Erling Enger

Erling Enger 1 2

Andreas Siqueland
The forbidden forest (winter frost)
, 2023
Akryl og pastell på lerret / Acrylic and pastel on canvas
450 x 1100 cm

At the curtain leading towards Erling Enger's paintings hangs a portrait painted by Harald Dal. The person in the picture is not identified, but the painting was found among the belongings of the painter Jakob Weidemann. The painting is constructed with light shades of blue, yellow, and green. The portraits in the exhibition are significant because they create mirror effects. The form of self-examination that the painted portrait opens up is the basis for the work on 'The Forbidden Forest.'

Andreas Siqueland is inspired by Erling Enger's observations of forest landscapes - of trees filling the pictorial space. In the painting "Forest Landscape, Enebakk," Enger paints straight trunks in a dense forest, where some random branches in the middle of the picture form an exciting composition that captures our attention.

Erling Enger also paints the movement of water as it flows through the landscape. Two paintings depict the same river. Water as a motif is found in several places in the exhibition; a reflection on water overflowing, water that does not reach its destination, the disturbed cycle of water.

Through the film projected at the end of the room, we are taken into the landscape and into the imagination of a first-person perspective. The narrator or first-person observer describes the surroundings. The film serves as a good introduction to the exhibition because it moves between different levels of consciousness inspired by the surroundings and the themes of the exhibition.

Erling Enger (1899-1990) had his background in the forest and agricultural environment of Enebakk, and his lush depictions of rural life portray the farming community with both humor and respect. He graduated as a forestry candidate in 1924 before proceeding to the State School of Craft and Art Industry (SHKS) in 1928, and later becoming a student of Axel Revold at the National Academy of Arts in 1930. Early in his career, Enger was strongly influenced by German expressionism and experimented with painterly techniques before around 1940, he discovered a completely personal style through encounters with nature and the people in his hometown of Enebakk. The paintings in the Hafsten collection are more naturalistic in their visual language and demonstrate Enger's ability to depict people and situations with great empathy and commitment.