In conjunction with the exhibition Looking North
in the gallery, Brooklyn-based Norwegian artist Margrethe Aanestad
discusses her practice with curator and writer
The event is free and open to the public.
Margrethe Aanestad (b. 1974, Stavanger, Norway) lives and works between Stavanger, Norway and New York, USA. Her practice encompasses drawing, painting and sculpture. Aanestad studied fine arts at the Rogaland Art College and graduated with a BA from the University of Stavanger in art history, aesthetic philosophy, film theory & history and cultural management & leadership. Aanestad has exhibited worldwide. Solo exhibitions include Abingdon Studios, Blackpool, UK (2019); Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway (2018); Dimensions Variable, Miami, FL (2015) and Open Source Gallery (2013) in New York, NY. She participated in group shows and art fairs in California, New York, Miami, Copenhagen, Tokyo and multiple cities in her native Norway. In 2011, Aanestad co-founded an artist-run gallery, Prosjektrom Normanns. in Stavanger, which she co-directed until its closing in 2020.
In her work, Margrethe Aanestad aims to carry through a nerve–a personal and visceral presence–that allows the viewer an immediate entry into a space of deep contemplation: steadiness, silence and chaos. “It’s about eliciting a sensation that opens up for presence.” Through a ritualistic and meditative approach, Aanestad creates abstract drawings and paintings with the external expression of an inner attentiveness, plumbing the depths of herself and the shared human condition. Her rigorous and spare compositions vary from large scale pastel drawings to improvisational brush strokes on raw canvases. Often subtly referencing the landscape and celestial sphere, her work remains wholly non-representational, transcending physical realms while inviting perceptual encounters.
Ian Cofre is an independent curator, writer and translator with a focus on Latin America, the art market, and alternative economies and their modes of art production. Often working collaboratively, he creates spaces for inquiry through exhibitions and programs that critically examine contemporary problems in an interdisciplinary manner. Since 2019, he is the Director of PS122 Gallery, a not-for-profit alternative space in New York’s East Village.
Recent projects include the Bronx Calling: The Fifth AIM Biennial at the Bronx Museum, co-curated with Eva Mayhabal Davis (2022); i set my face to the hillside at PS122 Gallery (2022); Matthew Jensen: There From Here at Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn (2018); MFA Grad Show 3, co-curated with Darren Jones and 50 artists across 9 venues for MICA, Baltimore (2018); and Watch Me Now! co-organized with Daniel Johnson for TCC/CPI, NY (2017). His writing has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, artcritical, Arte al Día, and in the catalog, Wanderlust: Actions, Traces, Journeys 1967—2017, among other publications.