The Munch Effect / News / The Foreigner

The Munch Effect. The stature of Edvard Munch is unrivalled in the history of Norwegian art. His legacy is embedded in the country’s artistic consciousness, providing a context within which the work of modern painters is inevitably placed. Such is the influence of great artists, whose work is escalated to a standpoint of national and cultural symbolism. It is a great but daunting privilege for a contemporary artist to have their work exhibited alongside this Norwegian master; such is the privilege awarded to Ålesund’s Terje Fagermo, whose work will be shown together with a number of Munch’s own paintings at the Robert Sandelson Gallery in London, in an exhibition opening next month. Born in 1932, Terje Fagermo draws inspiration from the landscapes, both natural and urban, of his home in Ålesund, and the dramatic surroundings of Norway’s western coast. His work is characterised by the interaction of his commitment to the depiction and preservation of Norway’s heritage, and his desire for artistic innovation. Fagermo is an active campaigner for the maintenance of his local area’s cultural heritage, and his paintings and sculptures are powerful modes of expressing and enacting his dedication to the conservation of his environment. He was instrumental in preventing the demolition of one of the houses that survived the great fire of 1904, and was awarded the Polarstjerneorderen for his efforts to preserve the heritage of Ålesund and Geiranger.

terje, fagermo, norwegian, artist, exhibition, london, gallery, edvard, munch, andy, warhole, galleri, bellman, new, york, aalesund, geiranger



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01:53:25 — Sunday, 22nd October, 2017

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The Munch Effect

Published on Wednesday, 28th October, 2009 at 08:30 under the news category, by Jess Chandler.
Last Updated on 10th November 2009 at 15:34.

The stature of Edvard Munch is unrivalled in the history of Norwegian art. His legacy is embedded in the country’s artistic consciousness, providing a context within which the work of modern painters is inevitably placed. Such is the influence of great artists, whose work is escalated to a standpoint of national and cultural symbolism. It is a great but daunting privilege for a contemporary artist to have their work exhibited alongside this Norwegian master; such is the privilege awarded to Ålesund’s Terje Fagermo, whose work will be shown together with a number of Munch’s own paintings at the Robert Sandelson Gallery in London, in an exhibition opening next month.

Terje Fagermo
Terje Fagermo
Photo: Hatlehols Trykkeri/Lyngtveit Sulheim & C


Born in 1932, Terje Fagermo draws inspiration from the landscapes, both natural and urban, of his home in Ålesund, and the dramatic surroundings of Norway’s western coast. His work is characterised by the interaction of his commitment to the depiction and preservation of Norway’s heritage, and his desire for artistic innovation.

Fagermo is an active campaigner for the maintenance of his local area’s cultural heritage, and his paintings and sculptures are powerful modes of expressing and enacting his dedication to the conservation of his environment. He was instrumental in preventing the demolition of one of the houses that survived the great fire of 1904, and was awarded the Polarstjerneorderen for his efforts to preserve the heritage of Ålesund and Geiranger.

Like Munch, he is an artist with a desire to freshen our perception of what is familiar, by drawing upon a recognisable environment and portraying it in new and revealing forms. Known as ‘the Norwegian artist of space’, he is, above all, a master of colour and light; his paintings, mostly landscapes, are bold and richly coloured, investing life and emotion into familiar surroundings.

Fagermo, who tends to shy away from the attention generated by high profile exhibitions, has been ‘very cool’ in coping with the pressure and expectation surrounding the show, according to the gallery’s owner, Robert Sandelson. The exhibition, which opens to the public on the 3rd November, will contain around 40 works by each artist.

Warhol was inspired by a visit to Galleri Bellman in New York in 1982, when over 100 of Munch’s paintings were exhibited, and proceeded to produce a number of prints and paintings based on the works he had seen. Whilst Fagermo’s work may not carry so direct an influence, the gallery has chosen to exhibit the artists’ works together in order to ‘tease out influences, conscious or otherwise.’

Sandelson believes that ‘no Norwegian artist can be indifferent to Munch. [He] is an artist whose work in Norway gives a context for all artists that follow, and to hang one alongside another is natural.’ The paintings will be hung in the same area of the gallery ‘so that they can be enjoyed in proximity to each other.’

The gallery’s interest in Norwegian artists has been stimulated through its ‘engagement with several Norwegian contacts’. Sandelson was introduced to Fagermo through his association with Christian Sulheim, a Norwegian art collector who has created a small gallery at the farm where he lives in Lom, to display Fagermo’s work.

Sandelson describes Fagermo as ‘a romantic artist at bottom. His work investigates the world and the heart, [both] concerns for us at the gallery at the moment.’ Whilst Fagermo rarely holds major exhibitions, he is considered to be one of Norway’s most important living artists, and his work is represented in major collections in Norway and abroad.

For an artist so attached to the subjects and images of his surroundings, to display his work in conjunction with Norway’s most recognised artist is a testament to the importance of the communication of a sense of national identity in art. It captures both a desire to remain distinctly Norwegian, and a sense of doing so in order to attract the attention and curiosity of an international audience.

There is, perhaps inevitably, a continual search for the Munch of today, a great imagist whose visions enable a particular cultural sensibility and understanding to be expressed.

The gallery’s decision to curate a show exhibiting the two artists together is both a means of assuring that Fagermo’s work receives the attention it deserves, and a way of charting the inheritance of a Norwegian artistic tradition, within which artists respond to and learn from their predecessors, whether consciously or not. The show will itself provide an interesting study of the inevitability of influence.



Published on Wednesday, 28th October, 2009 at 08:30 under the news category, by Jess Chandler.
Last updated on 10th November 2009 at 15:34.

This post has the following tags: terje, fagermo, norwegian, artist, exhibition, london, gallery, edvard, munch, andy, warhole, galleri, bellman, new, york, aalesund, geiranger.



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