SOFT galleri //
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Solo exhibition Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen.

Gitte Magnus
Solo exhibition

April 12th - May 27th 2018

Gitte Magnus works with textiles, using an abstract pictorial language with references to Modernism and Impressionism. Her great interest has long been to explore the relation between diverse materials using colouring processes and chemicals. She builds up and breaks down, glues several qualities together, prints layer-on-layer, etches away and steeps in lye. Through such exploratory processes as these, she develops her textile surfaces and forms.

As always, I search for ‘stories I haven’t been told’ and ‘colours that don’t exist’. These formulations are like lodestars for me. They challenge me to experiment and take seriously all that I don’t know. Doubt is an important driving force in all I do.

The exhibition at SOFT galleri builds on Magnus’s solo exhibition projects in 2011 and 2015, when she began digitizing her earlier textile experiments and ideational material. It is therefore a further step in her ongoing exploration of possibilities for expressing herself through textile materials and techniques.

Magnus often uses her own experiences as starting points for the themes of her works. In spring 2016, she was compelled to move out of her studio on Yongs gate in Oslo, where she had worked and had good relationships for 33 years. This marked the start of a project with the working title Flyttefot (idiomatic for ‘on the move’ or ‘moving house’). Everyday life at her workplace was integral to Magnus’s identity as an artist, and it took her about two years to find a rhythm and establish work routines in her new surroundings.

In this exhibition, Magnus transfers the theme of her own experience of having to move to a more general level: to the need for belonging and fixed reference points in life. She presents three very different works – three stages in a story. Two of the works are large textiles: one is printed digitally, the second is printed by hand in combination with being painted, shrunk and treated in several other ways. The third work is a photo of the old stairwell in the building at Yongs gate, which Magnus ascended and descended several times a day for three decades, and which became an important part of her ‘journey’ as an artist.

Gitte Magnus (b. 1949) lives at Høvik and has her new studio in Asker. She studied at Statens håndverk- og kunstindustriskole in Oslo (1968–1974, diplom), with one year as an exchange student at Angewante Kunst in Vienna (1970–71), plus further education in later years. She has held several solo exhibitions, among others, at TRAFO Kunsthall in Asker, Galleri Format in Bergen, Kunstnerforbundet in Oslo and Hå Gamle Prestegard in Jæren. Her participation in group exhibitions includes the Norwegian Textile Artist’s 40th anniversary exhibition Ode to a Dishrag, Hymn to a Tiger (Kunstnerforbundet 2017, Kunsthall Stavanger 2018) and Soft Monuments (KODE, Bergen 2015). Magnus has been a professor and institute leader at Kunsthøgskolen in Bergen for 6 + 1 years, also an art consultant, curator and exhibition architect. She has produced numerous works of public art and is represented in several important public collections, among others, Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, KODE in Bergen and Norsk kulturråd.

The exhibition is supported by The Relief Fund for Visual Artists.

Solo exhibition

Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen.

Solo exhibition

Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen.

Solo exhibition

Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen.