Nils Erik Gjerdevik (1962-), Untitled, 1998
Nils Erik Gjerdevik has consistently addressed the issues concerning contemporary painting and its visual and conceptual terms. He is very much aware of the traditions and historical basis for his work and has been inspired by artistic movements from the 1960s and up to the present day. Op-art and Danish painting from the 1960s and 1970s have been of particular interest to him.
Formal arrangements of the picture plane
As in this piece, Gjerdevik has worked extensively with systematic formal arrangements of the picture plane, e.g. by dividing it into striped areas. But in Gjerdevik’s pieces, there is always a small shift or distortion that messes up the system and impedes the logic.
Here, the irregularity is an organic drop shape that appears to be repeating the stripes to the letter, but which nevertheless jeopardises the entire system through a minimal change. Suddenly the two-dimensional and geometric becomes three-dimensional and strangely organic.
The system as illusion
The flip side of rationality turns out to be chaos and freewheeling fantasy, and the painstakingly calculated system turns out to be an illusion. Instead Gjerdevik opens up the picture plane towards us. Nothing is determined – we can play along and enter into a dialogue.