PARADISE & BARBED WIRE
North Norwegian Art Centre, Svolvær
As a part of our collaboration with The North Norwegian Art Center (NNKS) and Director Svein Ingvoll Pedersen we were introduced with a guided tour of Tor Esaissen´s retrospective show. Esaissen is an outsider artist, gallerist of all sorts, and peaceful activist.
Spanning from shrewdly innovative collages, resilient sculptures and assembled objects, along with free, vital, and expressive watercolors, the works presented in this show include works from the 1960´s up to the present day. Not having shown his work since 2002 – this was a rare treat and occasion to also meet the artist, who shared with us his remarkable life history that was perhaps not obviously present in his work – but strongly witnessed in his presence. The exhibition was curated by Kjetil Berge.
Tor Esaissen (b. 1936 in Trondheim) studied at the Art School in Trondheim, as well as at the Arts & Crafts Academy Oslo, the Art Academies in Oslo, Copenhagen and finally at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His artistic practise moves freely among material images -at times with directly political utterance, at others with gentler and more poetic compositions. If his works have common traits, what unites them may be their directness: the total absence of artificial affectation or “cleverness” or “rightness.” For Esaissen the task is to make art a liberating, consciousness-forming, and political action: a way of making the world better. Tor Esaissen lives and works in Lofoten, Norway.