• Artist: Gunnar S. Gundersen
  • Creation date:
  • Object type: Painting


Gunnar S. Gundersen belongs to the postwar generation of Norwegian artists. These artists sought a new form of artistic expression, and Gundersen was one of the first to cultivate a purely non-figurative style. An innovative and influential printmaker as well, Gundersen reincorporated the techniques and idioms of that genre in his painting.

Winter Sun is dominated by a circular shape that almost fills the entire work. At the bottom of the picture, beneath a horizontal line, two oval shapes have been cut through and open up toward the edges of the picture. Grey is the predominant colour, with touches of orange, blue, and white. The oval shapes are made up of various sized rings, which are placed asymmetrically so that the picture seems full of tension and movement, as though it is pulsating. The surface is smooth, and the lines and contours are pure.

The title and imagery refer to a sun in a winter landscape. By adding touches of orange to contrast with the grey, white, and blue, Gundersen has conjured up a particularly cold light, as on an extremely cold day, when a ring can be seen around the sun as sunlight is filtered through ice crystals in the air. The scene can also bring to mind a cosmic landscape of planets seen through an atmosphere.

But depicting a specific scene was not what Gundersen was primarily after. Rather, he wanted to challenge our sense of sight and bring the movement and rhythm of his paintings to the fore. To achieve this, he used what we know about how the eye perceives space and movement, and in Winter Sun the elements are arranged in such a way that they seem to vibrate.

Text: Hilde Areng Skaara

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


Gunnar S. Gundersen

Billedkunstner, Graphic artist, Painter

Born 25.12.1921, death 16.01.1983

Work info

Object type:
Materials and techniques:
akryl på lerret
  • Width: 110.5 cm
  • Height: 165 cm
Kjøpt 1978
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Børre Høstland
© Gundersen, Gunnar S./BONO