The Manor House from 1665 between fjord, glacier, mountains and waterfalls

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Art Exhibition 2019

As a part of the overall concept for Rosendal Chamber Music Festival 2019, professor Gunnar Danbolt has curated a two-part exhibition concept :

« At the Manor House from 1665, there will be an exhibition of works by the norwegian artist Svein Johansen (1946- ) with the title Tilegnet (Dedicated To). The title arises from the fact that many of the paintings are dedicated to artists who have meant and continue to mean a great deal for Svein Johansen.

In the Great Hall there will be a digital exhibition of the art that dominated the Soviet Union during the time of Dmitri Shostakovich.

Svein Johansen: Elegi, Til Sjostaskovitsj. 2012.

SVEIN JOHANSEN : Elegi, Til Sjostaskovitsj. 2012.

« At the Manor House from 1665, there will be an exhibition of works by the norwegian artist Svein Johansen (1946- ) with the title Tilegnet (Dedicated To). The title arises from the fact that many of the paintings are dedicated to artists who have meant and continue to mean a great deal for Svein Johansen. They include not only composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Messiaen, Schönberg, Shostakovich, Ligeti and Cage, but also poets such as Paul Celan, and artists such as Michelangelo and Edvard Munch and film maker, Andrej Tarkovsky.

Johansen made a name for himself in the 1980s with his paintings of architecture found in the great squares and palaces, parks and broad avenues of Europe, especially in the series Vinterreise (A Winter’s Journey) and in the paintings from Rome, such as La Pigna and Romerske ruiner (Roman Ruins). These are figurative pictures that are both painterly, full of texture and sensual. Since then he has mostly worked with the tension between figuration and abstraction, but always with an emphasis on painterly qualities, characteristics that since the end of the 1800s are often associated with music. There is therefore a correlation between form and content, since most of the paintings have music as their theme in a style that mirrors it.

In the Great Hall there will be a digital exhibition of the art that dominated the Soviet Union during the time of Dmitri Shostakovich. Some of the paintings will show official Soviet art with its emphasis on heroic workers in their workplace and peasants in the fields in a realist style from the end of the 1800s. Although the content is different, it was the same style to which Adolph Hitler gave his seal of approval. Both these dictators admired art that was simple and easily understood.

This was not the case for western modernism, which Hitler called degenerate art and Stalin formalist. Nonetheless, underground modernist art was also created in the Soviet Union, and we shall see some examples of this. It was difficult for Shostakovich to keep within the strict boundaries of what was approved, and he was often accused of formalism. This was not without its dangers. Many people were sent to prison, and some were executed. Shostakovich managed to evade this, but often, only just. »

Valentina Nikiforovna Kulagina (1902-1987): Til forsvar for USSR.

Valentina Nikiforovna Kulagina (1902-1987): Til forsvar for USSR.