Kunsthall Stavanger is delighted to invite you to the opening of the retrospective of Sandnes-based artist Inger Bruun. The opening takes place, appropriately, on International Women's Day, Sunday 8th March from 2pm to 4pm.
This is the first full presentation of Bruun's extensive oeuvre spanning more than 50 years. Her work comes across as playful, yet serious and at times even Surrealistic.
Bruun has done a range of local public art commissions, many of them sculptures. They consist of two-dimensional circles and arcs, in steel or aluminium, which when combined become three-dimensional spheres and ovals. They have a spatiality that surprises in the way they act differently, almost like different sculptures, depending on how ones moves around them. They come across, not just as playful, but they also play with you. The colours fit with the shape – she often uses the primary colours in her work: blue, yellow and red.
The exhibition at Kunsthall Stavanger comprises paintings and objects, as well as lithographs, collages and watercolours, which show the same style as the sculptures. Many of these works include primary colours at times in combination with black ink. They alternate between being very mechanical works and organic forms: systematically organised, yet creative and inventive. A distinctive line characterises many of Bruun's pieces: this is intuitive, abstract, naive and, not least, humorous. Regarding her work, Inger Bruun says that she always keeps a sense of the fantastic inside her.
Her approach to painting appears as a process alternating between the conscious and sub-conscious mind. The paintings often have muted earth colours, some of them are cubist in form. But the majority are more of a cross between fantastical jigsaw pieces, and fluid organic forms – in a similar idiom to the work of Spanish surrealist, Joan Miró. He described his paintings as controlled expressions of spontaneous impulses from the sub-conscious.
The exhibition includes smaller sculptures made up of two or more triangles, squares or circles. In form and material, these works can be related to the work of Russian artist Naum Gabo – namely Column (ca.1923). They feel Constructivistic in their assembly - the spatial dimension exists not just around the objects, but it also flows through them.
The pure style is dynamic and provokes an intuitive response. This type of art sits in opposition to political art: it is Utopian and naive in its belief in humanity and society, it is not critical. The historical references can be traced back to the De Stijl artists who reduced their "vocabulary" to simple geometric shapes. Their manifesto declared: "There is an old and a new consciousness of time. The old is connected with the individual. The new is connected with the universal."
Born in Skien in 1942, Inger Bruun has lived for many years in Sandnes. She studied at the National Art Academy in Oslo from 1959 to 1964. Her first exhibition was in Skien, the year she graduated. She has had solo exhibitions at the Rogaland Museum of Fine Arts, Hå Gamle Prestegård and at the art associations of Stavanger, Sandnes, Bryne, Oslo, Skien, Porsgrunn and Lillehammer.
This exhibition has been made possible through the support of The Arts Council of Norway and BKH (The Relief Fund for Visual Artists).
Text by Astrid Helen Windingstad. Translated by Tekstbyrået (www.tekstbyraet.no) / Emma Prunty.