Olav Christopher Jenssen
A Day Behind
May 15 – May 19, 2024, Market Art Fair, Stockholm

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Presented by Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen and Galleri Riis, Oslo:

Olav Christopher Jenssen
A Day Behind

Market Art Fair, Stockholm
17-19 May, 2024

This year marks 40 years of collaboration between Galleri Susanne Ottesen and Galleri Riis. Since 1985, the galleries have shared an interest in art and artists, made several collaborations and maintained a strong friendship.

For the 2024 edition of Market Art Fair, we are proud to celebrate this anniversary with a solo exhibition by longstanding shared gallery artist Olav Christopher Jenssen (b. 1954). For Jenssen, who turned 70 this April, the past year has been challenging, but also remarkably prolific and artistically flourishing. His exhibition A Day Behind at Market Art Fair will present new works across mediums; thirty ceramic sculptures, fifty works on paper and three large paintings.

In the winter of 2023, Olav Christopher Jenssen suffered a stroke which caused permanent damage to his vision. At the time, he was busy preparing his studio to start work on a new series of large paintings, but impeded by his reduced vision, the canvases were put on hold for an indefinite period. In the early stage of convalescence, he intuitively turned to clay and started building and shaping ceramic sculptures, all varying in size and complexity, but easily identified as a family of mysterious personalities and habitats, evoking a hidden fairytale world. Their highly saturated glazes span from shades of brown and black to bright pastels.

Parallel to his work with ceramics, Jenssen gradually picked up his ‘Journal’ series of mixed media drawings on paper, a body of work that has been ongoing since the 1980s and, when seen together, reads like a diary of his artistic life. The works made over the past year show a multitude of imagery and styles, from monochrome line drawings to richly textured and vibrantly coloured compositions made with various crayons, pastels and acrylic paints.

Last December, Jenssen returned to his large canvases and completed a suite of three paintings, executed with oil on canvas, all in a duo-chromatic style, with fine laces and bursts of white oil paint over a cadmium red ground.

A Day Behind is a materialization of how, for Olav Christopher Jenssen, artistic practice is persistent – or in his own words: “simply an ongoing thing” – even when life takes unexpected turns.

Galleri Riis’ participation at Market Art Fair is kindly supported by OCA (Office for Contemporary Art Norway)

About the artist:

Olav Christopher Jenssen (b. 1954 in Sortland, Norway) is one of the foremost artists of his generation from the Nordic countries and has gained international recognition for his distinctive and multifaceted paintings, as well as for his idiosyncratic sculptures. His production also includes drawings, watercolors, prints, book illustration and publications.

Jenssen lives and works in Berlin and in Lya, Sweden. He was appointed professor at Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg i 1996, and from 2007 until 2023 he held a professorship at Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig in Germany. In 1992, he became the first Norwegian contemporary artist to take part in Documenta in Kassel.

He is represented in important public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Centre Pompidou, Paris Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Marta Herford, Germany, Buffalo AKG Art Museum, USA and The National Museum in Oslo. He has held major exhibitions in Malmö konsthall, Kiasma Helsinki, and Kunstmuseum Bonn.

Recent exhibitions include «Journal – works on paper 1979-2012» at Henie Onstad Art Centre, Høvikodden, and «Estragon» at Sprengel Museum, Hannover. In 2019, the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo featured an impressive display of his works from the museums’ collection. He was awarded the Swedish Prince Eugen Medal in 1997, and in 2015, Jenssen was made Knight of the 1st Class of the Order of St. Olav for his contribution to the arts.

Installation views