GL Strand

FANTASTICAL - Magical drawings by Louis Moe, Sverre Malling, Julie Nord and Ragnar Persson

06 Dec 2013 - 16 Feb 2014

The exhibition sheds light on drawing as a prominent medium in contemporary art today. Many contemporary artists work with the narrative potential of the drawing in a drawing style rich in detail and fantasy and in a dialogue with popular culture as well as the great draughts­manship icons of art history. The exhibition focuses on this situation by presenting the Norwegian-Danish visual artist and illustrator Louis Moe (1857 – 1945) alongside three Nordic contemporary artists who in individual ways represent the development of the art of drawing today. A striking link between Sverre Malling (b.1977/N), Julie Nord (b.1970/DK), Ragnar Persson (b. 1980, SE) and Louis Moe is their shared interest in fateful tales which at one and the same time are seductive, eerie and enigmatic.

Louis Moe is particularly well known for his amusing illustrations of children’s books and folk tales, but throughout his working life he also worked with a long series of drawings and etchings. The exhibition gathers a selection of these independent works that Moe created in the course of the first four decades of the twentieth century. The etchings express Moe’s fascination with the darker sides of life, which he cultivated with inspiration from Symbolism. In these he depicts various scenes taken especially from the classical and Norse mythologies, dealing with some of the fundamentals of life such as death, the beautiful, the erotic and fear. They are drawn narratives full of fabulous and terrifying creatures.

The three contemporary artists similarly work with mythological material which in their case has its origins in a modern context. From the Norwegian Sverre Malling’s classic lines there emerges a kind of collage in which classical symbols mix with iconic images from among other sources popular culture and modern media. Danish Julie Nord draws stylistic inspiration from the romantic children’s book illustrations of the 1950s, but blends the magical and childlike universe with serious adult sub­jects and a Gothic horror aesthetic. In Swedish Ragnar Persson’s naive drawings young women and animals appear in romantic landscapes whose Twilight-inspired moods are at one and the same time dark and playful.

The exhibition has been created in collaboration with Kunsthall Grenland, Porsgrunn, Norway

Tags: Julie Nord