HEART OF THE MATTER
Form is content, content is form. As never before that truth unfolds in the vista of time. Particles of matter are information in the void searching for their complements. Can we speak of the desire of the substance? Painter of life forms, Björg Örvar examines the heart of the matter, the smallest and the largest, the macrocosm and the microcosm.
When we meditate, we sometimes perceive that deep down inside we are the same thing as our surroundings, tiny abstracts in a complete picture, composed of the same substance. Man, earth and the universe are one. No divisions. Pink membranes and capillaries permeate mute minerals, seep up through vegetation, and erupt in sunbursts.
The painters of life forms, like any other human being, have been so long enmeshed in their subject matter that they cannot perceive the cultural accretions with which they charge their paintings. An inspiring landscape painting captures a mode and a moment and effectively tells us more about time and culture than they do about nature.
This appears to be an attempt to the essence of nature, stripped bare of culture. But the contradictions are gaping at us. On closer examination there is a strong statement in these paintings and, despite the timeless truth that the statement comprises, it is in its own way a product of culture. That all is one is the main conclusion of the thinking world. It is not a new idea, but it is supported by new reasoning, and the imagery is fresh and original.
In these paintings the vision is contemplative and yet always on this side. The aesthetics are provocative, at the very brink, and yet they never go over the edge. There is a mischievous painter afoot here. Red aggression requires no introduction at this exhibition. Björg has already painted green tranquillity and blue indifference for us. However we have looked on these colours before they are perpetually at the point where they seem to come unstuck and yet they always hold firm.
It is diffecult to measure out a shelf for Björg within any of the myriad movements or styles in the art world. No attempt to trace the genealogy of her work will work because she is too individualistic, even though she stands fast in the middle of the whirlpool, jigging her line for af catch from literature, music, science and the visual arts. Her experiments are most strongly suggestive of the experiments of some composers – they enter a tone, tease it right to the edge of the cliff to discover the border between it being a tone or merely a sound.
Halldóra Kristín Thoroddsen, poet and a writer (translation Martin Regal)