Works by Bjørn Kowalski Hansen

Høstutstillingen 2015

Høstutstillingen 2015

HenryThueLesendeMannWEB1

Above photo by Anu Vahtra.

“Lesende Mann, 1920/2015”

In 2013, I bought an oil painting at an auction in Skien, Norway. It dates from 1920, and depicts a man reading a newspaper. The artist – a Norwegian named Henry Thue, isn’t well known to the general public, but he was a student under Chr. Krohg from 1914-16. He had a few shows in Norway before he moved to Paris in 1919. In 1921 he dies, only 30 years old of pneumonia, during a stay in Nice. Ever since I bought the painting, I have always wondered about what kind of life Henry Thue was living – Who was he with? How did he spend his days? The newspaper the model is reading in the painting actually has a date on it, so at one point, it became an obsession to find a copy of this particular issue. In January 2015 I finally found it. Le Matin, 19.02.21. It is now framed, with glass on both sides, so that the viewer can read what he was reading that day in Paris, February 1921.

Kjetil Røed skriver følgende om verket i Aftenposten, 16. sept. 2015;

“…Det beste verket her er ganske bortgjemt. I et hjørne ser vi Lesende mann (1920), et maleri av den ukjente maleren Henry Thue. Foran bildet, synlig fra begge sider, finnes avisen mannen i maleriet leser. Å vise den faktisk eksisterende avisutgaven – Le Matin, 19.02.21 – blir et lavmælt bilde på nødvendigheten av å grave ut og gjøre synlig forbindelseslinjene mellom kunst og virkelighet. Bjørn Kowalski-Hansens verk skisserer et av kunstens grunnproblemer fra en uvant og interessant vinkel: hvordan kan kunsten opprettholde en intim og forpliktende kontakt med det som skjer i verden rundt oss i gallerirommet?”