as the dialogue of intimacy, Harald Flor
"They incarnate, frail as they are, a forgotten self-respect.
They confirm, despite everything, that life was and is a gift"
- John Berger on the mummy-portraits of Fayum
the title of her exhibition "Traces and Indentation",
Gro Finne poses two synonyms against one another. But between
such intimately connected words, there is a considerable disparity.
The words carry a different dimension altogether, which is
one of existentialism, and is connected with those two processes
Finne's art is derived through. In the portraits - making
the most dominant genre - the weathered fissures represent
signs of change. Meanwhile the lines captures everything,
from encompassing the character of the contours, to bestow
the decorative elements a dramatic and expressive, as well
as vitalizing expression.
1981, Gro Finne made her début with her first exhibition.
It came about with a passion for painting, so typical for
the time, and a critical attitude to society, though it was
for the most part decreasing in popularity with her contemporaries.
Thus she found a more fitting society with the slightly older
of her colleagues: Sonja Krohn, Marianne Hølmebakk
and Marit Wiklund, all of whom directed a sharp critique against
what they regarded as destructive forces in the capitol.
the exhibition "Oslo, Oslo" the quartet made a unified
critique, albeit with a difference in visual approach against
the economical ranging liberalization that lead to an architectural
and social breakdown of the urban society in Oslo. The capitol's
processes culminated with the closing of Nyland Yard, annihilating
traces of the industrial culture in the centre of Oslo. The
workforce was forced to the city's outskirts, or out of the
capitol altogether. Meanwhile Aker Brygge was invaded by lawyers,
bankers and realtors of the white-collard crew.
the winds of change commercialized the centre of Oslo, the
city, as a social organism, continued to offer inspiration
to Gro Finne's art. Paintings gained a breath of fresh air
from the life of one of the east-side parks, Olav Ryes Plass.
With her studio close by, in a former stable, she found a
workplace that afforded the peace to work on the impulses
of quickly sketched notes from the neighbourhood.
Localization did not reduce Finne to a hometown-artist and
topographically contained by the surroundings. The park-scenery
of Grunerløkka offered a continually changing scene.
An arena where people can alter between artistically dynamic
rushing to keep social engagements or poetically brushing
signs of communication and calm, when time and temperature
allows it. Encompassed by trees, standing heavy in bloom,
or with its' branches empty, resembling the silently speaking
spectator. Symbolizing, as well, the performing and reflective
appearances in the park, intimately connected with the cyclic
current of nature, with a range of colour that energetically
claims, or establish a muted harmony with the mood of the
was the drawing that made the foundation for the artistically
changing and continually altering attitudes of the city-scene
of Olav Ryes Plass. The independent character of the line,
was later developed in Finne's drawings of fictional characters
as seen from the dim place in the audience of the theatre.
Quickened sketches of Becketts apathetic characters placed
in an absurd universe, Jon Fosse's explicit characters, or
exponents of the physically expressive play that "Grusomhetens
Teater", with its' Artaud-influenced style, is maintained.
They where partially carried through a graphical process.
Etching that preserves the lines impression of being a resolute
answer to the artist's experience of central moments of the
portray in the way of Gro Finne in "Traces and Indentations"
includes an entirely different process of observation and
self-reflection, combined with an aesthetic of slow deliberation.
The approach through the line has an intimate relationship
- or close relation - as a fundamental premise.
this as a starting point, a fruitful dialogue between the
model and the artist, distant from the style of the commissione
portrait, with its' representation and pretence, is allowed
to develop. The self-induced mission with an intimacy within
a social context with family or friends carries an existential
dimension. Perhaps Finne also sees a fragment of what Edvard
Munch named "my art's sentries" within them.
trusting intimacy between artist and model calls forth courage
to create an uncompromising notation of every feature. Situations
fade in an intense reception for the ever-changing signals
that occur through the models attitude and expression. Perhaps
is the human value of these cooperations a particularly stimulating
aspect for Finne within these dialogues.
Still, the artistic process does not come at an end with this.
The continual work from the drawing to the graphical version
expands, not only the technical range, but accentuates and
refines aspects within trace of the lines. The discerning
and attentive in the line that envelopes the daughter, Marta,
is supplemented with colours, paper-fibre, and indentations
of grainings that differ the foundation of tone for the young
woman's preceptive and attentive person.
perceives time's indentations in her own features, but embodies
vitality and supplement within the classical format in figure
drawing. Through visual alterations within the colours of
a hairdo, skin and summer dresses, where both the contour
and the patterns create a rhythmically boundless development.
A visible statement that "Joie de Vivre" is a state
that do not cease to be, and that a longing for closeness
last remnant of vitality is a signature trait of the two weathered
and cropped trunks that Finne places symmetrically against
the monochrome and symbolically charged surfaces of green
and red. Equipped with the same number and German title, numbers
and titles indicate a scientific classification. But they
do not alter the character of the picture from that of the
resemblance of a torso. A word with it's origin in the Italian
trunk. But here, the weathered and wounded trunk still claims
a foundation in the earth. And channel, as if obstinate, the
possibility of new leaves.
is more than a coincidence when Finne has selected the neck
of a thorny rose as the catalogue-cover. Despite the drawing
being made in 2010, a new version, red as blood, made in screen-print
from 2011, enhance this idea. The rose will never look as
it once did, after the terror of 22th of July, and Gro Finne
conflates many meanings in her version. The supine position
on the page resembles that of a victims attitude, and the
cropped flower calls forth, through it's colour and fragile
being, a dimension of pain. Thus the image becomes both indentations
after a period of grief, and traces of a participating action.