Sverre Malling has long been considered one of Norway´s best artists in the realm of drawing. His drawings are full of mythic motifs, mixed into modern contexts and narratives. Also Malling´s drawings are incredibly rich in detail and technical finesse. Sometimes the mystique is obviously drawn from popular culture, like the fading flower power hippies of the late 1960s and rock music. Sometimes it is highly esoteric, delving inside the lesser known archways of culture history.
Malling recently had a solo exhibition at Gallery Haaken in Oslo. Promiment among the exhibits were a large drawing showing a mighty Moscus bull. These bulls are currently habitating in the Dovre range in Mid-Norway, and Malling went there himself for obervations. However, the drawing is not simply a depiction of a Moscus bull, one sees there are many little stories that are told. For instance, the very fur of the Moscus seems to be telling a story, something about solidity, subtlety and harmonious growth. Moving into the backrgound we see a little cottage with som paraphernalia stacked outside. Is someone living there, in this Moscus range, who can it be? And beyond this, the mighty mountains are swept in a rising mist. All this gives the drawing a symbolist flavour.
In the exhibition there are many smaller drawings featuring scenes from rural America on the West coast. We see a scene from the shacks of an indian reservation, highway scenes in the American desert and deserted highway towns. The images are captivating as well in their narrative qualities.
Malling is exhibting in a new, international group exhibition in Basel at Gallery Volta 13 from June 12-17 this summer. The exhibition theme name is «New Portaiture», and the aim is to use drawings to examine the versions of humanity and self that are current in our times.
The other artists are
Ruprecht Von Kaufmann, Florine Demosthene, Athar, Chris Agnew, Dawit Abebe, Juliette Mahieux Bartoli, Martine Poppe, Soheila Sokhanvari, Ephrem Solomon, Mohamed Lekleti and Daniel Malva.
- Minati Bye