THE WORLD IS FLOATING....
Ole Lindboe, 2010
In our part of the world there is a great tradition for the abstract-expressive painting. Even too much so, some might think, because how does one find a place to stand in a painting which, broadly speaking, is without object and furthermore governed by the artist's subjectivity?
Granted: It is demanding for the spectator to face a painting where the fixed points seem to be absent, and where colour, strokes, lines and composition behave unexpectedly and surprisingly. For many people the experience of art is based on some sort of recognition or at least on a joy in colour. Fair enough. And then you are kicked out of your depth when the picture becomes too spontaneous and subjective - and therefore unruly. And how does one judge quality in a floating world of pictures? Art is not for beginners. But try to see the problem from the artist's point of view: Actually it is even more demanding for the artist when a painting is to be based on intuition, spontaneity and emotion. And where the rules of this are defined by the artist himself.
The painter Per Adolfsen knows this more than many others. He is very much an emotionalist. That is clearly seen in his art. He can only paint a really good picture if he feels for his motive. He must be confronted with his motive. He must get it under his skin before he is really turned on. Obviously it is a risky way of painting. But probably it is the only way the artist can work. He needs resistance before he can create. It is easy to believe that he fights a battle every time a picture has to reach its final shape. He hates the trivial. A picture has to be honest, authentic. It has to hit right into the emotion of the spectator. Per Adolfsen's pictures often possess a restless energy. They vibrate. They are a piece of visual drama, driven forward by the artist's own strong emotions and his feelings for the narrative of the picture The quality of his art is often the paradox of his balancing on a knife edge - between stagnation and movement. This often makes his pictures floating like quicksilver. As if moving from one state to another. As if the artist has not quite decided where he wants them to be. This hesitation also makes his pictures staccato-like and fragmentary. They are not for maintainers. They change character. And that is the way it has to be. Art must never become static. In Per Adolsen's visual world much is at stake. Contrasts hammer away within the picture. Colours flow and float, shapes dissolve - and move nervously between objectlessness and figurative touches. For instance it is interesting to see how a visit to New York influenced the artist. The hectic pulse and relentless energy of the city hit Per Adolfsen like a hammer. He almost tipped over in his art but remained on his feet and made a stand - almost as if he were a boxer in a ring taking a beating by violent impressions. And out of all this came a series of new, strong pictures, painted with a vitality and vigour that show that an artist always has to be challenged by reality when something new is to be born. This is typical of Per Adolfsen. Knock him down and he'll be back for more. Stronger than before. You might call this attitude fighting spirit. But you might also call it talent.