Margrethe Aanestad (b. Stavanger, Norway 1974).
Based in Stavanger, Norway and Brooklyn, NY.
My work is about space and presence. Working in an abstract language, I am interested in the dynamic contrasts between the main subjects of existence: nature and the human being. Exploring various materials and techniques in two- and three-dimensional formats, the work alternates between fragile and quiet phrases, and more powerful and explosive ones. Opposing intensities emerge from the calm and subtlety of light when met with the impassable and deep silence of the dark. Overall, my process aims to grasp at a moment and to elicit a sensation that opens up the possibility for poetry and personal, human experience. By being sensitive, present and aware, I hope to establish a directness that comes through to the viewer.
Variations and repetition of forms are important to my work, but I have found the space to explore organic structures through more improvised, immediate, and gestural expressions. Both directions lead to an examination of varying energies, intensities, substances, layers, and transparencies. Recent paintings on paper were made primarily with ink and watercolor, where nuanced surfaces and certain actions prompted shaping some of them into three-dimensional objects and installations. Sculptures made from several, often found materials, vary between the fragile and the more solid. Tangibles such as textile and cardboard versus wood or pieces of marble are chosen for their tactility. Each individual piece is a crucial aspect in a composition as much for its physical qualities as for the relationship in and between it and others.
Aanestad studied fine arts at the Rogaland Art College and graduated in 2000 with a BA from the University of Stavanger in Art History, Aesthetic Philosophy, Film Theory & History, and Cultural Management & Leadership. Aanestad is co-founder and co-curator of the artist-run space Prosjektrom Normanns (est. 2010) and co-founder and co-owner of the LLC Elefant (est. 2013).
Solo exhibitions include Locus Mien at Torrance Shipman Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Meaghan Kent (2015); Hither/Thereat at Dimensions Variable, Miami, FL (2015); Herein at Open Source Gallery, New York (2013). Selected group and duo exhibitions; The Rest is History, Dimensions Variable, Miami, FL, curated by Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova and Frances Trembly (2016/17); Transcendental Tactility, Open Source Gallery, New York, curated by Prosjektrom Normanns (2016); We all have good taste - Miami at Tub gallery, Miami, FL, curated by Alexis Callado Estefania (2015); ee/aa at Another Space, Copenhagen, duo with Eugenio Espinoza (USA) (2014); Quattro at Interno4, Bologna, Italy (2013); Utopia at Galería Des Pacio de la Cruz, San Jose, Costa Rica, curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud (2013); The Meeting on ISCP, New York, curated by Nick Kline (USA) and Monika Wuhrer (USA) (2012); The 124. Annual National Art Exhibition in Norway, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway (2011). She has participated at UNTITLED Art Fair in Miami, FL (2015/2014/2012) and San Francisco, CA (2017), with Prosjektrom Normanns, Norway.
Since 2001, she has worked independently to initiate, produce, and curate many projects at the art scene in Stavanger, where she currently is also an educator and serves on the Advisory Board of Kunsthall Stavanger.