Internationally renowned Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum has played the role of both national treasure and art-political rebel since the 1970s. As the founder of the Kitsch movement, he opposed the abstract and conceptual art that dominated Norway at the time in favor of honoring the old world traditions of Rembrandt and Caravaggio. His outspoken views against the modernist “art establishment” and socialist art programs in Norway has elicited backlash from his peers and, as he claims, negative attention from national authorities.
Influential Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum began to paint figurative, Neo-Classical works inspired by the Renaissance in the late 1970s — a period when abstract, conceptual art was en vogue. Openly embracing kitsch, his early work was waged as a criticism against the contemporary art status quo as well as an homage to the old masters. Over the years, Nerdrum has been a mentor to many contemporary artists as narrative-based, figurative painting has risen in prominence once again. He and his three students, Luke Hillestad, David Molesky and Caleb Knodell, will be exhibiting together at Copro Gallery in Los Angeles for “Pupils of Apelles,” opening on November 15.
Our 39th volume of Hi-Fructose New Contemporary Art Magazine arrives in stores April 1st. You can also reserve a copy by pre-ordering direct from us here! Featured in this issue is: “Very Strange Days, Indeed”, a cover feature with fantastic painter Jenny Morgan, the bright and quiet narratives of painter Andrew Brandou, the painfully dark work of master painter Odd Nerdrum, the playful world of artist Tripper Dungan, R.S. Connett‘s highly detailed “micro verse”, fantastic water color paintings by Dima Rebus, and the powerful tiny street installations of sculptor Isaac Cordal. Plus major features on sculptor Scott Hove inside his teeth-gnashing Cakeland, and Portland painter David Rice‘s wildlife-filled work. Plus a review of Joan Cornellà‘s insanely demented Mox Nox book. This issue also includes a special 16-page preview of the Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose exhibition at the Virginia MOCA.
Italian artist Agostino Arrivabene paints an iconographic universe that exists somewhere at the division between the real world from the spiritual realm. Previously featured here on our blog, his works include landscapes, portraits, and large paintings allegorical and apocalyptic in nature. Subjects of his paintings often appear as if from another time and place, celestial bodies and nudes emerging from the earth that recall the figures of those who influence him, particularly Gustave Moreau and Odd Nerdrum. Arrivabene describes his personal world as one that is eclectic and occult, where his artistic lanuage changes depending on his life experience. His upcoming solo exhibition at Cara Gallery in New York, “Hierogamy”, delves into mythological themes and ideas about personal intimacy, change, and time.
Chinese born, California based artist Vincent Xeus paints his portraits with a sensitive treatment of light and shading to an almost haunting effect. Though his work shares elements of 17th-century Dutch masters and contemporaries like Gerhard Richter, Odd Nerdrum, Francis Bacon, and Antonio López Garcia, Xeus has created an entirely new approach. Previously featured on our blog, he has said that his intent is to reveal that which is beneath what we think we see. This involves smudging the paint until the subject’s face is hardly recognizable or appears blurry and more impressionistic. His latest body of work, “Hue is Full / A Thousand Faces”, which opened Friday at Gallery 1261 in Colorado, takes his unconventional style to a new level where he wipes and scrapes away at his subjects.
The title of DAX Gallery’s upcoming exhibition “Undeniable” refers to the undeniable bond between its artists- Odd Nerdrum, Rebecca Campbell, F. Scott Hess, Luke Hillestad, David Molesky, Michael Harnish, Julio Labra, Averi Endow, and Corbin Ferguson. Whether directly or indirectly, each has influenced the other at some point during their careers. For instance, Norwegian figurative painter Odd Nerdum mentored Luke Hillestad and David Molesky separately, during their stays in Europe. Often, the subjects of each artist appear from another time and place, as in Rebecca Campbell’s ethereal Ophelia or Luke Hillestad’s Ancient Greek-inspired figures.