Ulf Nilsen (b. 1950) has cultivated a poetic style characterised by enigmatic landscapes that are permeated with references to cultural history. Although he was attracted to mythological themes in the 1980s and 90s, including our relationship to the four elements, he has since explored a multi-layered symphonic universe in which differing levels of reality converge. In recent years he has also worked with installations in which the sculptural expression is placed in dialogue with paintings and drawings. In this way the enigmatic spaces of his paintings expand out to encompass the surroundings of the viewer. The relationship between poetry and image is central to his work. He lifts texts into a conversation with painterly elements, blending them together on a level somewhere between dream and reality, construction and deconstruction, harmony and disquiet.

In 1990 the bell shape was absorbed into Nilsen’s imagery. Ever since this pregnant symbol has been an essential ingredient. The church bell can be read as an attribute of our metaphysical longing – our desire for transcendence, beauty, and awakening. For this exhibition he has further developed the bell motif: a collaboration with the local Olsen Nauen Bell Foundry will result in a monumental installation in the museum’s courtyard.

Every Saturday during the exhibition period concerts and poetry readings will be arranged at 13:00. The artist will be present to meet the public.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book that is to be published by SKIRA with texts by Selene Wendt, Steinar Opstad, Gunnar Danbolt, and the exhibition’s curator Tone Lyngstad Nyaas.