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 Elling Reitan  (1949 - )

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Lived/Active: Norway      Known for: butterfly motif and other symbolic painting, watercolor, lithograph, etching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

The following information is from Gail Fletcher on behalf of the artist.

Born: Trondheim, Norway, 1949 

Education and Influence
Elling Reitan is a pupil of Odd Nerdrum and Bjørn Sverrbo.  His mentor is Jens Johannessen, to whom he dedicates his use of the butterfly motif:  in many of his works he spreads its wings out from a woman’s body or from a “picture in the picture”. However, the artist has found and developed his own specific style, often influenced by Edvard Munch and religious Middle Age motifs in strong colours.

He made his debut in a juried exhibition in Trondhjem’s Kunstforening in 1979 and has participated in more than 150 separate and group exhibitions in Norway and abroad. Today, Reitan is one of Norway’s better-known, contemporary multi-artists of paintings, watercolours, coal drawings, lithographs, colour etchings (carborundum), serigraphs with mixed media and glassware art.  Hardly anything in his works now shows sign of his artistic education and influence, which are seen as darker. He has found a personal style whose hallmark has been described as, “The artist with the beautiful colours”. 

The “Stroke Pair”
The pair in black and white (Yin and Yang) was utilized for the first time in 1983, mainly to create depth and perspective effects. Today the stroke pair has found its natural place in all of Reitan’s works on an equal level as the artist’s own signature.

Lithographs:  Reitan’s skills in stone lithography reveal stark precision and intense emotion through his use of primary colors.

Exhibitions
2010:   Separate exhibitions in Galleri Pingvin, Oslo, Gallery Westwood, New York,  Landskrona, Sweden in connection with an “Elling Reitan Invitational” International Golf Tournament.

Launching of an important art book based upon the Biblical text “Song of Songs/ Salomos høysang” with original lithographs in cooperation with French artisans and foreword by Lars Elton, Norwegian Art Critic in H. M. Queen Sonja’s Church- and Cultural Center in Paris, Trondhjem Kunstforening, Galleri Kjeldaas, Oslo, Galleri Grønneset, Trøndelag, Galleri Varden, Moss

Participation in a juried collective Chinese-European art show in Carrousel du Louvre, Paris
Art fair/exhibition in Miami and Ferrara, Italy. Also represented with prints at Galleri D40 in Oslo.

2011:
Los Angeles Art Fair

Galleri Nygatan, Bergen in connection with Festspillene (Music Festival) in May Print exhibition, Stavanger, Åsgårdstrand Galleri

Summer exhibitions:  Galleri Arnulf Øverland, Kristiansund, Gallery Time and Space, Bangalore, Dhoomimal City Gallery, Bangalore, Beijing, Gallery Westwood, New York and Miami Art Fair.

Prints for the Skiing World Championship in Oslo in February 2011. Two editions bought by Statoil for the opening of the Tyrihans Oilfield.

2012 will be another exciting year, continuing many of the plans and projects from 2010/2011.

2012:
Fineart, Oslo, February, Baroniet Rosendal, Rosendal and Gallery KS, Tønsberg June/July and several exhibitions abroad.

2009: Participated in a juried Chinese-European art show in the Forbidden City in Beijing in
2004 Exhibition in “The Nordic Heritage Museum” in Seattle

Media/Publicity
Article in “The Affluent Page”, a US art magazine, and a review in Art News, the largest US art magazine, issued in more than 120 countries.

Themes
The artist has had several theme-exhibitions; Peer Gynt and Ibsen’s Women in the Ibsen Year 2006 (Paris and Oslo), Apocalypse with the sub-theme that nature bleeds, which is his warning about the climatic changes (Bogense, Denmark, Oslo, London, New York and Bangalore, India). In addition, he often uses the Madonna figure who is “the Mother of all women”. It is the women as particularly spiritual creatures which often preoccupy the artist.

Another theme is man’s yearning in time and space. One can often see in his works persons regarding the horizon (symbolized by strong and vibrant light) with their shadows in projection.

Collections
H. M. Queen Sonja
Department of Fisheries
Riksrevisjonen (General Accounting Office)
Høyesterett (Supreme Court)
Health Department
Hæren Forsyningskommando (Army Supply Corps)
Statoil
Post Department, Oslo Lufthavn (Airport)
Cap Gemini
Bruce Springsteen
Victoria & David Beckham
Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Miscellaneous
There are 2 books published about the artist:
Elling Reitan, Mystisk – Filosofisk – Symbolistisk, 2001 in English and Norwegian
Den Enigmatiske Engel (The Enigmatic Angel) by Ole Lindboe, Danish Art critic, 2005 in English and Norwegian
 


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