Håvard Homstvedt, ‘Face, Rock, Moon’, 2013, Highlight Gallery

The drive to seek order where there might be none is hard-wired in us. We constantly detect patterns in random data. A heart in a cloud, a bird in an inkblot, a rabbit in the moon. This search for order is analogous to the creative process of an artist. Gathering experiences which are abstracted and interpreted to the best of ones abilities, one could say a willful misinterpretation is required in shaping an art object. It requires the abandonment of a factual re-presentation. Like the cubists responding to scientific discoveries of relativity, observation is cued by a temperament, an imagination, even in describing commonplace objects. Similarly, Da Vinci described the inspiration he gathered from observing shapes in his notebook:

"if you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills. You will also be able to see divers combats and figures in quick movement, and strange expressions of faces, and outlandish costumes, and an infinite number of things which you can then reduce into separate and well conceived forms." ^ John R; J. Don Read (1923). "Leonardo Da Vinci S Note-Books Arranged And Rendered Into English". Empire State Book Company. .

"Face, Rock, Moon" shifts between a literal description (rock) and a representative one (moon). At hand is a patinated bronze, that is at once a trunk and a head. The disjointed figurative shape change at each angle one looks at it. By utilizing the materiality of oxidized and patinated bronze, an illusion of a stone surface is created while shaped into the likeness of a face. It is a humorous take on the canon of figurative bronze busts. Moreover, with the addition of an artificial light source, the expectation of a sculpture that is an object without a function is subverted.

About Håvard Homstvedt

Though representational, Håvard Homstvedt’s paintings and sculptures draw particular attention to texture and surface through the use of textile-inspired patterns. “I like textures and the feel of handicrafts—the imprint, or weave, if you can put it this way,” he has said. “Often a kind of textile texture is present.” From Homstvedt’s patterns, illusionistic yet ambiguous spaces and scenes emerge. In Wall (2006), a strange creature moves through a universe of stripes; in Tarp (2005), figures composed from various patterns—lace, crinkly gold, muted stripes—struggle under the weight of a coffin.

Norwegian, b. 1976, based in New York & Paris

Fair History on Artsy

Galleri Riis at Art Basel 2011