While Morten Schelde’s ”House at Dawn” is on view in the main gallery, Anne Torpe’s “Days of Oblivion” takes on the Hans Alf Gallery project room.
Anne Torpe’s new show centres on those trivial, uneventful, lazy days that we all experience once in a while. Days that might seem unimportant and prosaic while being lived, but also often stick in memory. Maybe because these are the times that we really feel time passing. In the artist’s own words, the show attempts to articulate a state of stagnation, which has resulted in a series of subdued but nevertheless evocative paintings, kept together by Torpe’s well-known and intense use of color.
At the fore of Torpe’s oeuvre is the female figure, who often acts as a protagonist to the story. In “Days of Oblivion” stagnation is visible in the fact that none of the female characters appear to be doing anything. They clearly lead singular lives, have names like Mia, Leah, and Ingrid, and meet the audience with a fierce gaze. But somehow, we seem to meet them during a break from everyday life.
Anne Torpe often uses people from art history, characters from movies and private family photos as inspiration. Thus, the painter’s peculiar, imaginary rooms are structured by the essence of these individuals. We are met by wavy horizontal lines, big, monochromatic planes and curious tableaus that melt together into colorful carpets and tapestries. More tangible elements from everyday life such as cats, books and older works by the artist reoccur throughout the works of the show. This is a deliberate trick that serves to embed certain symbols in the mind of the audience through repetition.
In “Days of Oblivion”, Torpe continues her work with disassembling and rebuilding the pictorial plane. This is seen in the visual breaks that appear in many of her works, and in the color divisions that break the plane. As when a character’s facial color changes from blue to purple, or when the bottom of a bookshelf runs through the body of a reclining woman. To the artist, this division serves as an artistic dogma that dictates the exploration of the effect of colors on each other and the motif itself. On a more symbolic level, the sudden shifts in color work as markers of the mood of the protagonist, her traits, dreams and aspirations. In the works of Anne Torpe, humans are turned inside out, and the inner life becomes visible on the surface.