Hlif Ásgrimsdóttir – Plastic Power of Creation, 76x55cm, 2009
By JBK Ransu
Hlif Ásgrimsdóttir has taught watercolours at the Reykjavik School of Visual Arts since 1996, the same year she finished her studies at the Kuvataideakatemia in Helsinki. It is probably safe to say that few, if any, Icelandic artists of her generation have now the technical knowledge and oversight of the medium´s possibilities as she does. In her watercolours, Hlif has in recent years been working on a series called “Plastic Power of Creation”. These are somewhat traditional landscape paintings. The colour is not joined in a flow but rather layered with regular brushstrokes to create strips of earth-like colours, either transparent or condensed. The contrast between light and dark plays a significant role in the pictures. Light beams through the sky like a spark of life in darkling stale surroundings. To some, the pictures might enshrine a romantic aura but to others the vacuous minimalism might appear in the foreground.
By Lasse Sandström
Peter Sternäng goes to Peloponnesos in Greece every spring and autumn to paint sunsets, olive trees and people. He does not think that watercolour painting is suited for fiddling – it is better to paint skies than a cat´s whiskers. The artist Peter Sternäng from Malmö has always gone his own way. His watercolours, which at first sight look like snapshots from a trip to the sun, are much more than that. He stretches the frames and he has nothing against challenging the watercolour world. Peter Sternäng has painted full time for 35 years, watercolours in Greece and oils at home in his studio in Malmö. Peter Sternäng paints a lot of the requisites for which there was no room in the modernist picture building – the villages and the inhabitants along the coast, their houses and cars, even their domestic animals. Not to talk about butterflies, beetles, badgers and snakes, gardens, olive groves and flowers in any imaginable colour. Peter Sternäng´s art has been shown at exhibitions across the whole country. He is also represented at a number of museums and he has carried out a number of public works.
By Jacqueline Stare
Marie Ragnhult has a solid artistic schooling from the Konstindustriskolan in Gothenburg where she has attended the produce design line but she has also passed a two-year training at the Dòmen Art School in Gothenburg and a number of courses for, among others, Arne Isacsson. Sometimes she works with design in various forms but it is above all her painting in watercolours and her own extramural activiy that are the most important to her. It is in the painting that she expresses herself most freely even if she to a high extent also likes to mediate her knowledge and share with others her great interest in colour pigments and papers of various kinds. There are two important circles of motifs for Marie Ragnhult: Man and nature and often the two are combined. Her two children have inspired her during the course of years and she interprets not least their personalities as grown-ups – as she experiences them – in her pictures. Marie Ragnhult is also a skilled and tenderhearted painter of flowers, and now and then she paints stil lifes as well as flower motifs.
By Jacqueline Stare
Jürgen Asp is a versatile artist and man who has experienced a lot in life, that cuts both ways. Large paintings of human bodies to small nonfigurative watercolours, dedicated to his deceased daughter Klara, bear witness to some of his experiences and to how he processes them in his art. Jürgen Asp is and has always been curious, he wants to test and see what he can manage and that is one of the explanations of his versatility. The sea, nature with water, islets and rocks are in fact Jürgen Asp´s most important circle of motifs. He loves the sea and to be onboard his sailing-boat. He likes to paint wet in wet, and layer upon layer, and is fascinated by how the colour pigments iive. During the course of years, Jürgen Asp has found that he by preference uses the watercolour technique. It is a sketching technique as well as a tool for downright creation of pictures. For a long period of time, he worked franticaly to find the feeling he was looking for in the colour. To be able to express what he wanted to say.