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 Odd Nerdrum

Odd Nerdrum born in Helsingborg, Sweden, is a figurative painter. Themes and style in Nerdrum´s work reference anecdote and narrative, while primary influences by the painters Rembrandt and Caravaggio place his work in direct conflict with the abstraction and conceptual art considered acceptable in much of his native Norway, and in opposition to the art of the time.

Odd Nerdrum creates six to eight paintings per year. These include Still life paintings of small everyday objects like bricks, portraits and self portraits whose subjects are dressed as if from some other time and place, and large paintings, allegorical in nature that present a sense of the apocalyptic and again reference another time. Nerdrum says that his art should be understood as kitsch rather than art as such. "On Kitsch", a manifesto composed by Nerdrum describes the distinction he makes between kitsch and art. Nerdrum´s philosophy has spawned The Kitsch Movement among his students and followers, who call themselves kitsch painters as opposed to artists.

Odd Nerdrum´s work is held in several public collections worldwide including in the United States: the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York, New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), New Orleans, Louisianna, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), San Diego, California, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio, and in Norway, the National Gallery in Oslo. Odd Nerdrum is represented by the Forum Gallery, New York City.

A well-known 2000 horror film, The Cell, contains a scene that was heavily influenced by Nerdrum´s 1990 painting, "Dawn". The scene features three identical figures sitting down, looking upwards with pained, trance-like expressions on their faces. Director Tarsem Singh in the film´s audio commentary says that the painting was the inspiration for the scene´s imagery. Singh had seen the painting while visiting the owner of the painting, David Bowie.

Odd Nerdrum also created the cover of the progressive rock band, Junipher Greene´s LP, Friendship (1971).

Australian choreographer, Meryl Tankard´s 2009 dance piece, "The Oracle", was inspired by the work of Nerdrum. The work, featuring the dancer Paul White, exhibited the human form in constant struggle with forces outside of itself.

More info about Odd Nerdrum.



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