October 26, 2018 - KODE Bergen Art Museum - Ole Jørgen Ness: Flat Acrylic / Vanessa Baird: You Are Something Else
October 26, 2018

KODE Bergen Art Museum

Left: Vanessa Baird, You Are Something Else (detail), 2017. Right: Ole Jørgen Ness, Flat Acrylic. Sketch.

Ole Jørgen Ness
Flat Acrylic
November 3, 2018–February 24, 2019

Vanessa Baird
You Are Something Else
November 9, 2018–February 3, 2019

KODE Bergen Art Museum
Rasmus Meyers allé 9
5015 Bergen

T +47 53 00 97 04

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This winter contemporary artists Ole Jørgen Ness (b. 1961) and Vanessa Baird (b. 1963) will be presented in two exhibitions at KODE in Bergen. 

Ole Jørgen Ness is one of Norway’s most important contemporary artists, well known for his incessant creativity. His artistic approach allows him to explore different styles of expression and examine art historical movements through a dense fabric of literary, visual and philosophical references. Starting on November 3, Ness will create a site-specific work entitled Flat Acrylic on the floor of the spectacular Tower Room at KODE. Visitors will be able to follow the work in progress from beginning to end.

Flat Acrylic offers a pure experience in the individual’s consciousness. The work will develop according to a simple algorithm that describes organic growth—the so-called gnomonic growth progression, which is involved in, for example, the development of teeth and bone structures. The fields are expanded, giving rise to new shapes along the way. When the time available in the Tower Room expires in February 2019, the work will be destroyed. What will remain are only the memories of the work in the minds of those who saw it.

Vanessa Baird has distinguished herself as one of the strongest and most uncompromising voices in contemporary Norwegian art. The exhibition You Are Something Else at KODE presents her critically acclaimed work with the same title. The work attracted considerable attention when it was launched at Kunstnernes Hus in 2017. You Are Something Else is a continuous visual narrative covering tenfolds of five-metre-high paper panels drawn in pastels. Through her distinctive fabulating idiom, Baird weaves together escapes across the sea, visual popular culture and everyday life, engulfing the public in a dramatic, grotesque and poetic tale of our times.

Parallel to the exhibition You Are Something Else, KODE is launching an exhibition of works on paper by Baird and her fellow artist Mette K. Hellenes (b. 1964). Hellenes and Baird have been working together for many years. In this exhibition they present a broad selection of self-portraits, watercolours and satirical drawings. The two exhibitions will be shown in the Stenersen Room at KODE.

About the artists

Ole Jørgen Ness attracted attention in the 1990s, when he began to operate with nine different artist personas, challenging the myth that every artist should settle for a specific style or identity. After nearly a decade, his “Nesstudio” fused these various positions and identities, giving rise to new and unforeseeable idioms. Ness has been represented in several exhibitions in Norway and abroad, with solo exhibitions at The Boiler Room (2013), Stenersenmuseet (2012), and Sørlandets Kunstmuseum (2010), among others. He has done large commissions for public spaces, like the Oslo Metro (2016), and is represented in numerous private and public collections. Ness was the official festival artist at the Bergen International Festival in 2006 and represented Norway at the São Paulo Biennale in 2002.

This year Vanessa Baird was commissioned to illustrate the Nobel diploma, has won the prestigious Telenor Culture Prize, and attracted both attention and rave reviews for her presentation at The Armory Show in New York. In 2013 a work commissioned from Baird for the bombed Oslo government district was rejected by the Norwegian authorities on the grounds that it might rekindle feelings of anxiety and grief in government employees. This triggered a heated debate in the media and the work quickly became Norway’s most discussed work of art in recent times. In 2015 she was awarded Norway’s most prestigious art prize, Lorck Schives kunstpris. Baird has had several gallery and museum exhibitions, including at Kunstnernes Hus (2017) and at the Göteborg Museum of Art (2014).

Start/Finissage: Ole Jørgen Ness: Flat Acrylic
Starting Saturday, November 3 in the Tower Room at KODE 4
Finissage/performance Friday, February 22, 2019.

Vernissage: Vanessa Baird: You Are Something Else
Friday, November 9 in the Stenersen Room at KODE 2.

KODE Bergen Art Museum
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Flat Acrylic
Vanessa Baird
You Are Something Else
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