Thrilled for my second review for my exhibition at kou gallery, Rome
Stella Maresca. Oktober 14, 2023
The art Libido
The artist's work is characterized by a mixture of elements that address the relationships between figure and industrial environment. His spaces are typically rendered to speak of vast empty spaces and his figures are sparsely positioned. While architectural structure is clearly an important part of Blom's work, it is often rendered with gestural brushstrokes and bright colors, and his figures are depicted with the same blend of elusiveness and precision. These elements combine to create solitary, psychologically independent worlds.
Kenneth Blom's pictorial works exude a subtle psychological tension evoking a latent film noir atmosphere.
In his compositional approach, Blom skillfully adopts the role of director, using background sets as an expressive stage to reveal the human drama inherent in his visual narratives.
In his canvases, a skilful fusion of geometric elements, combined with the masterful use of diagonal lines and vanishing points, evokes a strong architectural atmosphere reminiscent of the pioneering works of Mies Van Der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, to dawns of modern architecture.
At the same time, the artist's artistic intent goes beyond the mere representation of speciﬁc environments; aiming instead to arouse profound sensations and emotions in the spectator, thus establishing the perfect backdrop for the staging of his subjects/actors.
The enigmatic figures that populate his paintings seem guided by a profound sensitivity, even in moments of static.
Kou Gallery is an interdisciplinary space that presents itself as a place for discussion and sharing of new ideas, thus creating an environment of integration and contamination aimed at promoting the contemporary art of the capital.
The Gallery aims to be an important meeting point between artists, a significant place where they can broaden their horizons, leading to a significant change in the Roman and international artistic panorama, a means through which Rome can reaffirm its role in world of Italian art.
Massimiliano Reggiani and Monica Cerrito.
Curators for the Art section of the online newspaper EmmeReports and the Facebook page Art Criticism.
At the Kou Gallery in Rome the first solo exhibition in Italy by the Norwegian artist Kenneth Blom; Massimo Scaringella, Curator of the event together with Luisa Catucci, continues to surprise us by bringing echoes of distant cultures into our national panorama: from the Africa of the Biennale to the boundless lands of the great North. Art thus demonstrates that it has no cultural barriers, it highlights its essence of philosophy expressed through pigments and brushes, chromatic balances and compositional tensions. Reflecting on the human condition truly seems to be the most noble and profound purpose of this continuous research, expressed in a thousand different sensitivities.
The exhibition has a seemingly simple title: “Escape” and presents a series of works created specifically for this occasion. At first glance, Fuga could represent an introspective and voluntary need to move away; or - more technically - a Vanishing Point, a structural element of the angular perspectives that Kenneth Blom so frequently uses. Personally I believe that Fuga has a musical root for the Artist: thematic idea proposed in infinite variations, counterpoint, polyphony of elements that overlap without merging in a sparkle of lines and colours, perspectives and anatomy.
The Curators, with great precision, write: “Blom's visual language, distinguished by its radicality, develops through a mélange of flat and sinuous forms with expressive deformations of the human body, accurate color schemes and a judicious use of architectural symbolism, which However, it proposes a certain temporality, more cyclical than chronological, for our existence. Thus his world and the universe merge, in this way, a kind of communion is established between man and the cosmos."
Luisa Catucci and Massimo Scaringella underline the Artist's attention to cyclical time, rather than chronological time: it is an important note, it refers to the great Romanesque art, to the sculptures of the months and seasons, to the sources of youth, to the ages of man depicted in Gothic courtesan allegories. They highlight the symbolic use of architecture which is not a place of narrative action but a social universe where human relationships become concrete and physical: the spaces of meeting, abandonment, reflection, distrust, mere transit.
It is necessary to approach Kenneth Blom's art with attention and respect: it is so apparently similar to our culture - but substantially different - that there is a risk of a distorted reading. The Nordic perception of life is more natural, much less cathartic and anthropocentric: birth and death belong to the normality of existence, to the magnificent flow of the long boreal winters and cold summers where everyone's festive frenzy is concentrated in short and touching encounters. All around the breath of the world that neither welcomes nor rejects: it leaves men free within the limits of their own limited strength.
The spirit of the North is intrinsically evangelical: forgiveness, acceptance, individual expiation, the direct relationship between the soul and God. Without intermediaries, without family cages, aware of being the heartbeat of a moment, a simple note in the symphony of the seasons: this I believe is the synthesis of Kenneth Blom's art.
The Artist was born in Roskilde in 1967, in the historical heart of Danish civilization: capital before Copenhagen, tomb of the kings of Denmark, guardian of Viking memories and at the same time home to a famous rock festival for half a century. At a very young age he moved to Norway, studied painting in Oslo and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf, a jewel of German culture along the Rhine. They are contaminations of history that enrich without betraying the purity of his art.
“One very rarely comes across pictures that are so Norwegian”: Åsmund Thorkildsen, Norwegian museum director, curator and writer, wrote this, referring to Blom's art. It is the recognition of the great continuity between the Artist and the indomitable spirit of his land.
mercoledì 13 Settembre 2023
Looking at Kenneth Blom's paintings, a latent sense of restlessness and melancholy emerges, like when watching a film noir on the sofa at home. His paintings exude a subtle psychological tension reconstructed by the Norwegian artist with a skillful use of geometric elements, combined with the masterful use of diagonal lines and vanishing points, which evokes a strong architectural atmosphere reminiscent of the pioneering works of Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto or Walter Gropius in the early days of modern architecture.
KOU Gallery now presents Blom's first Italian solo exhibition, entitled Escape, curated by Luisa Catucci and Massimo Scaringella, and which on this occasion displays a series of previously unpublished works. The artist goes beyond the simple representation of specific environments, aiming rather to evoke deep sensations and emotions in the viewer, thus providing the perfect backdrop for the staging of his subjects/actors.
The enigmatic figures that populate his paintings seem guided by a profound sensitivity, even in moments of quiet. The juxtaposition of abstract and figurative painting, with which the wild brushstrokes harmonize, give each work an aura of mystery, discomfort and narrative depth. A representation that does nothing but accentuate the mental state and intrinsic sense of loneliness deriving from a dystopian perception of contemporary society, which also arouses a series of universally recognizable emotions in the viewer, directly addressing the essence of human nature.
The paintings crafted by the renowned Norwegian artist, Kenneth Blom, emanate a subtle psychological tension and evoke a latent noir atmosphere. In his approach to composition, Blom adroitly adopts the role of a director, utilizing scenographic backgrounds as expressive stages to unfold the human drama inherent in his artworks.
On his canvases, a skillful amalgamation of geometrical elements, coupled with a masterful use of diagonal lines and vanishing points, evokes a profound architectural ambiance reminiscent of the pioneering works by Mies Van Der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, and Walter Gropius from the epoch of modern architecture. Concurrently, Blom's artistic intent transcends a mere representation of specific settings; instead, he seeks to engender profound sensations and emotions within the beholder, thereby establishing the perfect backdrop for his archetypal actors to enact their narratives.
Within his spatial compositions, enigmatic human figures appear to be guided by a profound sensitivity, even during moments of stasis. The juxtaposition of abstract and figurative painting, wherein wild, untamed brushstrokes harmonize with controlled backgrounds, imbues each artwork with an air of mystery, restlessness, and a narrative depth. These human figures, ingrained within Blom's paintings, acquire a status of archetypes, personifying the human psychological condition and existential obsessions.
Drawing upon C.G. Jung's insights, the collective character of archetypes manifests itself through fortuitous coincidences that coalesce with profound meaning, suggesting that the archetype - or the collective unconscious - permeates not solely the individual's psyche but also the external environment. This archetypal world, regarded as "eternal" and beyond the constraints of time, pervades the psychic realm, a quality elegantly captured in Kenneth Blom's artistic endeavors. His canvas narratives reflect an overarching mood of melancholy and solitude, as depicted by solitary or paired characters within indistinct geographic landscapes and unrecognizable regional architecture, wherein their ethnic and cultural backgrounds elude definitive identification. This portrayal serves to accentuate the psychological distress and intrinsic sense of loneliness that arises from a dystopic perception of contemporary society, striking a universal chord with viewers. Evidencing a transcendent quality, Blom's art eschews the conveyance of specific messages, instead directly engaging with the essence of human nature.
Blom's pictorial language, distinguished by its radicalness, unfolds through an interplay of flat and sinuous forms, expressive deformations of the human body, meticulous color palettes, and a judicious utilization of architectural symbolism, aligns him with eminent modern and contemporary painting Masters, including the likes of Edvard Munch, Edward Hopper, and David Hockney, firmly anchoring his artistic legacy within the annals of contemporary art history.