Published by: Bergen Kunsthall; Kunstnernes Hus and Stenberg Press
Text: Mari Slaattelid, Steinar Sekkingstad and Aleksi Mannila-Wildhagen
Design: Sara De Bondt
Pages: 168 pp. with 85 color images
Price: 32 Euro / 300 NOK
Mari Slaattelid is one of Norway’s most recognized painters. For almost three decades she has insisted on the potential of painting, independently of changing trends and the shifting of painting within artistic discourses. Without locking the medium into any particular formal idiom, she alternates with ease between figuration and abstraction, between expressive and conceptual painting, and the intersections of painting in relation to other art forms such as photography and literature.
Templates is a new publication which accompanies Slaattelid’s exhibitions at Bergen Kunsthall (2019) and Kunstnernes Hus (2020). Documenting her works for these exhibitions, the book focuses on two groups of paintings: In Kystverket Slaattelid repeatedly depicts a prosaic yet charged motif, consisting of a coastal landscape with a lantern (navigation marker) and – in silhouette against the sky – an operator adjusting the light signal. The Template-paintings on the other hand evokes a more abstracted landscape motif “found” from residua material during the painting process, in which a coastal landscape silhouette is lifted from traces of paint left on pieces of masking tape. The works reflect the painter’s gaze; ways of seeing not only the surroundings, but also ways of dealing with representation, and how the non-material act of perception can be translated into the tactile presence of a painted work. The gaze is a recurring theme in the book, appearing both in the lantern motif, where a circle is inscribed in a triangle like an “all-seeing eye,” and in a series of works depicting a human eye.