Light Lines: The Art of Jan Groth, Inger Johanne Grytting, and Thomas Pihl opens at Scandinavia House on Saturday, October 13. This new exhibition celebrates three Norwegian artists who have influenced and continue to influence one another with work that employs the power of the reductive, sharing close ties to the New York community, and representing three generations: Jan Groth (b.1938), Inger Johanne Grytting (b.1949) and Thomas Pihl (b.1964).
Considered the foremost Norwegian artist of his generation, Jan Groth has continuously explored the relationship between line and picture plane. Exhibited extensively throughout his career with major exhibitions including a large-scale retrospective at The Guggenheim Museum in New York, Groth’s influence and presence has been widespread both in the Nordic countries and internationally. In his relationships with Grytting and Pihl, the artists share a combined interest in a minimalist, restrained, and conceptual language. Their three practices, however, are distinctly individual.
Jan Groth executed his first tapestries in 1961, an organic outgrowth of his drawing. Considering drawing to be the foundation of his work, Groth uses very few lines to measure off a potentially infinite field — thereby molding space by implication. The drawings, sculpture, and tapestry on view are distinguished by a spontaneous energy, intimate emotion, and strong gesture, nowhere more apparent than in the wall drawings created on-site in the Scandinavia House Gallery.
Inger Johanne Grytting, a native of Norway who has lived and worked in New York for over 40 years, has exhibited in both the U.S. and Norway, most recently with retrospectives at the Northern Norway Art Museum and the Vigeland Museum. Her work, like Groth’s, is imbued with the power of the individual line, with a movement and rhythm to her drawings that ranges from meditative to emotive. Similar to minimalist music, the systematic process and hypnotic pulsations of Grytting’s work exert a unique power for the viewer. In the paintings of Thomas Pihl, an artist who works in both NYC and the West Coast of Norway, an interplay of light, time, color, and transparency create an intensity of experience. The eight works on view here, which are large, uniformly sized canvases, range from subtle neutrals to brilliant color, inviting a relaxation of the gaze in reaction to the over-stimulation of the contemporary world.
Each room in the gallery will be dedicated to one artist, enabling visitors to experience a body of work while creating connections to the exhibition and artists as a whole. Jan Groth will also present a site-specific drawing installation. The show is curated by Karin Hellandsjø, Director Emeritus of the Henie Onstad Art Centre, Norway.