Ragnar Kraugerud

Ragnar Kraugerud

Andreas Siqueland
The forbidden forest (floods and fires)
, 2023
Akryl på lerret / Acrylic on canvas
450 x 600 cm

The painting Hode III (Head III) by Ragnar Kraugerud has a strong presence in the exhibition. The picture is painted with thick layers of paint and a simplified style that emphasizes the subject. The direct gaze of the person creates a mirror effect and invites introspection. Also, notice how the head is positioned slightly to the left in the picture plane. When filmmakers want to evoke a disturbing effect, it is a known technique to start panning from the right and move towards the left. Perhaps the placement of the head is contributing to emphasizing the mood of the painting?

Andreas Siqueland has placed one of his own portraits next to Kraugerud's Hode III (Head III). Besides both images possibly being self-portraits and both depicting a frontally placed male head, these paintings have little in common. The juxtaposition underscores Siqueland's admiration for Kraugerud's painting while expressing a desire to break away from the museum-like seriousness that can characterize exhibitions of Kraugerud's images.

Ragnar Kraugerud's works often focus on few and simple elements. He himself spoke of an "increased simplification." In the painting "The Loggers," technique and subject are combined. Notice how he has treated the branches of the tree. It's as if he has chopped them off at completely absurd places to fit them into the dimensions of the painting.

Ragnar Kraugerud (1909-1987) was a student at the State School of Craft and Art Industry in 1930 and studied at the National Academy of Arts under Halfdan Strøm and Axel Revold from 1930 to 1932. Kraugerud's paintings are often characterized by a distinctive dark contour line that frames the figures. He worked with a dramatic simplification of the motifs, leaving only the most necessary elements. However, the paint is generously applied layer by layer, giving the paintings a rough surface and a somber undertone. Like several artists in the Hafsten collection, Kraugerud was strongly influenced by German expressionism.