Arne Isacsson – Transsibiriska Järnvägen #15, akvarellkollage, 34x35cm, 2000
Foto: Nordiska Akvarellmuseet
by members of the Nordic Watercolour Society
This year Arne Isacsson would have been 100 years old. We invited members to share some of their memories of Arne. We have received texts from: Erik Anker, Lena Gemzøe, Morten Paulsen, Bodil Steinsund, Marie Gauthier, Jacqueline Helmryd-Félix, Magnus Berg, Jacqueline Stare, Rolf H Gulbrandsen, Bertil Böös and Monica Andoff.
Interview – Bera Nordal, Director of the Nordic Watercolour Museum
by Håkan Bull
–Arne Isacsson and the Nordic Watercolour Museum are strongly connected. The idea of a watercolour museum came from him and the Nordic Watercolour Society. An exhibition to celebrate him as a master of watercolour, an art teacher and an inspiration to many generations of artists is a way for us to thank him for our existence. At 27 he founded the Gerlesborg Art School in 1944. He was head of the school for more than 50 years. He made extensive studies of watercolour techniques, pigment characteristics and how the quality of the paper can affect the results.
–Arne Isacsson created many of his best works once he stopped teaching. These include the Trans-Siberian Railway series and other minimalistic works emphasizing the qualities of light and the essence of nature. He understood the spontaneity of watercolour and the drying process as well as how pigment, lights and transparency would work together.
–The museum has always considered watercolour as a vivid medium firmly rooted in tradition but in constant development as a part of contemporary art.
Books about watercolour
by Håkan Bull
There are numerous books about watercolour that end up on the editor’s desk. Some of these are described in articles which go in the magazine, others get a small notice, but there are many other books that we would like to mention, and this is a good time to do so. Many of the following books are written by or about members of NAS.
Lars A Persson – Galleri Uddenberg, 2014
Martha Ossowska Persson – Winners of Fredrik Roos Prize, Modern Museum Malmö, 2015
Stina Wirsén – Drawings in Water, Sunaparanta Centre for the Arts, 2016
Erik Anker – published for the exhibition at Gallery Albin Upp, 2016
Lena Boije Anker – Paintings and Patterns, 2016
Frans Widerberg – Catalogue for exhibition at Haugar Vestfold Museum, 2016
Stig-Ove Sivertsen (watercolours) and Tor Martin Leines Nordaas (texts) – 100 Impulses, 2016
Sverre Sverredal – Days and Dreams, sketch book expressions, 2016
Stefan Gadnell – Obsessed with Watercolour, Inspiration for painters, 2016
by Marianne Gross
Martin Berge started to paint watercolour when travelling many years ago. These holiday memories are private and will neither be exhibited nor sold. Today his works look more abstract, but they are rooted in figurative subjects, which becomes obvious when reading the titles. Martin Berge wanted be an architect but during his trainee period his employer told him that he would do better as an artist. He wanted to pursue an education that taught technical skills such as drawing and painting, so he took drawing lessons for a year before applying for the Danish Art Academy. Here he insisted on remaining a painter even though this was quite out of fashion at the time. He paints with other media apart from watercolour, but has learned to cherish and make use of the unpredictability of watercolour, sometime even adding “irritations” of his own: scratches and intentional mistakes. In his works he is always set on obtaining contrasts: in the composition as well as in the colours and textures. As a true colourist he is a member of the Danish art group “Koloristerne” (The Colourists) which regularly arranges popular shows.
Watercolour at Edsvik Art Hall
by Jacqueline Stare
The first major watercolour exhibition at Edsvik was held in 2007 and showed works by the renowned artists Arne Isacsson, Lars Lerin, Anders Wallin, Lars Holm and Stanislaw Zoladz. The director Ricardo Donoso came from Väsby Art Hall which he had founded in 1995 and both exhibition venues arrange annual juried watercolour shows. In 2010 I helped organize an exhibition featuring eight male watercolour artists at Edsvik and in 2012 an exhibition of ten female watercolour artists. At the juried exhibitions, only the works count. The jury does not know the name, gender, age, or nationality of the artist – thus giving exhibition opportunities for unknown and established artists alike. Edsvik works on improving conditions for watercolour art by organizing courses and various other events as well as shows. Among the local and Swedish exhibitors, Edsvik also takes care to display watercolour from international artists. Last year, for instance, 6 Chinese artists were invited to exhibit alongside some of the most well-known Swedish watercolour painters.
Summary by Marianne Gross