Photo © Sten-M. Rosenlund, Odd Nerdrum
”When I was a child, I was lonely. I had no-one with whom to share my thoughts. Not even the losers would accept me.
I was a beggar in a world ruled by others. The person I found in the mirror was myself. I saw myself
relfected in my own eyes, not those of others. Thus I discovered the gold flowing in my veins, and I became
a king in my own realm. I set the standards for beauty in my own world and was no longer dependant on others.”
These words are from a young Odd from av teveprogram on narcisssim in 1988. Right from his earliest youth he has been interested in penetrating his own inner realms. He mercilessly exposes himself in a manner that only Rembrandt and Munch, two great portrayers of the human condition, has done before him. Like them Nerdrum has a unique ability to depict life, love and death and this makes his painting universal, timeless and essentially human.
Odd Nerdrum har, förutom på Galleri Agardh & Tornvall ställts ut på Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Kulthurhuset, Stockholm, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Amos Andersson Museum ; Helsingfors, Museum of Modern Art, Seattle; New Orleans Museum of Art; Kulthurhuset, Stockholm, Göteborgs Konsthall, Blåfarveverket (med Anders Zorn) samt på Edsvik Konsthall; curator Bengt Tornvall
Odd Nerdrum, “Self portrait with plate” 90x101cm
Odd Nerdrum, “Frenzied woman”,74x79cm.
Painting as a discipline is ruined; It’s time to make painting great again. Thus sounds the masterful painter’s philosophy, and these are his appeal points: First and foremost, the painter is a craftsman, in addition, the painter should seek what is always relevant. Nerdrum’s idea of making painting great again means reintroducing a quality concept. Again, one should be allowed to say, “I’ve made something wonderful, and I’m proud of it.” It is no coincidence that Aristotle is the thinker who has most in uenced the kitsch philosophy. He claims that craft has its utility and value as a means of mediation. Mimesis, or representation, is of value, not only because one nds joy and insight in recognizing a motif, but because one can recreate action in a painting. All human feelings take form in action. Stories that utilize familiar scenes and archetypal situations are, according to Aristotle, of the greatest value, because they are expressions of the universal. Odd Nerdrum gives the discipline of painting back to the people. Art is for the sake of Art. Kitsch, however, is for humans. Removing the intrinsic values of art makes painting a tangible phenomenon again. The feeling of usefulness will return
and thus the valuation.
Painting is lifted to old heights.
Painting will be great again.
Extracts from Carl Wegner Korsnes ́ text for the book, Making painting great again…