Kunsthall Stavanger is proud to announce a comprenhensive solo exhibition with Norwegian artist Vanessa Baird. The exhibition opens on June 17, 2021 and will consist of mainly new works or works not previously shown. The exhibition will also present several works by and collaborations with artist Mette Hellenes, who has been a collaborator with Baird throughout her career. It will also include works by Baird's mother, Maureen Baird.
Vanessa Baird (b. 1963, Oslo) lives and works in Oslo. Baird is known for her work with watercolors and pastels, ranging from large-scale murals and wallpapers to intimate series. Being highly motivated by a dark, haunting and fable-like range of references, her work includes imagery from personal domestic realities as well as cityscapes and architectural elements. Whether surreal or narrative, her intense and detailed drawings are often perceived as controversial, regularly commenting on the political and social affairs of contemporary time. The work, Lyset forsvinner - bare vi lukker øynene (The light fades - if only we close our eyes) took centre stage in one of the most talked about art incidents in Norwegian history, as the work was removed from the Ministry of Health in 2013 after associations were made to the Oslo bombings of July 22nd.
Baird is a winner of the prestigious Lorck Schive Art Award (2015), Norway’s most prominent award for artists living and working in Norway. She is a collaborator of acclaimed Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård, and has illustrated his novel, Om høsten (Autumn). Together with colleague Mette Hellenes, Baird also runs the independent press Brunt hull. In November 2017 Baird opened the solo exhibition You are something else at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo. This became one of the institution's most visited exhibitions, and was hailed by critics and curators as one of the most important in newer Norwegian art history.
Baird is educated at the National Academy of Arts, Oslo, Norway. Solo exhibitions include, among others: The National Museum of Art, Oslo; Göteborg Konstmuseum, Gotehnburg; Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand; Stenersenmuseet, Oslo and Lillehammer Kunstmuseum, Lillehammer. She has published three books: Red Herring (2016), Brothers Grimm’s, “Ulven og Reven”, (2013), and You can’t keep a good rabbit down, (2009), all on No Comprendo Press, Oslo. Baird is represented in key public collections and with several permanent commissions in public spaces; among others at the cultural project space and think-tank, Sentralen, in Oslo (2016) and the new governmental quarters in Oslo (2010-2013). Recent solo exhibitions include: Lorck Schive Art Award Trondheim (2015), Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2017), I’ve got ants in my pants OSL contemporary, Oslo (2018), KODE in Bergen (2018-19) and If ever there were an end to a story that had no beginning, Drawing Room, London (2021). She was also part of the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2019, Kerala India curated by Anita Dube.
The exhibition has received generous support from The Fritt Ord Foundation.