ANKER MORTENSEN - The Spirituality of Painting

Exhibition 17/3 - 10/6 2019 

Standing in front of a painting by Anker Mortensen is like experiencing a sense of freedom. Diffuse marks float around in a monochromatic space and, thanks to the endless layers of colour and shades, we get the feeling of a mysterious, infinite universe. The countless indistinct marks create a bustling energy that evokes all sorts of associations. At the same time, the prevalent deep blue has a calming effect upon the soul. The image opens our minds, kindling an almost meditative state. The effect is very much akin to that of the icons, which mean so much to Anker Mortensen. 

The spiritual dimension of Anker Mortensen’s fundamentally abstract expression is also rooted in his Faroese background. Thus, the titles of his pictures allude to folk art, children’s songs, hymn singing and quotations from the Bible, along with places and the weather. Culture and nature are the source of the artist’s material, to such an extent that the pictures are more about life itself than merely the spirit.

The exhibition at Nordatlantens Brygge consists of brand new works from 2018 and 2019 along with several older pieces, reworked to create a new pictorial richness. This time, once again we will encounter art, in which beauty and spirit merge into a supernatural whole and a vitality rooted in an experienced  reality.   

Nls Ohrt,
Director, Listasavn Føroya (The National Gallery of the Faroe Islands)