Graphic Prints And Landscape Paintings By Ole Ertzeid
Trygve Lie Gallery
317 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
May 5th – September 5th 2016
The landscape of Lista, Norway, is open, high and wide. The particular light lays its rugged features bare, especially in the the spring and fall seasons. My paintings begin where light meets and illuminates darkness. I attempt to strip away superfluous details and effects, solely focusing on the landscape, the sea, the light.
Most noticeably, the landscape features a long, open horizon towards the West. And this is also the way so many Lista people went over the last couple of hundred years – towards America to seek work when it was scarce in Southern Norway. Some stayed and built their lives in the new land, some returned as times got better back home. This way, bonds were forged between the two nations. The horizon and the sea would become vivid visual memories for the seafaring immigrants. My paintings show the horizon they left, to which some would also return.
Many deeply religious, they would bring their faith with them and practice it actively in their new homeland. In this way, they brought a spiritual horizon along. In this exhibition, this is reflected by six graphic prints, “Modern Icons”. One definition suggests that icons represent “the Gospel expressed in shapes, color and beauty” and should be understood as windows into the divine world.
Exhibiting these works in Trygve Lie Gallery, which is located in the Norwegian Church & Cultural Center in New York, underlines the historical links between New York and Southern Norway. The very landscape the immigrants left behind can now be seen in the city they chose as their new home. As a reminder – and as a friendly “welcome home”.
The exhibition consists of 3 large paintings, 15x graphic prints + the “Modern Icons” series of 6 prints. All works are for sale. Prints in numbered editions.
Ole Ertzeid is a landscape painter primarily depicting nature scenes. Like before, in “Norwegian Horizons” he delves into the flat, open Lista landscapes, where the interplay between the sky and the marshy earth makes up the basic composition of the images.
The motives, however, are much more than simple earth-sky compositions. Look closer, and you will find visually exciting cloud formations, small elements of nature placed in the foreground through Ertzeid’s delicately and fine-tuned use of color. What the works truly communicate are moods, atmospheres, horizons. They attempt, as it were, to make the viewer long for something beyond the horizon, for infinity.
While the works have a certain Romantic subtext, we are not in National Romantic territory here. Rather, an expression of an infatuation with nature, a place where man can feel at home, as a part of something larger than himself (…)
– Paul Grøtvedt
Art historian and critic