Exhibitions and Fairs

Michael Kvium's"Point of No Return"

 28 February – 23 March 2019

By Artland Editors

Trond A. Isaksen, Galleri Brandstrup
Trond A. Isaksen/Galleri Brandstrup

Galleri Brandstrup Oslo is currently showing “Point of No Return,” a solo exhibition by Michael Kvium (b.1955). Tragicomic and grotesque,“Point of No Return” is a series of figurative paintings that form uncompromising portraits of mankind and our existential condition. Kvium’s androgynous and deformed figures are almost mannerist, with stretched bodies and elongated limbs that speak of human emotion rather than human anatomy. Paradoxically, the beauty of his skill distorts and deforms these figures, and Kvium’s figures often gaze directly at the spectator, confronting them with aspects of life they would rather turn their backs on.

Trond A. Isaksen, Galleri Brandstrup
Trond A. Isaksen/Galleri Brandstrup

Since his paintings and performances of the 1980s, Kvium’s twisted depictions of the human body are often accompanied by beautiful landscapes and animal motifs. In “Gray Day View II,” Kvium draws on the Romantic tradition of imbuing nature with an excess of human feeling, portraying nature as a  vast and powerful force that inspires both terror and awe. Kvium’s figurative style also suffuses the landscape, his usual depiction of human traits of stretched limbs becoming exaggerated features in nature, recalling how branches are sometimes “limbs.”

Trond A. Isaksen
Trond A. Isaksen/Galleri Brandstrup

Amongst portraits of humans and nature are a series of unidentifiable intestines, gleefully and distortedly displayed on bright coloured canvases. As the title of the exhibition suggests, we have reached a “Point of No Return,” and according to Michael Kvium, what is left is complete helplessness masked by a cheerful ignorance. A point of no return is an indescribable moment of suspension, when we are close to infinity, yet caught between what was and what is to come. In this exhibition, figures float on into an eternal fog in time and space, demonstrating Kvium’s dystopian outlook on the mind and future of the human race.

“Point of No Return” exhibition opens on Thursday, 28 February from 6-8 pm, and will close on 23 March 2019. Head over to Artland.com to take a 3D tour of the exhibition, to see Bjarne Melgaard´s solo exhibition from last year or more of Michael Kvium’s artwork.

Galleri Brandstrup Oslo was founded by Kim Brandstrup and Marit Gillespie in 2000 at Madserud Gård, a historic site in Oslo. In March 2010, they were the first gallery to move to Oslo’s new gallery district, Tjuvholmen, where they are still located. In addition to a range of the driving forces within Nordic contemporary art, the gallery also represents some of today’s most groundbreaking and internationally renowned artists, such as Marina Abramović and Joseph Kosuth in Scandinavia, as result of the close collaboration with the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York. The gallery has also participated in several art fairs in the past years; The Armory Show, Art Dubai, Art Brussels and CHART Copenhagen. In 2011, Brandstrup organized an exhibition by Mark Quinn, alongside White Cube Gallery in London and Kistefos Museum in Norway. All of the gallery’s artists are represented with conviction based on their unique conceptual and visual expression.

Michael Kvium is a Danish artist best known for his realistic illustrations and paintings of grotesque creatures, which obliquely and self-referentially comment on the existential condition of humanity. Today, Kvium lives and works in Copenhagen. His works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Denmark, the Red Brick Contemporary Art Museum in Beijing, China, and the Cabinet Des Estampes in Geneva, Switzerland, among others. In 2018, Kvium exhibited solo shows at Tang Gallery in Hong Kong and the Kunsthal Rotterdam. Kvium has also had solo shows and exhibitions at the ARKEN Museum of Contemporary Art (2017), Kunsthalle Göppingen (2016) and at Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg (2015).

Galleri Brandstrup Oslo

Tjuvholmen allé 5,
0252 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22545454
Email: galleri@brandstrup.no