Trett modellflybygger I

  • Artist: Leonard Rickhard
  • Creation date: 1985
  • Object type: Painting

Not on display


There are several versions of Tired Model Plane Builder. The colours, background, and objects vary, but the different versions all depict the same basic scene, where we peer into a simple, shallow room. A table stands in front of a window adorned with bright curtains and white frames; the window panes are black and impenetrable. The strict verticality and horizontality of the the room’s lines creates a contrast to the chaos on the tabletop, which has been flattened out like a still-life table by Cézanne. The frame is rough, and the colours are subdued.

Fragments of a model airplane are scattered throughout the table. Some of them have been decorated with a swastika. Instead of depicting an innocent pastime, namely the building of model aircraft, the scene takes on a greater complexity, with references to the Second World War, a topic that Rickhard has addressed on several occasions. The plane has virtually been dissected, along with the model plane builder, whose head also lies on the table, with a gaping mouth, eyes wide-open, and an electrical cord leading up towards the ceiling. What appears to be the body’s inner organs rest on the nearby stool. Is it the electrical current in the cord that has caused the mess on the table? Do the body parts belong to the construction set, or do they refer to the dismembered victims of war?

The room is grim and disharmonious, a picture of transitoriness. It refers to various genres known from art history: for example, the items on the table are arranged as a still-life, while the separated head refers to the symbolism of memento mori (“remember that you have to die”). The title is specific, while the content and form are complex. This is a hallmark of Rickhard’s paintings, which often feature machinery and fragments.

Rickhard, who has been called “the painter of stillness”, trained at the Academy of Craft and Art Industry and at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo.

Text: Marianne Yvenes

From "Highlights. Art from 1945 to the Present", Nasjonalmuseet 2016, ISBN 978-82-8154-116-0


Leonard Rickhard

Visual artist, Painter

Born 12.05.1945 in Tvedestrand, death 07.01.2024

Work info

Creation date:
Other titles:
Trett modellflybygger I (NOR)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Olje på lerret
  • Height: 180 cm
  • Width: 150 cm
Overført fra Riksgalleriet 1988
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Børre Høstland
© Rickhard, Leonard/BONO