Form, texture, colour.

Artist: Lars Tveit
Text: Bjørn Inge Follevaag, curator

Form, texture and colours are essential elements in Lars Tveit’s paintings. His motives consisting of landscapes and culture are all familiar elements in art history. But in Tveit’s case we are not only discussing his choice of motifs but rather how he applies complimentary colours or uses the knife or brush to create contrasts or atmospheres in his paintings. He prefers oil to acrylic, so as to emphasize the glow, texture and nuances he seeks in his works. In recent years Tveit has given a lot of attention to the texture and colours in his works. His paintings seem to have become more sculptural with their deep, heavy layers of paint with clear traces of his painter’s knife in the wet substance. The way he builds layer upon layer of paint to create dense solid forms is reminiscent of the bricklayer’s work with mortar.

His subject matter is often, as before, Norwegian coastal culture with its boathouses, absent of doors and windows, cultivating form as its essential expression, but also with trees – birch in particular – from this wet Western Norwegian landscape that surrounds us. He moves between cold manmade elements to an almost romantic depiction of trees and flowers. The shape of a tree and its colours has always held a particular fascination, and has become a recurring element in his works through different periods of time. But in recent years cool, industrial and formally strict elements have been a key focus in his work. His paintings of oil-platforms are strong in their use of light effects. The stylized boathouses may still contain life even when he removes all traces of what he defines as disturbing elements. What remains is a series of geometrical shapes. The outline of houses is not only a leitmotif in Tveit’s works but can also be found in the works of many other Norwegian artists like Yngve Henriksen with his colourful boathouses or the master of watercolours Lars Lerin where you get a sense of a dripping wet environment in his depiction of similar themes. But Tveit is also influenced by the works of Magne Austad. However, the only common denominator is the motive. The expression is uniquely Tveit’s own and recognizable by its form, texture, light and use of colours.

Tveit gives a lot of attention to light in his paintings, with a particular attention to avoiding a definition of a specific time off day but rather using light to enhance the atmosphere of the painting and to clearly define the motive.

The recognition we experience in Tveit’s paintings is a general recognition, shared by most of us as spectators. But stripped down to original forms, to shapes we register and notice. We do not have to look for details, but are able to focus on the essence: colour and form. They may appear simple initially, but upon closer inspection we realize that they are incredibly complex works of art to create.

The artistic effort behind Tveit’s works is significant. As an artist, he has found his place. His signature expression and pictorial language is both seductive and recognizable. Finding this particular language is something most artists spend a lifetime to achieve.