Johanne Nordby Wernø

  • TheMoen, Untitled (Abba), 2010, ink and wash on paper, 30 x 22".
    picks February 19, 2011


    The Kunsthall Oslo, located in the city’s new and much debated “cultural center” Bjørvika, has begun 2011 with something of a wild card: TheMoen’s first solo exhibition. Artist and musician Terje Moen’s quirky pseudonym is homonymous with the pronunciation of the Norwegian word for “demon.” Unknown to a larger audience, TheMoen enjoys local fame in the artistic community of Kristiansand in southern Norway, where he is recognized for his imaginative drawings and for having opened up his studio to artists, tourists, and the general public every Saturday for many years.

    TheMoen’s work might be best

  • Jumana Manna, Blessed Blessed Oblivion, 2010, still from a color video, 23 minutes 41 seconds.
    picks July 09, 2010

    Jumana Manna

    For Jumana Manna’s film Blessed Blessed Oblivion, 2010, the centerpiece of her exhibition at this gallery, the artist gained access to environments rarely seen by the female eye. The barbershop, gym, and mechanic’s garage in the film are all located in her hometown of East Jerusalem and serve as daily habitats for the work’s misogynistic protagonist: a young Palestinian. His pious recitations of martyr poems are followed swiftly by rants about less sacred, and more sexual, types of violence: “I took her into the bathroom, grabbed her by the hair, and stuffed her face into the toilet basin.”

  • A. K. Dolven, Untuned Bell, 2010, wooden poles, wire, bell, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks April 29, 2010

    A. K. Dolven

    According to rumors in the Oslo art scene, A. K. Dolven’s Untuned Bell, 2010, was scheduled to have extended its stay in Tullinløkka, an open public space next to the National Gallery in central Oslo. But in spite of its heavy, permanent appearance, the work can only be experienced––i.e., seen, played, and heard––until the end of May. The outdoor installation comprises a giant bell suspended high in the air between two wooden poles. On the ground below, there is a foot pedal so that visitors can play the one-and-a-half-ton instrument.

    Until recently, the bell was stored under the care of the

  • Bjarne Melgaard, Untitled, 2000, oil and collage on canvas, 6' 6" x 20'.
    picks March 03, 2010

    Bjarne Melgaard

    Rarely does an artist have two separate but identically named museum exhibitions on view in the same country at the same time. This winter, Bjarne Melgaard’s opening of “Jealous” at Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley was swiftly followed by a seemingly improvised show with the same title at the Bergen Kunstmuseum. The Oslo exhibition is Melgaard’s first retrospective, an extensive presentation spinning backward in time around a centrally placed axis of new large-scale paintings.

    Melgaard, a Brooklyn-based Norwegian artist who has become notorious for explicit, homoerotic, and violent imagery, as well as his