The Limboes

Olav Christopher Jenssen, The Limboes, 2007–2008 Installationsbild, Galleri Riis, Oslo. Courtesy Galleri Riis, Oslo. © Olav Christopher Jenssen / Bildupphovsrätt 2010

Olav Christopher Jenssen

Olav Christopher Jenssen’s work can be characterised as an intuitively flowing image fountain, a painterly chronology, readable through the experience gathered from earlier works. New paintings arise from the old, through uninterrupted proximity to the material. A meticulous testing of painterly ideas changes the pictures in his playfully mutating practice. The layers of colourhappening are openly declared, while others are added – to the painting or outside.

This description certainly applies to the sculpture group The Limboes (2007–08) that greets us already in the corridor outside the exhibition space. Hovering slightly above the floor, these organic plaster and wire net shapes stem from a previous series of paintings. Does the title actually refer to their existence somewhere between painting and sculpture? They are detached figures but also – in a positive sense – unfinished prototypes independent of material ambition.

The contrast between the rounded plateaux of The Limboes and the terse paintings in the series The Bretagne (2009) is superficial, however. In the paintings, there is also an interplay between hard shape and soft touch. Their sharp, white edges let through a saw-toothed olive-green field that runs under the black sections along the sides of the paintings, creating an almost hazy perspective that enhances the depth of the image, so that the white appears to be both a flat surface and a light emanating from within.

Olav Christopher Jenssen

Born 1954 in Sortland, Vesterålen [NO]
Lives and works in Berlin [DE] and Lya


1976–1979 Arts and Crafts School, Oslo [NO]
1980–1981 Kunsthøgskolen/Art Academy, Oslo [NO]

Selected solo exhibitions

2009 Panorama, Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense [DK]
2008 Zeitweise, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin [DE]
2003 Time Paintings, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn [DE]

Selected group exhibitions

2008 Drawing a Tension, Deutsche Bank/Gulbenkian Foundation, Lissabon/Lisbon [PT]
2001 Impulser, H.M. Dronning Sonjas Private Kunstsamling, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo [NO]
1996 Nuevas Abstracciones, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Palacio de Velázquez, Madrid [ES]


Olav Christopher Jenssen Panorama (utst.kat./exh. cat.), Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln/Cologne, 2009.
Olav Christopher Jenssen – Journal Vol.02 (utst.kat./exh. cat.), Galerie Vidal-Saint Phalle, Paris, 2009.
Christoph Schreier (red./ed.), Time Paintings, Hatje Cantz, Kunstmuseum Bonn, 2003.

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