That Vital Moment: Siri Kollandsrud

Mar 28, 2018 7:11AM

Article: Maj Misfeldt, published in《Berlingske Tidende》

Siri Kollandsrud’s work sticks to the retina like tracks left by alternating spontaneity and reflection. One could call it controlled coincidence -a sort of poetics for her painting. Coincidence in the sense that the artist has no preconceived sketch of what she intends to achieve; she has no finished picture in her mind toward which she works, the painting comes into being as she goes along, also as a result of a series of coincidences. Or like a collection of notes which gradually link together to form a whole.

Atelier impro (2014),Oil on Canvas,  59.1 x 47.2inches

Controlled in the sense that, on the other hand, all that which crops up by coincidence is allowed to remain on the canvas. The decision-making processes lie in the painting as traces of a process. One could describe the painting process as perpetual negotiation and the painting itself as the book in which all the deeds are kept. A yellow stroke here to counterbalance a green one there. On her canvas, one color calls up the next. A garish yellow in a corner provokes the eye and is slowly given a comb for its unruly locks, as other colors are drummed up against it. Laver is applied upon laver; decisions are made then regretted, painted over and wiped off. And then suddenly, the picture is finished and there is nothing more to add. The finished work is in itself a history of the process.

Coffe meeting (2014),Oil on Canvas,  59.1 x 47.2inches

In art-historic terms, Siri Kollandsrud’s painting has its roots in abstract expressionism. Even so, expressionism is not the right word, because what we have here is not an artist’s desire to express herself through her paintings, so much as an urge to examine the figurative language that can be expressed through the expressive gesture of artistic composition. Of course, the impulses emanate from within, from within the artist’s consciousness, her sense perception and subconsciously as impressions. The impulses, however, also emerge while she is actually working on a painting, as a sort of dialogue with the canvas, a dialogue that also has a capacity for humor.

Shadowland (2015),Oil on Canvas,  59.1 x 47.2inches

Reference has also made of Kollandsrud’s work as “mental impressionism’. In the meantime, though, a form of surrealism has emerged, depending on whether more and more figures, organic, curled and almost amorphous shapes have forced their way into the composure of previous paintings. As far as the artist is concerned, it has to do with a concentration; a question of being there here and now and being loyal to what she has applied to her canvas. It is also about submission, of daring to let go and allow one’s brush a sort of automatism of the moment which afterwards is open to negotiation once more. So it is a question of balance between submitting remaining in control. Risks have to be taken if new ground is to be gained.