newly formed Institute is created to take over all the commercial aspects associated with Odd Nerdrum works.
The vision of the Institute is to expand the awareness of Odd Nerdrum globally. The Institute has been granted exclusive rights of sale and certification of all his paintings and drawings, and will cooperate with galleries and art dealers worldwide. It will also orchestrate the global distribution, production and communication of his works to museums, galleries and art fairs as well as act as a spokesperson for Odd Nerdrum himself. Furthermore, the Institute will in addition devote itself to research and will be a portal for students and academia.
The Institute will be based in Norway but will operate worldwide through Kjell E. Wenstad, Bjørn Li and Allis Helleland. With expertise in sale, research, global museums and exhibitions management, they form a solid foundation. From 1985 to 1997 Mr. Wenstad and Mr. Li ran the gallery Kunsthuset AS in Oslo and have since worked as art dealers and consultants. Over the years they both have developed close ties with Odd Nerdrum as well as Mr. Li has published several articles and books about the painter. Allis Helleland PhD. in history of Art., the former director of both the National Museum of Art in Copenhagen, Denmark (1994-2007) and the National Museum of Art in Oslo, Norway (2007-2008), has for the last couple of years run her own consultancy agency in Copenhagen. Allis Helleland has long experience working with international museums exhibitions, and is a great admirer of Nerdrum's works.