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The more I learn about Nerdrum, the better he gets.
First of all, this is a great looking book. Classic linen spine with leather title badge. Beautifully printed, lots of high quality full color reproductions of Nerdrum's work, new and old. Compared to Odd Nerdrum: Themes and Odd Nerdrum: Paintings, Sketches, and Drawings, this book does have some overlap with the images offered, but the majority of Nerdrum's work depicted here is not seen in the other books. Also, some of the work here seems less polished than work we've seen previously. Not inferior (not at all) but different. One gets the impression that work compiled in his previous books were selected very carefully to depict certain themes (obviously, the recent book being called 'Themes'). Some of the new work here would probably not fit in very well amongst some of the other paintings. For instance, one of Nerdrum's paintings here has an airplane in the sky. Really, it does. Nothing wrong with it, it just wouldn't fit with a lot of his desolate landscapes. Also depicted are several new still lifes (mostly fowl), new landscapes and of course many new figure paintings including self portraits. Many pictures of work by Nerdrum's students is here too. Some better than others, of course, but all very nice. An account of Nerdrum's school is also given which gives insight into Nerdrum's practices both as a painter and a teacher.
The 'Kitsch' text in this book is also very good. Though the book was not originally published in English, the language is very natural and easy to follow.Read more ›
Odd Nerdrum plunges his loaded palette knife deep into the fetid heart of Modernism in this beautifully wrought work of prose, poetry and fine art. Gorgeous reproductions of his paintings and additional words and works by others are used to give life to his arguments and press home the righteousness of his anger. He attempts to reappropriate the word Kitsch to mean all that is fine in painting -from the heart and about the human verities- paint without irony. Stories are recounted about evil critics and others who have stood in his way. If there is a criticism it would be that perhaps he protests too much. Nerdrum in fact has been extremely successful in his artistic pursuits and Modernism may well already be a stinking corpse awaiting final burial. In the last few years figurative painting with a look back to the Old Masters has made a huge revival. Though the museums and professional critics have been slow to embrace it the successful proliferation of magazines, galleries and books promoting it are proof the public loves it.
One puzzling oddity to report is the censorship of his painting "Self-Portrait as a Criminal" which appears at the front of the book with a white rectangle covering his erect (?) phallus. Was that necessary?
I have been a huge fan of Odd Nerdrum for many years...I consider him one of the few genius artists of this century....He is the Rembrandt of our time and I see no one even close to his talent...The Kitsch, More than Art book provides yet another view of this amazing artist and his thoughts about his own work and the work of others....I am very satisfied with my purchase....
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The virtuoso painter uses Kitsch in your favor. It's an interesting research showing that humans can understand contemporary concepts but still inside the same, always sharing your human nature, so, we like beauty, in the past, now or in the future. If dadaists killed art, at least some gave credit to that, it lives like ever and we can call it "kitsch" :-D
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