X

Kenneth Blom

Born in 1967 in Roskilde, Denmark, Blom moved to Norway as a child.
He studied at the Statens Kunstakademi in Oslo (1990-1994), as well as at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts (1994-1995).
He has shown extensively in Europe, including as a featured artist at Sotheby’s New Bond Street in London, at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Norway, at Jason Mc Coy Gallery in New York, and regularly at Galeri Haaken in Oslo.
Today, Blom lives and works in Oslo.

Kenneth Blom

Born in 1967 in Roskilde, Denmark, Blom moved to Norway as a child.
He studied at the Statens Kunstakademi in Oslo (1990-1994), as well as at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts (1994-1995).
He has shown extensively in Europe, including as a featured artist at Sotheby’s New Bond Street in London, at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Norway, at Jason Mc Coy Gallery in New York, and regularly at Galeri Haaken in Oslo.
Today, Blom lives and works in Oslo.

... more

Kenneth Blom is famous for his painting which depicts solitary figures in industrial and empty landscapes. Rendered in broad brushstrokes, these landscapes have a tendency to express moods and states of mind.
Blom also draws inspiration from the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen by painting complexities of the human psyche conveyed by human relationships.
The figures in his paintings are caught mid-movement, but their faces are blurred. “Their absence becomes more intrusive than their presence,” as Blom put it.
The radicalness of his pictorial language, revealed in the alternation of flat and sinuous forms, in the expressive deformation of the human body, in the specific choice of the color palette, and in the symbolic use of architecture, call to mind the work of some of the most significant Masters of modern and contemporary painting such as Edvard Munch, Edward Hopper and of course David Hockney, routing him deeply into the contemporary art historical context.

 

interview with Kenneth Blom at Pékin Fine Arts, Hong Kong

Walking into the gallery space, your personal aesthetic is particularly strong. Please, could you explain your process of creation?

The process always begins with a strong composition, making up the circles and lines, and then at the end, I put in the people … it all depends on the composition. So in a way, I work abstractly when I do these things; I’m not a figurative painter when I do the process but it ends up being that.

So does the imagery come from your imagination rather than reality?

No, it’s a mix. I mean you walk around, you see people as you do now [points to the exhibition], but it’s a mix of fantasy and reality. I need [people] to be alive. I need them to start to walk, to fight, to kiss, to scream. In a way, it’s a real life story I’ve tried to talk about, but it’s not from [the] real. Mostly I don’t use models; I just use the idea.

Your earlier works are very traditional, figurative images. Did you start by drawing and painting from life models initially?

Yes. I had a straight academic education, but since I was fifteen I have always loved Danish farmer paintings … the lonely boy standing on the road—it went to me directly. And when I was studying art in Düsseldorf, it was quite another stage of art: conceptual, rough work, reduced installations. We went to this big show in Copenhagen, and I remember I just couldn’t get it, so I went back to [painting] private small rooms. So I’m a rather old fashioned painter, but I see now that painting changes all the time, and that’s why I love the medium.

You say your paintings are old-fashioned; they also appear quite distant, almost dystopian.

You can use painting—and this is why I think it’s so important—to give [the viewer] a little break; it stops time for just a little while. You can walk into a gallery and be quiet in front of a painting. It gives a little break from the rushing time. I love that this medium [does that].

While many other artists jump between video and installation, painting and sculpture you religiously remain a painter. What is it about the medium that appeals so much?

I think it’s just like going into a friendship for a long time—it creates a special kind of friendship. You can also have friends that maybe last for two weeks, which are also interesting, but there’s something about working for a period and going really into the stuff.  Now we have to be careful because you can choose to do both dancing and making art, or sound and installation, or theatre, whatever, which is right. I love to paint so I thought, well I think I’m going to paint for some years now and see what that is, and I couldn’t stop. So you lose something by doing that, but you also gain something; you’re in focus your whole life.  I am trying to make the best painting and then I will quit; it won’t happen (laughs).

 

Solo Exhibitions

2019
Luisa Catucci Gallery , Berlin
Jason Mc Coy Gallery, New York
Gallery Dropsfabrikken Trondhjem, Norway
2018
Pekin fine art Beijing
2017
Muster Meier Gallery Bern/Switzerland
Pekin Fine art Hong Kong
Gallery Haaken Oslo
2016
Maerz contemporary Berlin
2015
Pekin Fine Arts, Hong Kong
Gallery Haaken Oslo
2014
Jason McCoy Gallery, New York
January 15
2013
Gallery Haaken, Oslo
2012
Studio Hugo Opdal/Moods of Norway Flø
2012
Gallery Haaken, Oslo
2011
Maerz Contemporary.Berlin
2011
Gallery Haaken, Oslo
2010
Galleri Bouhlou, Bergen
Jason McCoy Gallery New York
2009
Galleri Haaken, Oslo
2009
Galleri Haaken, Oslo
2008
Stavanger Art Society European Capital of Culture
2007
Colonnade Gallery at Sotheby’s, London
Galleri Haaken, Oslo
2006
Aalesunds Art Society
2005
Henie Onstad Art Center
2003
Galleri Haaken, Oslo
2002
Galleri Haaken, Oslo
2000
Galleri Haaken, Oslo
1999
Galleri 27, Oslo
1998
Galleri 27, Oslo

Group Exhibitions

2016
Studio Hugo Opdal Flø/Ulstein
2014
Transformation
Serbia/Beograd-Romania/Buchuresti
2014
Rarity gallery, Greece
Summer 2014
2013
jason McCoy Gallery, New York
2011
Jason McCoy Gallery, New York
2010
Jason McCoy Gallery
2006
Galleri Haaken, Oslo
2004
Galleri Haaken, Oslo
2003
Henie Onstad Art Center
2002
Galleri Haaken, Oslo
1998
Galleri Bomuldsfabrikken, Arendal
1995
Trondheim Art Society
1994
Galleri Bomuldsfabrikken, Arendal
Oslo Art Society
1991
Galleri 27, Oslo

download the dossier
share on