A possible interpretation – Gallery Wang, Oslo 1991 – Maaretta Jaukkuri

A possible interpretation. Gallery Wang, Oslo 1991

Painting as a means of existential questioning is a central theme in Bjørn-Sigurd Tuftas art.Painting seen as manifest of ones longing for meaning. Tufta has a predilection for the dramatic scene which can be understood when one thinks of the landscape, the sea and the mountain of his native West-coast of Norway. The wide views of this landscape echo a sense of metaphysical immensity.

The space in his work has no end, it is a never-ending gliding towards the horizon. The limitless space contributes to the strange feeling of waiting for something impending, something that cannot be defined.

The thick, lustrous layers of paint in Tuftas work give the impression that the paint is moulded rather than applied with brush.At the same time the painted surface has a seductive quality which also appears in his more recent work where the paint no longer possesses such an earthly presence.

In a genuinely Norwegian tradition Tufta sometimes shows a love of the decorative detail, a pattern or a crafted wooden detail. This interest, also allies him with the students of the signs and symbol, the etymologists of our culture. His interest, however is using them more as icons, or mantras allowing him to concentrate on the painting process. The reference to the Norwegian folk tradition may be interpreted in the framework of his awareness of being rooted in the same landscape, the same visual milieu, the vastness and the harshness that needs something “nice, and Pretty”, to counterbalance it.

The recent development in Tuftas paintings seems to create a synthesis of his interests of the last five, six years. The painterly is combined with the sense of immensity and the sign or rather the sign in process og being abstracted or formulated. The impasto surface has given way to a new feeling of lightness, an airier sense of existence.
It is as if the artist would have turned his eyes from the earth towards the sky. Suddenly the song is heard, the air is full of vibrations and there is movement everywhere. His new works tells about the interest in the kinetic, the moving, the life-creating force.

When first seeing Tuftas new painting ”Serenade 1”, my immediate association went to Giacomo Ballas Futurist painting of the dog on a leash where the busy movement of the dogs feet create a whirling circle. The new optimism that radiates from Tuftas work signals a growing control of the medium. The unique individual-experience is expressed through a visual language that also leaves room for the spectator.

Maaretta Jaukkuri