Kunstnrenes Hus, Oslo
September 11– Oktober 17 2021
Marta Nerhus’ “Sommarnatt ved fjorden” is currently on display at the Høstutstillingen (or Statens Kunstutstilling) on its 134 edition.
Each year, the Norwegian Association of Visual Artists: Norske Billedkunstnere organizes an exhibition at the Kunstnrenes Hus in Oslo. The Høstutstillingen is the most extensive display of contemporary Norwegian art, and it gives an insight into the county’s art scene.
Anonymity is the leading feature of the selection process. Names don’t identify the applications; the artist’s age, gender, and region of residence are the only required information. The choice is solely based on the quality of the artwork. This year, 2500 artists applied, each of them with up to three pieces of art.
The jury was composed of Norske Billedkunstnere’s members: Solveig Landa, Terje Roalkvam, Espen Dietrichson, Nora Joung, Trygve Ohren and Kiyoshi Yamamoto; they have selected 118 artworks made by 107 artists.
Sommarnatt ved fjorden is made out of knitted coloured metal wire. Layer upon layer, different colours overlap to create a new palette, like transparent watercolour. First, Marta creates the net with a knitting machine, then shapes and sews the parts together.
The transparency and airy lightness of her material set the fragile and poetic tone of her work.
“I understood the work was finished when I got a feeling of a cool and bright summer night by the fjord, by the green fields of grass”, says the artist.
Nerhus plays with the light to grasp the thread’s brilliance, the shadows coming forward when hanging her work at a distance to the wall.
Strings and soft metal wire have been Nerhus’ material since 1989.
Her technique allows for fragility and transparency and can accommodate pain and poetry but also strength. She transforms the knitted metal net into sculptures, wall objects or installations. She works with specific themes for different exhibitions, and she’s always searching for expression and shapes that could bring forward critical contemporary social issues, reflecting on the meaning of being a human today.
“Sommarnatt ved fjorden” Ph. Credit Maria Helena K. Nerhus
Sommarnatt ved fjorden was made in 2020 when the artist felt the need to work with colours inspired by Norwegian nature and landscape. She often addresses questions of care and environmental awareness in her work.
Marta Nerhus website shows the depth of her practice and the critical topics she addresses with her delicate sculptural tapestries made of metal wire.
“Sommarnatt ved fjorden” detail. Ph. Credit Maria Helena K. Nerhus
Marta Nerhus (b. 1955 in Ølve in Kvinnherad) lives and works in Bergen. She is a Bergen Academy of Arts graduate and an exchange student at the West Norway Art Academy, the Free School of Art (Helsinki), and the School of Art and Design (Helsinki). Nerhus has had solo exhibitions at Kvamsdals fargeri (Masfjorden), Bryggens Museum at the City Museum in Bergen, Litteraturhuset in Bergen and RAM gallery (Oslo). In 2018–2019, Nerhus made sculptural, enlarged pollen grains on behalf of the Natural History Museum in Bergen. Her works have been purchased by Bergen Municipality, Stord Municipality and the House of Literature in Bergen.