Du og tårene dine, og steinen original title

  • Artist: Per Kleiva
  • Creation date: 1976
  • Object type: Print

Not on display


Per Kleiva

Visual artist

Born 01.04.1933, death 17.09.2017

Per Kleiva's art often stemmed from political, environmental or interpersonal issues which he processed through a range of visually striking expressions in different formats and materials.

At his debut exhibition in 1964, Kleiva commented that working on art while listening to improvised jazz infused his artworks with an urge to take centre stage and be a bit "rude," just like the tones. Both jazz and American pop art became important tools in Kleiva's art, and one of his early masterpieces, Softly as in a morning sunrise (1965), was named after a jazz tune. The piece consisted of a silver-painted mannequin hand emerging from a metallic black sun towards the viewer. Kleiva combined materials in new ways, using mass-produced discarded products, pine, and plexiglass in his mixed media collages and objects. It was his discovery of silk-screen printing that Per Kleiva eventually achieved his breakthrough. He found an artistic expression here where he could continue his unusual visual compositions at a price that most could afford. He called these works "shilling prints".

Iconic resistance
Initially, he was concerned with tightly delineated forms in bold colours. These were printed on both traditional paper types and unusual materials like acrylic plastic. Kleiva became best known for incorporating current events into his images using photos from newspapers. As a prominent member of the left-leaning artist group GRAS, he created the graphic masterpiece Amerikanske sommerfugler (American butterflies) in 1971. The print still stands as an iconic symbol of that period of Norwegian opposition to the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam war.

Advocate for Norway’s indigenous people
Kleiva's Norwegian breakthrough came in 1980 as the main exhibitor at the Bergen International Festival and through a major exhibition at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, where he exhibited a group of large sculptures in polished birch wrapped in barbed wire, which later became part of Norway's contribution to the international biennial in Sao Paulo in 1984. Samisk bustad (Sami dwelling) (1980) expressed support for the Norwegian indigenous people's struggle for self-determination during the Alta hydropower dam conflict. Along with Kleiva's Indiansk farkost (Indian canoe) (1983), this theme was highly relevant in a continent where similar conflicts prevailed at that time.

Per Kleiva never felt at home in only one particular genre. His art is characterised by a kind of contradictory universe that underlies the complex motifs he created. And it is in these fields of tension that love, hope, and despair can be found.

Work info

Creation date:
Other titles:
Du og tårene dine, og steinen (NOR)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Fargesilketrykk på papir
  • Width: 493 mm
  • Height: 634 mm
  • 18/40
Kjøpt 1999
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Husby, Therese
© Kleiva, Per/BONO