FRANS WIDERBERG – ALCHEMISTIC WATERCOLOURS

Alkymistiske akvareller XIV, 1982-1985

Alkymistiske akvareller XIV, 1982-1985

Frans Widerberg (b. 1934) is one of Norway’s most important painters and graphic artists. Following his debut in 1963, he gradually developed his own distinctive figurative style in which primary colours were applied with bold brushstrokes. His vivacious and symbolic motifs meant his distinctive style soon became categorised as romantic expressionism.

In this exhibition, Frans Widerberg presents a series of 23 watercolours painted on the pages of books containing translated texts from alchemistic literature. All of these works were produced in the early 1980s, but have never previously been exhibited as the artist had stored them on top of a cupboard and subsequently forgotten about them. Last year, Kjell Strand, a gallery owner from Tønsberg, discovered these works during a visit to Frans Widerberg and he proposed that they be presented at Haugar. Each of the watercolours have been reproduced in the accompanying book penned by Kjell Strand, which also contains texts by the artist himself.

Alkymistiske akvareller XXVII, 1982-1985

Alkymistiske akvareller XXVII, 1982-1985

The last time Frans Widerberg had an exhibition at Haugar was in 2006, when he presented his floating motifs. These outstretched, weightless figures also make an appearance in Widerberg’s alchemistic watercolours, where they are accompanied by his other archetypical figures and eternal landscapes, in the form of horses, riders and the loving couple either placed on Mother Earth or floating through the universe. These are the colourful visions we have come to know throughout Frans Widerberg’s career, which has spanned more than 50 years. This exhibition also includes five large paintings, one of which belongs to Haugar’s own collection.

Alkymistiske akvareller XXVIII, 1982-1985

Alkymistiske akvareller XXVIII, 1982-1985

Alkymistiske akvareller XI, 1982-1985

Alkymistiske akvareller XI, 1982-1985