- Artist: Bjørn Ransve
- Creation date: 1989
- Object type: Painting
During the first twenty years of his career, Bjørn Ransve explored people and figures in general in many different types of pictures. His early works from the 1970s reveal a desire to approach the grand tradition of figurative painting according to the new, demanding conditions of contemporary art in the wake of modernist abstraction. In the late 1980s, however, Ransve changed tack towards a more reductive, formal style, and his variations over abstract themes turned out to be as highly diverse as his figurative art. But although these pictures steered clear of specific, recognizable figures, many of his later works can also be seen as exploring a basic phenomenon in painting: the figure against a background.
Ransve’s “Exchange” series consists of pictures in two colours, composed with repeated formations on each side of a vertical centre line. The resulting fields are bounded against the background by irregular edges, as though they have been ripped off or as though they marked a natural contour, akin to viewing a landscape element from afar. Yet the picture does not refer to a specific scene from nature. It seems rather to exist in its own formal reality, where we are unable to identify a colour or a shape as part of the figure or the background, but where they exist in a state of mutual balance or counteraction. The painting Exchange II from 1989 is a beautiful, meditative study of form, colour, movement, and harmony.
Ransve grew up in Oslo and trained at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry and at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo.