Harald Dal

IMG 8342

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

Behind draped curtains, we enter an artificial world of painted, bright forest landscapes. Against the wall-covering wintry landscape images hang paintings by Harald Dal and Andreas Siqueland. One of the paintings is mounted with the front side to the wall to showcase the interesting composition found on the back of the canvas. The inverted painting is titled Skogsinteriør (Forest Interior), a title Harald Dal often used to describe his paintings. The concept emerged with the impressionists, who were concerned with the spatial aspects of nature. The relationship between these historical landscape interiors and Siqueland's enveloping paintings is central to the exhibition.

Note how Harald Dal worked to portray light in the paintings. The light is fragmented, creating almost ghostly qualities. Collector Halvdan Hafsten asked all the artists in the collection to write to him about their artworks and artistic process. Harald Dal wrote: "I do not want to limit the different components of nature - air, water, rock - but let the elements interact with each other." Andreas Siqueland observes how Dal succeeds in letting the light influence the other elements in the picture.

In some places, we see that the artist has painted the landscape from a window. We can see part of a windowsill and understand that the artist is inside looking out. The window as an idea is a recurring element in the exhibition. It can be a metaphor for a transition to another world. Andreas Siqueland has often worked with outdoor landscape paintings. In this exhibition, he shows paintings of landscapes inside a museum room without windows, and therefore, it has been important for him to open the walls to the landscape outside. He does this metaphorically by placing several paintings that simulate windows in the exhibition. Paintings with window muntins imitate the window in his own studio. At the same time, it can draw attention to window openings in the paintings of other artists. For example, we can think of door and window openings in Arne Ekeland's painting Kom ut i solen (Come out into the sun).

Harald Dal (1902-1972) received his first education in Trondheim as a decorative painter. During this initial training as a decorative painter, he developed an understanding of traditional artistic expressions. In 1920, he became a student at the State School of Craft and Art Industry in Kristiania. In 1924, he studied under André Lhote and Othon Friesz at the Académie Moderne in Paris and from 1926-1927 at the National Academy of Arts under Axel Revold. However, from the mid-1930s, a shift occurred in his art. He worked towards a geometric structure and a distinctive, often quite limited color palette. Composition and formal elements came to the forefront of his work. Dal was also a widely used and popular portrait painter.