Jan Groth
Jan Groth

Jan Groth: Festspillkatalogen 2018. Foto: Thor Brødreskift.  © Bergen Kunsthall
Jan Groth: Festspillkatalogen 2018. Foto: Thor Brødreskift. © Bergen Kunsthall

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Title: Jan Groth
Published by: Bergen Kunsthall, 2017
Editors: Martin Clark, Steinar Sekkingstad
Artist: Jan Groth
Texts: Martin Clark, Steinar Sekkingstad, Richard Tuttle, and a conversation between Fredrik Værslev and Jan Groth
Translation: James Manley
Design: Petri Henriksson (Blank Blank)
Number of pages: 157
Language: Engelsk (Two texts also in Norwegian; Sekkingstad og Værslev/Groth)
Price: NOK290

In connection with the 2017 Bergen International Festival Exhibition, Bergen Kunsthall has the pleasure of presenting an extensive catalog that revolves around Jan Groth’s art, with particular focus on the works in the exhibition. It has always been the expressed premise of the Festival Exhibition that it should highlight a distinctive Norwegian oeuvre and present it as it appears here and now, something which requires the artist to produce new works and relate architecturally to the Kunsthall galleries. After 50 active years on the international art scene, it is precisely this innovative topicality and presence – both physically in the Kunsthall and in contemporary art discourse in general – that is reflected in the Groth publication. With photographs of the exhibits (drawings on paper, two major wall drawings, one tapestry and a number of sculptures), where several of the smallest drawings are reproduced in the 1:1 aspect ratio, and with new texts that contextualize Groth’s oeuvre, both art-historically and nationally versus internationally, the book gives a clear picture of where the artist stands today. Steinar Sekkingstad, one of the curators of the exhibition and contributor to the book, addresses both and discusses in his text how Groth’s works in an art-historical perspective are often linked to both (Nordic) lyrical abstraction and (American) intellectual Late Modernism, while Sekkingstad’s own interpretation goes towards universalistic formalism: “Rather than national or geographical identity markers, Groth’s distinctive form of abstraction might also represent universalist, transnational and archetypal formalism. Groth’s drawings and objects have a “charged “or” animated “quality. Instead of categories such as abstraction or figuration, Groth’s signs seem to take on a materialized existence or mode of being in line with other things in the world. The form is not necessarily deputizing for something else, nor is it a readable sign of an underlying meaning; it is rather an expression of something generally, even universally human. “