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KODE Bergen Art Museum presents on view, an Arvid Pettersen retrospective
Arvid Pettersen, The Usual Suspects I-VI, 2021, akryl pa lerret, 100 x 120 cm.

BERGEN.- KODE launched the first large retrospective presentation of Norwegian artist Arvid Pettersen’s work. The exhibition On View encompasses more than 60 works from five decades, with an emphasis on the 1980s and recent works.

“An artist has to dare to make the leap into the waterfall and try to swim to land."—Arvid Pettersen

A reluctance to repeat himself has been a major driving force for Arvid Pettersen (b. 1943) throughout his more than 50-year-long career as a visual artist. At the same time he has kept steadfastly to the traditional painting medium, both as a framework and a field of research. The classical genres such as landscape painting, portraiture and still lifes are taken up for renewed treatment in an idiom that has alternated effortlessly between representation and abstraction.

A willingness to embrace change is also clearly visible in his newest works, which represent a new phase in his artistic career. Overall, his production demonstrates the gradual development of a personal imagery, and a heightened awareness of the artwork’s communicative force in relation to its public.

With his free and slightly anarchistic approach to tradition, Arvid Pettersen appeared as a central proponent of postmodern painting, both in Norway and its neighbouring countries. Alongside extensive exhibition activity he has taught in periods at Norwegian art academies, which in turn has had a significant influence on his own work.

Starting out on the local art scene in Norway during the 1960s, Pettersen has gained recognition via numerous exhibitions in the Nordic countries and participated in international art shows at the Venice Biennale in 1967, the Guggenheim Museum New York, in 1982, and the Chinese European Art Center in Xiam, in 2001, to name a few. The exhibition is part of KODE’s presentation series of major artistic oeuvres with links to West Norway.

The exhibition is curated by Gabriel J. Kvendseth and is accompanied by a large catalogue.

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