Lars Korff Lofthus
DRIK AV MIG SOM EN FULDKOMMEN MAND
In Lars Korff Lofthus’ exhibition at Hordaland Kunstsenter, that consists of paintings in large formats and wooden sculptures, we meet the undressed bodies of large men – in intimate relations with each other, and in play with West Norwegian landscapes and objects that we recognize from recent and remote Norwegian cultural history.
In particular, the beer-bowl – «ølbollen» - stands out as an artifact from another time. We find it as a motif in Lofthus’ paintings and placed in the room as painted sculpture. The short texts Lofthus has decorated some of the beer-bowl sculptures with, are «real» verses found written on the historical sources of inspiration. Once placed in his exhibition, that in fact got its title from one of these verses, the texts are given a new interpretive space.
It is like new history occurs, as the different components come together in the exhibition. Or perhaps rather: It is like a story we have heard before is being told anew. We are used to seeing queer culture represented, in an urban context. Lars Korff Lofthus paints queerness into rural Norway.
During the last ten years, representative elements have been introduced into Lars Korff Lofthus’ artistic practice. Now he works in such a manner that it doesn’t make sense to divide between the painterly abstract and figuration. His projects often have an element of desire to them, and Lofthus wants the painterly in itself to be able to exhibit sensuality, vulnerability and excess. He works with a surface that constantly pends between meagreness and succulence, becomes something more than a motif and figuration.
Thematically his work can be characterized as an investigation of the relationship between identity and place, and of positions in an environment where one feels both estranged and at home. He looks for material in, for example, museum archives, books and photographs, and gay erotica online. Lofthus attempts to create tableaus where nature, desire and tradition floats together in new situations.
Lofthus engages in writing, mediation and curating. His work has been shown in a number of exhibitions both nationally and internationally. The recent years Lofthus has divided his time and practice between Bergen and Hardanger, where he has his studio. Upcoming exhibitions are a group show at Nasjonalmuseet, and a solo show at Kunstnerforbundet.
Hordaland Art Centre based in Bergen, Norway was established 1976 as the first artist run art centre in Norway. Its activities are based around the exhibition programme with equal emphasis on seminars, presentations and dialogue. Since 1987 Hordaland Art Centre has hosted a Nordic residency programme, from 2008 also open to international artists, curators, writers and other art professionals.