Skip to content Skip to footer

Leonard Rickhard’s Retrospective Explores the Power of Recurring Images

Astrup Fearnley Museet's 2024 Exhibition Celebrates the Norwegian Painter's Six-Decade Career

Leonard Rickhard
Between Construction and Collapse
January 26–May 19, 2024

Astrup Fearnley Museet’s first exhibition of 2024 will showcase the remarkable career of Norwegian painter Leonard Rickhard. Spanning over half a century, Rickhard’s distinctive style has left an indelible mark on Norwegian art history, inspiring generations of artists.

The exhibition, titled “Between Construction and Collapse,” features more than 80 works, offering a comprehensive overview of Rickhard’s artistic journey. Visitors will encounter a diverse range of paintings, including familiar motifs such as interiors, railway carriages, car wrecks, and evocative landscapes. Among the highlights are two new versions of the model plane constructor, a recurring motif in Rickhard’s work for over four decades, and a monumental site-specific painting, his most ambitious to date.

Rickhard’s works often explore personal memories, particularly from his childhood in the aftermath of World War II. These paintings have a psychological dimension, conveying a sense of unease and fear rooted in the encroachment of war on everyday life. However, they also resonate with collective memory, expressing a shared anxiety about the impact of war on society.

Rickhard’s paintings are meticulously crafted, inviting viewers to slow down and contemplate their intricate details. They offer a counterpoint to the fast-paced, media-saturated image culture of today. Through his dedication to the discipline of painting, Rickhard insists on the enduring value of visual art and the importance of sustained attention.

A key aspect of Rickhard’s practice is his repetition of certain subjects over time. The bird cabinet, the night painter, the model table, the birch forest, deserted barracks, and workers’ sheds all reappear in his paintings throughout his career. The exhibition highlights this iterative approach, demonstrating how Rickhard revisits and reinterprets these recurring motifs.

Time plays a significant role in Rickhard’s visual universe. While his motifs are rooted in specific historical and geographical contexts, they also transcend time, existing in a timeless realm. This quality contributes to the enduring appeal of his paintings, inviting viewers to return to them again and again.

To accompany the exhibition, Astrup Fearnley Museet is publishing an extensive monograph on Leonard Rickhard, featuring contributions from Norwegian and international writers. Curated by Solveig Øvstebø, the exhibition promises to be a captivating exploration of Rickhard’s artistic legacy.

Astrup Fearnley Museet
Strandpromenaden 2
0252 Oslo
Facebook / Instagram

Leave a comment