NILS ERIK GJERDEVIK
Seiler + Mosseri-Marlio Galerie is very proud to present the first solo show in Switzerland of Nils Erik Gjerdevik (NO, 1962), featuring paintings and drawings, two of the three mediums he masters. His works are well known and collected within Scandinavia, Europe, North and South America. Having studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, CZ, and teaching at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, he has a firm knowledge and respect for art history and contemporary art. He presents us with fresh and luminous works in non-figurative art with it's own vocabulary and sense of space. His four themes are diagonal, sphere, all-over and grid-like. His drawings are light and uplifting.
Balanced contrast seems to be a term that qualifies the oil paintings. They are a negotiation of background and foreground, juxtaposition of colors. We are often baffled by the texture and wonder if the color is glossy or matt. Many questions and feelings explode in the utopian view yet a deep sense of comfort and perfect equilibrium of form, shape and denseness exudes from the paintings. The clean Nordic influence is present in his work yet warm subjects and light execution replaces the cool edges with zest.
The oil paintings are meticulously prepared from the ground up in order to deliver the smooth surface texture that allows Gjerdevik to paint his motifs "free-hand", without the use of rulers or tape. The paintings juxtapose two colors, in shades and hues not often combined and almost impossible to reproduce due to the richness and depth of pigment and surface finish: yellow and black, turquoise and black, orange and turquoise. Visualization, accuracy and concentration are needed to achieve the bursting effects, playful questioning of the foreground vs. background color. The grid-like paintings seem to be a misnomer due to the curved lines and softness of the strokes. Although abstract, the paintings reference elements painted over centuries but presented anew in contemporary and contemplative beauty.
The mixed media drawings are a completely separate body of work from the paintings. They are playful, express his fluidity and interest in architecture, Asian culture and constructivism. The palette is varied and multicolored. The diagonal and pattern themes are also pursued on paper but as the format and texture are different, so are the effects. Imagination flows out the works - hence the large amount of deliberate airiness.
Nils Erik's paintings and drawings can be exhibited individually or combined to achieve a harmonious yet uncrowded wall paneling. The paintings on view in his first solo show in Switzerland range in size from 122 x 81 cm to 255 x 255 cm whereas the drawings range from 26 x 24 cm to 120 x 120 cm. His works are in the collection of the Arts Councils of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, DK, AROS, Aarhus, DK, Ny Carlsbergfondet, DK, Bergen Art Museum, Bergen, NO, Göteborgs Konstmuseum, SE, Malmö Konstmuseum, SE. He has been selected to complete public commission for the Copenhagen Opera House, Copenhagen, DK amongst others.
The GL Strand museum in Copenhagen recently honored Nils Erik Gjerdevik with a solo show of paintings, drawings and ceramic sculptures, concurrently with a show of American artist Kara Walker. For his upcoming show in Mexico, he is hosting a ceramics workshop and making sculptures that will be presented in the Museo Raúl Anguiano in Guadalajara, MX in October 2009. A 160 page color monography published in 2008 by Staerk, is available in the gallery.