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Nikolai Astrup: Painting Norway - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
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Nikolai Astrup: Painting Norway
On Saturday we met up with Frances to visit Dulwich Picture Gallery's exhibition Nikolai Astrup: Painting Norway. It wasn't especially busy, which was a relief after failing to see the apparently similarly obscure Group of Seven exhibition a few years ago. This is the first "major" (however that is defined) exhibition of Astrup's work outside Norway. The paintings do have quite an intensity; there's a folk-art feeling to some of them, but also some striking Japanese influences. Many of the views were reminiscent to me of the Lake District, which is probably the closest comparable landscape in England (though possibly not in Britain), though interestingly there was a general omission of farm animals in farmstead scenes. There are seasonal variations; late summer evenings feature prominently, and the colours are often quite curiously selected. A number of the pieces appear as paintings and also as woodcuts; Astrup laboured severely over these, so they were never a means of mass production.

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