Blomqvist / Exhibitions / Previous exhibitions / Picture Believer - A Collector's Items


Opens: Thursday 25. January 2018 kl 19.00

Exhibition closed Picture Believer - A Collector's Items

Blomqvist starts the year with a selection from Glen Bjørnholt's collection - a collection focusing on contemporary art which both challenges and engages.
Exhibition period 26th Jan - 18th Feb

Brutal works such as Yngve Holen’s “Vertical Seat” from 2016 can refer to our great challenges with “Festung Europa” but also to the securing of areas – repellent is all its metallic chilliness. Rose Wylie’s descriptive and commentative work, “Celebrity” from 2006 both moves and delights. Wylie is now current with a solo exhibition at The Serpentine in London. In Veronica Brovall’s “Primal Stage” from 2011 both the title and the work will invite you to reflect on being human in this century.

To show such a selection from ones collectorship can be a revealing process. In giving others access to ones own preferences in aesthetics and underlying thematic; one opens up to others feedback and critique.  A carefully chosen selection from Bjørnholt’s collection gives insight to his preferences for what he deems to be interesting and qualitatively good art. At the same time he gives us insight into a collection which highlights current issues. Bjørnholt often refers to a statement made by Steve Jobs when he discusses his collectorship. In 2005 Jobs held a speech for the graduates of Stanford University. He encouraged them to see the possibilities in life’s setbacks, which he illustrates with the following story:

“Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very clear looking backwards ten years later, again; you cannot connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots connects somehow in the future, you have to trust something; your gut, destiny, life, karma whatever. Because believing the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even if it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference”.

An art collection is a living organism, which breathes, stretches, creates offshoots and new connections often with related DNA. For a collector, new acquisitions are a part of the excitement and joy of buying art, but when is to show the collection to others one is forced to see it in a new light. “Every painting is always two paintings: The one you see and the one you remember”, the author Siri Hustvedt stated in an interview with Lousiana Kunstmuseum. You develop a strong connection with the works one chooses to own, but with big collections it is difficult to have all the works in view at all times. Therefore, reunions with old choices can easily be joyful, or the opposite – some works one might not feel the same connection with anymore.

At first glance, Glen Bjørnholt’ s collection can be perceived as a collection focused on diversity , but there  is a red thread that binds it together as a challenging and dynamic experience.  In viewing individual works it is remarkable how relevant they are, at closer look they enter into dialogue with the many ethical and existential challenges we face today in the 21st century. Our European values are to be re-evaluated each day, pressured or pushed in some new direction – there is a new dynamic in society as well, which by necessity is dealt with in art. The collection has a wide range in age, from Rose Wylie born in 1934 to Torey Thornton born in 1990. Another aspect of the collection is that it consists of a large amount of female artists and several of these can be defined as “up and coming”. Bjørnholt emphasizes “emerging artists” in his acquisitions, both European and young American artists. For example, Torey Thornton and Eric N. Mack both represent a generational shift in American art. With their African-American background they have moved away from the explicit postcolonial angle which has characterized the art world in the last twenty years and instead discuss current issues independent of ethnicity.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a work by Steinar Haga Kristensen, “Picture Believer and His Work”. A figure lies on his knees bent over an abstract painting which he shields with his right hand as if he needs peace to contemplate the work. The act is a reminder that to create and to collect are not necessarily so unrelated, but on the contrary. To collect is to reflect over the artists’ message, to interpret and make ones own. The figure can just as well be the artist as the collector.

A collector of contemporary art takes a great risk; they choose living artists whose futures are not yet determined.  They can become revered artists or their artistic careers can be forgotten. The same is applicable for the artist’s oeuvre; some works can be referred to as iconic, whereas other works by the same artist can be deemed to be of lower quality. There is no guide for the collector, but one must possess some basic qualities. One should be knowledgeable, curious and have a developed network to be able to assert oneself as a collector. The exhibition at Blomqvist shows the breadth and the competence of Bjørnholt’s collectorship.

For a gallery and auction house such as Blomqvist Kunsthandel the collector is an important part of our circuit. Collectors with flair not only follow the hottest galleries, but also keep a close eye on what happens in the auction market. Important works which strengthen a collection are always attractive for a dedicated collector and these iconic works are the ones which Blomqvist seek to find and present.

Blomqvist Kunsthandel looks forward to present highlights from Glen Bjørnholt’s collection in our gallery space.

For more information contact Benedicte Sunde: +47 45 04 93 07 / [email protected]