Frank Brunner (born 1971) studied art at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, the Ilya Repin St. Petersburg State Academy, and Yale University in Connecticut. His paintings hang in many public and private collections, not least in New York where he lived for 13 years. 

One thread running through Brunner’s photo-based paintings is the way modern civilization has formed and altered our relationship to nature. In his early, richly detailed works with motifs from botanical gardens, greenhouses, and zoos our need to control and categorize nature is a recurring theme. In 2003 he started on a series of works depicting water reflections at various New York sites. The relationship between illusion and reality was one of the issues he focused on with these mirrored images. In later works he has explored his fascination with the story of Archimedes’ use of polished shields as an incendiary weapon, reflecting sunlight onto the ships of an invading fleet. The beauty and power of light, both physical and symbolic, are here united by Brunner; he is drawn to the inherent contradiction of light, containing both destruction and illumination. His poetic and most technically thorough paintings suggest therefore that nature can never be completely tamed to our will.

The exhibition is curated by Haugar’s Tone Lyngstad Nyaas and is accompanied by a new book about by the artist, published by Aschehoug. The New York-based art historian Lilly Wei is also a contributor to the book. The exhibition will later be shown at the Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall in Arendal.