And once in the 1830s, a Faroese amateur painter spontaneously created some pictures of birds, which look modern and are art!
"William Heinesen, who in novels and short stories has praised his home town, Tórshavn, and called it the navel of the world, was first and foremost a poet and an author, but he distinguished himself artistically in many areas, especially in music and the visual arts.
He was born, while The Ancients were still real – he was middle aged when the alternating current, which was magic, illuminated every nook and cranny of the small capital, and he had left his best years behind when the electrical revolution had finally forced the last remnants of trolls and Hidden Folk into submission.
When his imagery is rooted in the world of myths, fairy tales and lays it is due to being born in the time of kerosene lamps. The theme is therefore not nostalgic, and certainly the myths are not dead on the Faroe Islands – we still rise to the Faroese dance, form a circle, and sing the lays and ballads of our ancestors."
Jákupsson, B. (2000) Myndlist í Føroyum. Tórshavn: Sprotin. P. 23
Samuel Joensen-Mikines is the first important painter in the Faroe Islands, giving Faroese art its own name.
As his surname indicates, the artist came from Mykines, the westernmost island in the Faroese archipelago. Mikines studied at the Academy of Art in Copenhagen from 1928-32. Apart from longer and shorter stays in the Faroe Islands he lived and worked for most of his life in Denmark.
An artist who war particularly important for him was Edvard Munch. The Expressionism of Mikines, however, is heavier and more objective than that of Munch and is characterised by Danish Modernism. The subdued colours from the former works gradually give way to brighter ones.
Mikines portrays Faroese life and nature with emphasis on seriousness, pain, fury, and power. From a historical viewpoint his paintings show up life in the traditional Faroese community. Thus, in Mikines’ art, the Faroe Islands are also a myth.
"Frida Zachariassen was one of the most distinctive artists in the Faroes in the 20th century.
She developed a unique style characterized by geometric compositions depicting landscapes, town and village scenes, and figures.
She left behind a wonderful legacy of paintings, drawings, and watercolors."
Marnersdóttir, M. (2010) Frida Zachariassen. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya.
Ruth Smith was the first Faroese painter after Mikines who established herself as an artist on a high level.
Ruth Smith was educated at the Academy of Art in Copenhagen 1936-43, and after WW II she settled down with her family on her native island of Suðuroy. She lived and worked there until her untimely death in a drowning accident.
Being a housewife and mother of two small children, Ruth Smith’s landscape paintings are from her closest surroundings. The self-portrait was a convenient motive for the same reason.
Ruth Smith’s impressionism focuses on the play of colours in changing lighting conditions, often characterised by a sensitive, cool tinge.
Yet the brushwork is restless, almost chaotic and the landscape thus also becomes symbolic, while the intense personality of the painter speaks directly to us in the self-portraits.
"Janus Kamban is central to Faroese visual arts after the Second World War. He arranged exhibitions, encouraged others, was mentor and confidante to an entire generation of artists on the Faroe Islands, always true, always polite and with gravitas to his words.
In everything he did Janus Kamban searched for a form, which is simultaneously powerful and simple. The subject of his art is above all else ordinary people and everyday life, humble and without any fuss, yet with hidden force and great strength.
His work is the result of a lasting and persevering will to find Faroese reality and emotion, and to communicate his findings in timeless images."
Hoydal G. (1995) Janus Kamban. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya.
"The Faroe Islands has a true naïvist and outsider in the painter Frimod Joensen, and in a way he also wrote himself into the nature-romantic tradition. As a naïvist he was both versatile and undaunted and didn’t shy from anything. He was as happy to paint figure paintings and genre paintings as bird paintings and landscape paintings, and it’s especially in the latter that he tangentially touches the tradition in a vigorous, narrating, and imaginative manner. In 1969 he painted himself in the process of creation, standing in the middle of cosmos and a vortex of inspiration.
Like Janus Kamban before him Joensen was also advised by Gudmund Hentze to seriously pursue his interest for painting, and in 1935 he went to Copenhagen to see it through. But as he had neither the money nor the skills for a more formal training of his talent, he didn’t succeed in advancing his painting career as such. He remained, nonetheless, in the Danish capital for almost twenty years, where he fought his way through helped by odd jobs – among others at the freight station.
Not until in 1964 did Joensen return to the Faroe Islands, and it was at that time that his career as a visual artist slowly started to come together. He was then 49 years of age, but he still managed to paint an amount of paintings in the thirty-three years he had left. They are all painted with a clumsy hand and strong colours, so the narrative may stand out as clearly as possible – and without any regard for what it’s about."
Wivel, M. (2011) Sekel. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 107
"Jóannis Kristiansen hailed from Leirvík on the island Eysturoy, and it was also there he subsequently found most of his motifs. But the detour was long and went through Denmark. When he was seventeen he went to Copenhagen to study house painting. That was in 1935 and he was able to complete his apprenticeship five years later. From there he went on to study at first one drawing school and then another and in 1944 he was admitted to The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under Aksel Jørgensen along with Ingálvur av Reyni. […]
Jóannis Kristiansen’s art possesses an entirely special hue or colour scheme. He obviously preferred the blue, yellow, green, and white colours to the red, orange, or black. All of his images are thereby variations over this relatively limited scale – regardless of which motifs he chooses, and on which season of the year he’s painting. When it’s winter the images turn blue and white, and when it’s summer they turn green and break out in lemon yellow.
All the while his colour seems so strangely luminous or transparent, as if it were a membrane covering the motif itself. This is partly due to his technique. Like Ruth Smith, who is the only Faroese painter Kristiansen is slightly similar to, he apparently paints his images at a rapid pace. The strokes dash across the canvas, long and gliding and in the end only illusory. It’s gestural painting and the speed is staggering, and it endows the images with a unique freshness. There is something almost blinding about them. They are full of light and air and life, and it almost seems as if he has been breathing through them."
Wivel, M. (2011) Sekel. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 70-72
"Elinborg Lützen (1919-1995) has with her linocuts made an indelible impression on the generations that have grown up with her works on the walls of the Faroese homes and in the numerous collections of folktales she has illustrated.
With atmospheric motifs and tales cut out in white on an unfathomable black background she conjures an infinity of life and gives us an insight into a rich folk culture: soulful, idyllic village motifs and everyday life with roosters and fishergirls. And then there are the illustrations for the books on myths and fairy tales, which draw the reader and the observer into a mythical underworld of sizzling life with a surrealistic touch.
Elinborg Lützen was the first graphic artist of the Faroe Islands and for a long time the only one. The linocut was her most preferred form of expression, and she has often been called the master of black and white. From 1978 she received, as the first woman, the Law Thing’s annual honorary award."
Jákupsson, B. (2010) Elinborg Lützen – den sort-hvide mester. Copenhagen: Nordatlantens Brygge.
"Hans Hansen is also called Hans í Mikladali after his birthplace, the small village Mikladalur on Kalsoy. He started out as a fisherman, but during the war he landed on Iceland, where he gained an education as a house painter and also an affinity for the visual arts. It was especially the great Icelandic painter Jóhannes Kjarval, who roused his interest, and after the war he therefore went to Copenhagen to learn more. As so many other Faroese artists Hansen also studied under Bizzie Høyer. From there he was admitted to The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where he studied under Olaf Rude and after continued his studies under Elof Riseby, who was a professor at the so-called “frescoschool”. [...]
Undoubtedly Hansen had a dream to construct monumental decorations in fresco or mosaic on the Faroe Islands, like Joakim Skovgaard, Niels Larsen Stevns, Jais Nielsen, and Elof Riseby had done it in Denmark. This, however, never panned out, but there are a handful of attempts both in fresco and mosaic by his hand. They are relatively small and do not distinguish themselves significantly from his oil paintings.
These are painted in the tradition of Kampann and in a kind of simplified naturalism – with firm lines and clear compositions. We are speaking of portraits, figurepaintings, and landscapes, and even the most distinctive are not surprising. Perhaps with the exception of a completely wonderful painting, which he painted in 1958 of the bay in Klaksvík. A bright view, which seems to have been observed from a stage high upon the mountain, where he in an inspired fashion outlines the nature of the coastal landscape; especially the rays of the sun reflected in the ocean surface and pointed straight at the place where he himself is standing while taking it all in."
Wivel, M. (2011) Sekel. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 67-68
"Fridtjof Joensen from Mikladalur was a marine engineer, sailed for many years on trawlers, and worked as a smith in Klaksvík, but in his spare time he carved busts and figures from wood. Not until he was 47 years of age did he decide to apply to the School of Sculpture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, where he in 1967-70 studied under Professor Mogens Bøggild.
In carved figures from wood or composite materials he has depicted the work of fishermen and farmers. His statues and high reliefs can be seen both in villages and cities – many are commissioned as memorials for those lost at sea. Most of these memorials are naturalistic figure groups cast in bronze. He has also made several portraits.
In his later years he progressively made ever more use of his trade knowledge, worked more freely, and experimented. His feeling for the materiel really comes into its own with the statues, which are forged from iron, copper, and aluminium. He has made imaginative, splendid mosaics from various materials. In numerous non-figurative sculptures he has also tried his hand at cubist base forms.”
Jákupsson, B. (2000) Myndlist í Føroyum. Tórshavn: Sprotin. P. 74
Ingálvur av Reyni is the only Faroese artist with a reputation on an international scale. He combined high quality with the ability to constantly renew himself.
With the exception of his years of study in Copenhagen (1938-46) Ingálvur av Reyni spent all his life in Thorshavn, which was also the place of his birth (his surname refers to a local part of the town).
Until about 1960, Ingálvur av Reyni expressed himself in bright-hued naturalism, revealing its French ancestry which he had got to know through Danish art. Later on his work becomes darker, more abstract and Expressionistic. Gradually the form also grows in size, and figures begin to turn up among the landscape.
Ingálvur av Reyni’s late works have kinship to the Abstract Expressionism of France and the USA. However, the Faroese artist is far more influenced by nature, evidenced by the physical power that enhances the sense of presence in the paintings.
”While the new painters were residing abroad in Copenhagen due to the war, Bent Restorff (1922-79) could as the only one living at home in Tórhsavn present a new landscape painting, which broke with the narrative-like – epic – style familiar to the Faroese audience from the paintings after Mikines since the 1930s. As the first, Bent introduced an abstracting figurative language. His early landscape paintings are characterised by a spontaneous, unrefined sense of lines with a characteristic primitive substance and a rough methodology, which is underlined by rather dry brush strokes, occasionally thick impasto strokes on a coarse canvas. With bright primary colours he creates a unique light in his simplistic compositions. In his later paintings a bright pastel-like blue/green colour spectrum prevails.”
Jákupsson, B. (2000) Myndlist í Føroyum. Tórshavn: Sprotin. P. 76
”Restorff approached the landscape without prejudice and painted at first like a child gone wild. Later he became both more refined and more experimenting and expressed himself in many different styles, no doubt influenced by younger people, among others Zacharias Heinesen and Thomas Arge. He became better and better and in 1977 he decided to completely dedicate himself to painting, but unfortunately he died already to years later.
Unlike both Hansen and Kristiansen he stayed on the Faroe Islands during the world war and was therefore completely cut off from the international movements. He simply painted head-on in a rough, expressive style – ships on the ocean, houses under the sun – and his images had a peculiar primitive raw power. Later he came, as so many others, under Jack Kampmann’s influence, which made his paintings tamer and more orderly.”
Wivel, M. (2011) Sekel. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 65
”[Ruth Smith] became kind of a guiding star for the Danish painter Poul Horsdal, who like Jack Kampmann and Sven Havsteen-Mikkelsen over time painted many of his best images on the Faroe Islands. He arrived for the first time on the archipelago late in the 1950s, where he served as a conscript in the navy. Here he landed among other places in Vágur on Suðuroy, where he mat Ruth Smith’s husband and saw her studio and the paintings she left behind.
They made an indelible impression on him and were one of the reasons that he returned time and again. In 1961 he even married a Faroese woman and up until 1973 he stayed mainly on the Faroe Islands. It was also in these years that he painted best – and most consistently, and therefore he belongs in a sense more to the Faroese arts than to the Danish. He died as early as 1981, only 45 years of age, worn out from his division between his two homelands.”
Wivel, M. (2011) Sekel. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 216
“Poul Horsdal, who had a Faroese wife, lived some years on the Faroe Islands in the 1960s and his imagery in those years was closely tied with Faroese nature. Like Jack Kampman, Poul Horsdal actively participated in the Faroese art scene and exhibited alongside Faroese artists. In his colourful paintings Poul Horsdal emphasises the drawing, the line, and in a constructivistic, speckled and decorative pattern the subject of the image is divided into colour-patches. In addition to landscapes he also painted portraits, figure images, still lives, and other indoor images. With wood carving he created lyrical descriptions of femininity, which were enchantingly beautiful, likewise he also worked with linocuts – and with glazed ceramics.”
Jákupsson, B. (2000) Myndlist í Føroyum. Tórshavn: Sprotin. P. 85-86
"Vegghamar keeps to himself as an artist. He paints and paints in a world all his own without looking aside to the other contemporary painters in the Faroe Islands. The direction in which he was pointed in his life, after a few years of attempting to follow the beaten path of the time for a young man, has led him hom to Viðareið as a painter. There he will live and work for the rest of his days. And the subjects are not going anywhere either. They lie right in front of him and inspire him to paint works that for most people seem to be from another world, brought there by a lonely human being’s sensitive mind and a strong sense of colour.
The landscape may be a catalyst for the painting process, but with the result, the work, we are taken to a different sphere. We are made to see the landscape in a quite different perspective. Here lies a distinctiveness and a renewal of landscape painting that are entirely unique in the Nordic context."
Warming, D. (2009) Arnold Vegghamar. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya.
"Tita Vinther is an original Nordic artist, ultramodern yet with roots in Faroese folk art. She experiments with motifs, composition and material. The point of departure for her works of art was wool, then she has used a combination of horse-tail hair and wool, human hair, copper threads and oil-treated heddles, and has woven sculptures designed to hang loose in the room, monumental installations with audacious combinations of various materials."
Skarðhamar, A. (2009) Tita Vinther. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya.
In spite of his short life, Thomas Arge is the most important painter of his generation. This is the more surprising since he only had a working life of 10 years after completing his studies at the Copenhagen Academy of Art in 1964-69.
Thomas Arge’s motives were in particular the cliffs with their colonies of birds and the rocky ridges of the mountains, often in close-up. The blobs and dots of paint however have a strong presence looking like microbes under a microscope. The landscapes thus approach pure painting but at the same time incorporating a magical world with a life of its own.
Thomas Arge was greatly incluenced by the Icelandic painter Jóhannes Kjarval. Van Gogh has also put his mark on Arge’s painting, which also has an affinity with Abstract Expressionism.
In Thomas Arge’s works, the world of rocks unites with the paints, creating a constantly fascinating universe.
"Jóna Rasmussen is a versatile artist. She paints and explores numerous printing techniques. Her works are ‘clothed’ in divergent visual languages bearing witness of an artist who does not like to stand still. She is driven by curiosity and the call of adventure. Throghout her production we find series of similar pictures, yet with differences that indicate a cyclical movement – every time a form return to first base it has changed. This is an allegory over what it means to be an individual in society; we are affected by our experiences at the same time as life repeats itself in days, years, generations and eras.
In Rasmussen’s works, expressivity fuses with a refined sense of simplicity verging on minimalism. The motifs are pared to the bone simultaneously as they preserve what can be sensed and perceived. It is the interaction between these apparently antithetical poles that creates the evocative experience. Jóna Rasmussen, since the beginning of her artistic practice, has cultivated a unique expression and helped initiate a paradigm shift in Faroese art."
Furseth, E. (2011) Jóna Rasmussen. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya.
“[...] Astrid Andreasen works first and foremost with textiles. Some she weaves herself, others she buys ready-made to use as patchwork or to cut them up for the large collage-like tapestries she sews together. And finally, she also knits.
Her preferred range of subjects is the wonderful flora and fauna of the sea – and of course especially the ones found in the sea off the Faroes. She also fascinated by the birds and in all cases her precision in the rendering is completely amazing. This is true both when she draws the animals for scientific publications and when she sews them together from variously coloured patches in the tapestries. There is for example a pair of quite formidable tapestries where she has gone to work on the fauna of the Galapagos Islands, and where iguanas, turtles, sea lions and albatrosses are not only rendered in highly lifelike fashion but also interpreted very artistically. She ‘paints’ when she sews the patches together, and she ‘draws’ when she embroiders the contours.
It is far more than handicraft and artist-craftsmanship, and the same is true, and even more so, when Astrid Andreasen knits. The results are not tapestries but rather a kind of woollen reliefs where she aims for weight in the substance and depth in the colour. This colour is nature’s own, either supplied directly by the sheep, or intensified with plant decorations. The knitted reliefs are dark in tone and send the thoughts far back in time – to the traditional Faroese ‘chimney rooms’ or even further to the longhouses of the Vikings.
However, there are a few of them that hit home high-spiritedly in the present. Not least Babyboom from 1997, where Andreasen has knitted no fewer than 26 small Faroese sweaters into a kind of latticework that can hang down from the ceiling. The sweaters are all in pure natural colours and each has its own pattern. But so they can function as intended they have been combined into a lively whole by means of a kind of ‘scarves’ in bright colours.”
Wivel, M. (2011) Sekel. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 478
”In Astri Luihn’s case, it all began with music, but later art took over. As years have passed, music has given way to pictures which today seem to occupy the stage completely. Over the years Astri Luihn’s work has developed considerably from the first hesitant drawings to a conscious and mature production which passionately embraces the grand motifs. But like all experience through history has shown, music can lose its power within one’s soul, but it will never vanish. Thus, together with music, the Nordic landscapes of Norway and the Faroe Islands have been a great and continuous source of inspiration for Astri Luihn. Her personal experiences in nature, as well as the interest she takes in music and literature, have created motifs in her visual world which are enriched and supported by a distinct sense of material and of a rhythmic and colouristic harmony.”
Scavenius, B. (2010) Astri Luihn. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 33
”Sigrun Gunnarsdóttir was born and raised in Eiði, a village of approximately 700 inhabitants.The village lies at the north-westerly point of Eysturoy, second largest island in the Faroe Islands. Here Sigrun has developed a pictorial universe which resembles little else we have seen.
The quiet intensity that characterizes her paintings invites reflection – speculation over what more may lie behind them. We seek alternative interpretations that can bring us closer to their enigmatic core. Likewise, we are curious as to which artistic paths have led Sigrun to develop her unique expression, and how she finds artistic impulses in a small isolated Faroese village. [...]
Sigrun is not, however, the first from her village to succeed in artistic innovation, for it was here the Faroe Islands’ first landscape painter lived almost his entire life. He was Sigrun’s maternal grandfather, and although only three when he died, she became well acquainted with him as an artist because her childhood home was filled with his paintings. As such, he became an important impetus for her choice of career.”
Ingólfsson, A. (2009) Eyðun av Reyni. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 3-4
“Like a supple dancer, painter Eyðun av Reyni carries within him an invisible spirit-level. When he applies the first swathes of colour to his canvases he know instinctively, much like the dancer with untold hours of work at the barre under his belt, that the rhythm that he is submitting himself to will eventually take him to the edge of a horizontal divide, call it “middle ground” or “centre”. It is the centre, often hastily painted in grey or black with a broad brush to resemble a black hole or a weathered wall, that becomes the real fulcrum of each work by Eyðun. The rest of the painting arranges itself around this centre, as it were, whereby the area below it quickly turns into a busy foreground, complete with furious splashes and slashes of bright colour combined in a higgledy-piggledy fashion across the canvas, while the area above the centre is constructed with greater deliberation, invariably with a combination of vertical and horizontal blocks of colour.
It is not difficult to see in this pattern a reference to the archetypal Faroese landscape, as interpreted by earlier painters from Mikines to Eyðun’s own father, Ingálvur av Reyni, the towering figures of Faroese art. Thus the abovementioned “centre” is always the sea that unites and divides the 18 small islands that make up the Faroese community, either black as the winter sky pressing down on it or churning with white surf or restless green waves. The foreground can be seen as just that, a ground teeming with activity, suggested by the diverse shapes and colours pushing and pulling at each other, complementing one another or trying to obliterate one another. This is also an area where we find Eyðun drawing with his paint-brush, as distinct from piling up blocks of colour, both with the brush end and its pointed handle, creating zig-zag patterns or squiggles that seem to refer to life forms existing independent of nature.”
Furseth, E. (2008) Sigrun Gunnarsdóttir. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 4-7
"Olivur við Neyst from Klaksvík was educated at the School of Painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen under Richard Winther and Wilhelm Freddie 1975-79, and subsequently as an art educator under Helge Bertram 1979-81. He was very keen on painting city environments, where houses and yards and streets are included in a cubistic, almost kaleidoscopic composition. He also paints environments from the harbour with boats, ships, and people, and environments from working life. Several paintings are made based on sketches from fishing expeditions on the old sloop “Ester” from Klaksvík. In free mosaics he experiments with cubistic constructions. In a series of paintings from the Greek seashore 1985-86 he has taken up other subjects than the traditional Faroese landscapes. In a series of literary illustrations, especially water colours, he depicts people, birds and animals, ships and boats in Faroese environments and landscapes."
Jákupsson, B. (2000) Myndlist í Føroyum. Tórshavn: Sprotin. P. 120
"Neyst has never been a painter for sticklers for consistency. He has painted pictures from the harbours in the Faroes – quays, cutters, fishermen, yards and warehouses – but he has also gone further and painted the harbour towns themselves, especially Klaksvík as it lies on both sides of the inlet. This is a completely kaleidoscopic account where, true to form, he has ascended high above the subject to get it all in – the harbour, the boats, the houses, the church and the residents; but also the mountains rising protectively around the outside of this cheerful human microcosm. For cheerful it is – the Faroese are dancing across the inlet while boats row races between their legs."
Wivel, M. (2011) Sekel. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 166
”Dealing with an active working artist like Kári Svensson, it can be hard to obtain the necessary distance. Distance, literally, as in stepping back and eye putting the artist’s work into perspective with an objective eye. That takes systematisation and a bird’s eye view – a perspective that, despite the Faroese highlands from whose peaks you may think you can take in the whole world at a glance, is not the most prevalent in the islands. If you do, you discover that Svensson’s artistic universe has its own rhythm, its own pulse, independent of his own life, daily living, where nature largely sets the agenda year round.
Sure, it’s perfectly possible to consider his work in a linear fashion, locating the point of his departure as he grew into the artist he is today. But there’s another development to discover that’s not linear but circular, involving the seasonal cycle that’s so dominantly reflected in his artistic expression and, not least, in his palette. Then you’re on to something essential in Svensson’s universe. And you also discover that his art is not only inspired by nature but frequently holds a subtle, existential dimension. On top of that is the immediate joy of painting. It’s as simple as that. No fifteen-dollar words of explanation are called for.”
Warming, D. (2008) Kári Svensson. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 9-10
”Eli Smith […] works with good old-fashioned rectangular paintings, intended for hanging on walls in museums, institutions or private homes. They are mainly landscape paintings, all of which have taken their subjects from the Faroese countryside. Where he is not conventional is in the handling of the colour, which he mixes himself and where he prefers to use nature’s own materials as pigments. These may be tuff, clay, coal or crushed seashells, but probably mostly sand – sand in all shades of grey, which gives his pictures a wonderfully tactile surface.
Although streams run through Smith’s landscapes and although the salmon leap in them, they still look as if they have been found on Mars or some other remote planet where it would be difficult for human beings to breathe. There is something of the enigmatic stillness of Vilhelm Hammershøi about his vision: grey on grey, but also delicate and beautiful and as if withdrawn into mental space. The only Faroese painter Smith recalls a little is Thomas Arge, but he was wild where Smith is gentle. He is one of the gentlest painters the islands have ever seen."
Wivel, M. (2011) Sekel. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 484-85
"Torbjørn Olsen (born in Tórshavn on the Faroe Islands) has in his painting achieved a unique colouristic intensity. The painting balances on the border between concrete and abstract figurative language. He has trod his own path within the Faroese school of landscapes and occupies a central place in virtue of his sense of colour.
More than any of his contemporaneous Faroese painters, he has cultivated the portrait painting, and must be characterised as one of Scandinavia’s foremost in this field. During the 1990s he has painted a number of altarpieces on behalf of churches on the Faroes and in Denmark. Torbjørn Olsen’s style and attitude regarding the visual arts signals openness, his paintings never close up, but bear witness to an eternal pursuit."
Jákupsson, B. (2007) Torbjørn Olsen. Hjørring: ATLANTIA. P. 33
“Hans Pauli Olsen trained in Copenhagen, first with Askou-Jensen at the Glyptotek and later at the Academy of Fine Arts, where he had the speculative Willy Ørskov and the prolific Bjørn Nørgaard as his professors. He has not followed either, however, but works naturalistically and as such is more akin to an older generation of sculptors, especially those who loved to model – Mogens Bøggild, for example, or Anne-Marie Carl Nielsen.
However, he does not model with the same sensitive precision as they did, preferring a more expressionistic approach where the traces of the work can still be seen and where the material character of the clay is a presence, even when the works have been cast in bronze. You are never in any doubt that the figures that have risen up under his hands were made in clay. They may look like living human beings, but the life is primarily in the modelling.
It is the nude human figure that is Hans Pauli Olsen’s preferred subject, and it is clear that he did not waste his time in the Glyptotek.”
Wivel, M. (2011) Sekel. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 458
“It was certainly not a given that Edward Fuglø would become most known as a painter. That he would devote himself to brush and canvas. As one of those rare people who masters several visual idioms, he has taken many detours on his way to becoming a painter. For years ‘live’ pictures consumed most of his interest, particularly scenography and costumes for theatre and film. Fuglø is also a recognized illustrator, perhaps best known for stamps and children’s books, which he both illustrates and writes.
His paintings are closely related to his entire oeuvre. They are usually large and painted in a realistic style with clear, pure colours. Fuglø himself sees links between the various genres with which he works. ‘My pictures are illustrations’, he often asserts, and in the paintings it is the momentary encounter that is emphasized. Fuglø says this in an art-historical context, building on broad traditions within Surrealism, Pop Art, Realism, Neorealism, Super-realism, etc. – where what is important is the immediate encounter with an artwork. Yet this ‘wow aspect’ is only the first level; directly underneath the smooth, almost invisible brushstrokes, we glimpse roots branshing into subterranean depths, leading us to completely different, unexpected conclusions than we at first thought the work was about.”
Furseth, E. (2011) Edward Fuglø. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 170
"The pencil is my camera and the work is my diary.
The words quoted above belong to the multifarious artist, Jógvan Sverrason Biskopstø. His diversity becomes apparent when you look at his curriculum vitae at the back in this catalogue. He is well skilled when it comes to craftsmanship as well as creative. As a young man he was an apprentice carpenter and boast builder in Tórshavn. Afterwards he studied at a design-and-art school in Denmark, then going on to study at China National Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China. On occasion he has taken courses in metalwork, silverwork, wood turning and welding.
This has all been a benefit to Jógvan Biskopstø because he has always been interested in the aesthetical whilst at the same time being an outdoors-person and hunter. He elegantly intertwines the interest for the aesthetical with nature, the hunt and the craft when working on sketches and water colour paintings, and art work using materials like iron, steel and silver. It is not only the final result which captures the imagination; it is the journey to the final result that is just as interesting. To Jógvan Biskopstø it is not simply enough that a piece of art is finished, but that it obtains a life of its own, just as a camera or a diary explains how something is created and what imagination and ideas are behind it."
Lamhauge, O. (2010) Jógvan Sverrason Biskopstø. Tórshavn: Listasavn Føroya. P. 3
CSS code and design for timeline adapted from James Pautz II
All translations not in the source material: Heini Reinert