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SNAGS


Imprint: Edition Bräuning Bräuning Contemporary Gallery for Contemporary Art, Hamburg (c) 2013 Bräuning Kunsthandel OHG, Hamburg Cover design: Kenneth Alme Layout: Lotte Bräuning All art work and photographs by Kenneth Alme. All rights reserved. Thanks to: Cora Fisher, Till Bräuning, Jermund Lie, Robert Austnes, Lotte Bräuning, Claudia Olbrych, Trine Renate Dolmen Stene, Sarah Schoderer, Hilde Alme, Jostein Alme, Milena Høgsberg, Jutta Stocksiefen, Ricarda Bross, Peter Mohall, Christian Kolverud and many many others.


KENNETH ALME

SNAGS

(Calmly Licking Its Chops / The Tree Fell Oh So Silent)


Disquieting naturalism Brushed line work and washes of pigment and oil emerge through an unprimed canvas, slowly articulating a leaf’s edge, a shrub, or an abstract insignia. So far, all seems fairly familiar: The painting being described doesn’t shy away from a heavily trod tradition of naturalism, or from a specific history of abstraction that lingers on the stain. Upon closer inspection, the seepage avails as much as it forecloses. Kenneth Alme’s recent suite of works insists on indirection as a prerequisite to regarding depictions of nature. The transcendentalism to which we aspire when we behold naturalist images is quietly, methodically disassembled through his counter-intuitive process of construction. First, with his brush, Alme depicts couch grass or stalky foliage. Then the wet painting is faced and laminated to another piece of unprepared canvas and both are stretched onto a frame. The front side of the painting is held within. What is visible is the resultant bleed. Contingency tempers what makes it through to the surface and the support structure becomes a screen image. Alme’s operation of stretching the front sides of the canvas marks our distance from the source of communion, stressing “nature” as concept and process, recognizing mimesis as being constituted by alienation. We search for the satisfaction of unmediated access to vision. The work’s modulation of visual access allows that we see what the facing painting surfaces cannot, and vice versa. In the trade-off, separation comes fused with satisfaction. In the romanticist paradigm, we could describe this stinging compromise as longing. Such deflection of a direct gaze summarizes a romantic sensibility that is distinctly contemporary. We see it also in Alme’s expanded paintings, which go much further afield from traditional source material and take on an almost ironic, and often humorous distance. Two T-shirts hang from a peg on the wall with digitally printed starscapes and a young boy stargazing at night. Elsewhere, a wooden palette is heaped with folded, painted canvases, shrink-wrapped in cellophane plastic. Romanticism is reduced to trade export, to a cheap Tshirt souvenir. It’s certainly not limited to a rarefied art history, even while it cannot be pried away from it.

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Time in the studio allows for a novel attack on painterly process to come into focus, one that injures the pieties of naturalist representation. Framing the romance is as much in the work as the title. Alme’s title for this ensemble, Snag, borrows from ecology, where a snag refers to a dead or dying tree or detritus in the woods. A previous series, How to Recognize Different Types Of Trees from a Distance Quite Far Away, draws more humorously from a Monty Python sketch. By degrees of affective distance, we arrive again at the tracery of plants. The images coalesce, near and far. We get hooked on a moment of visual pleasure and find it to be a disquieting pleasure. Cora Fisher

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CV Kenneth Alme Born 1981 Lives and works in Oslo 2008-2010 Master National Academy Of Fine Arts/ Kunstakademiet, Oslo (Prof. Henrik Plenge Jakobsen) 2009-2010 Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main (Prof. Christa Näher) 2005-2008 Bachelor National Academy Of Fine Arts/ Kunstakademiet, Oslo (Prof. Gunter Reski) 2003-2005 Strykejernet Kunstskole, Oslo 2002-2003 Ålesund Kunstskole, Ålesund Selected solo exhibitions 2013 Grünerløkka Kunsthall, Oslo Noplace, Oslo „Snags (Calmly Licking Its Chops / The Tree Fell Oh So Silent)“, Bräuning Contemporary, Hamburg 2012 „How To Recognize Different Types Of Trees From A Distance Quite Far Away“, Opelvillen, Rüsselsheim „Horizont (Every Precaution Is Still Necessary)“, Galleri BOA, Oslo 2011 „Walking In a Sea Of Clouds“, One Night Only, UKS, Oslo 2010 „Moody Noon“, Dortmund Bodega, Oslo 2009 „Like an Ice Cube In a Sink“, Gallery 21:25, Oslo 2008 „Run Rabbit Run“, One Night Only, Oslo 2007 Omenås Music Festival, Valldal 2006 „Fire Made Me“, Galleri 21:24, Oslo Selected group exhibitions 2013 „Nature Laughs Last“, Galerie Martina Detterer, Frankfurt am Main 2012 „The Sun Sets At 18:58“, Kenneth`s Backyard, Oslo „Out Of The Wild-Into The Woods“, Kenneth`s Studio, Oslo 2011 „If I Could Dream“, Stranda, Sunnmøre „Time and Change Are Connected To Place“, Aalesunds Kunstforening, Ålesund

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2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005

„Hotch Potch“, Lisboa „Spectre“, Galleri Christian Torp, Oslo Strange Age Art Festival 2010, Podium, Oslo Final Year Exhibition MA, Stenersenmuseet, Oslo „Men Paint Women Faint“, One Night Only, Oslo „Rundgang“, Städelschule, Frankfurt „Sympathy For The Devil“, Samtidsmuseet, Oslo „You Know These Days Painted By Umbrellas“, Samtidsmuseet, Oslo Final Year Exhibition BA, Stenersenmuseet, Oslo „The Yearbook Show“, UKS, Oslo „The Summer Destruction Show“, Seilduken, Oslo Academy in Exile, UKS, Oslo „Defined/ Undefined“, Kongsvinger Kunstforening

Curator 2012 „The Sun sets at 18:58“, Kenneth`s Backyard, Oslo 2011 „If I Could Dream“, Stranda, Sunnmøre

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Image list Page 5

Studio view, Cort Adelers gate 33, Oslo

Oil on canvas on oil on canvas, 170x120 cm,

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Snag (Couch Grass)

2013 Page 7

Snag (Couch Grass)

Oil on canvas on oil on canvas, 170x120 cm,

2013 Page 9

Untitled (The t-shirt series)

variable dimensions, 2012

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Photo print on cotton t-shirts, pine beam, Untitled (The t-shirt series)

Photo print on cotton t-shirts, pine beam, variable dimensions, 2013

Untitled (The t-shirt series)

Photo print on cotton t-shirts, oak beam, variable dimensions, 2013

How To Recognize Different Types Of Trees

From A Distance Quite Far Away/ Aspen and

Hazel

Exhibition view, Labor Opelvillen, R체sselsheim,

unprimed cotton canvas stretched over oil pain-

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Untitled (Painted With A Wych Elm)

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ting, beech frame, 180x120 cm, 2012 Exhibition view, Bakg책rden, Oslo,

unprimed cotton canvas stretched over oil painting, oak beams, 180x130 cm, 2012 Snag (Copy)

Oil on cotton canvas, 180x120 cm, 2013 Snag

Oil on cotton canvas, 180x120 cm, 2013 Snag (Copy)

Oil on cotton canvas, 180x120 cm, 2013 Snag

Oil on cotton canvas, 180x120 cm, 2013 Studio view, Cort Adelers gate 33, Oslo

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SNAGS - Kenneth Alme  

Catalogue of the exhibition SNAGS at Bräuning Contemporary

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