The painting Wildflowers was a gift to King Olav in honour of his 70th birthday from the Norwegian Supreme Court.
One of the most prominent artists of his generation, Jakob Weidemann was instrumental in introducing abstract art to Norwegians.
Light is a conscious part of my philosophy, my answer to life. I seek the light and the quiet voice which are special to nature, precisely because of the chaos the world is in today. I bring light to bear on all the forces I dislike. ¹
One of Norways most important post-war artists, Jakob Weidemann (1923-2001) was a central figure in Norwegian art and culture for over 50 years. His works were exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1967, he was the designated artist for the Bergen International Festival on two occasions, and he is represented in most public and private collections in Norway.
Weidemann is considered a pioneer of abstract art in Norway. It has been said that he brought internationalism home and reshaped it into a strong personal style rooted in the national – the Norwegian landscape.² Few artists have reached a wider audience, and he was the most popular artist of his time. However, he also became one of the most criticised, as the post-modernists who came after him did not care for his work.
Although nature was Weidemanns most important source of inspiration and frame of reference, he did not use concrete, recognisable motifs. Rather, he communicated experiences and impressions, colours, shapes and structures from the forest and fields in an expressive, abstract style.
Wildflowers, which was a gift to King Olav in honour of his 70th birthday from the Norwegian Supreme Court, was painted in 1971. It is relatively small in size: 55 x 45 cm. Weidemann began painting wildflowers at the end of the 1960s. In these paintings he focused on the light in particular, and on the materiality of his subject as well – the wonders of spring as a microcosm. His brushstrokes are pastose in character, adding texture to the surface of the canvas.
Before becoming part of the Royal Collections, Wildflowers was exhibited at Galerie Ariel in Paris. For a quarter of a century (1963-1988) Weidemann showed his work on a regular basis in Paris, where he had established an international base. He was affiliated with Galerie Ariel for 14 years, during which time a number of exhibitions of his work were held.
55 x 45 cm
¹Jakob Weidemann in conversation with E. Egeland in Jakob Weidemann: Penselstrøk i en generasjons bilde (Jakob Weidemann: Brushstroke on the Image of a Generation). Oslo: J.M. Stenersens Forlag AS, 1978, p.124.
² K. Hellandsjø, Weidemann, Storfuglen i norsk kunst (Weidemann, King of the Roost in Norwegian Art). Oslo: Chr. Schibsteds Forlag AS, 2003, p. 112.