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Olve Sande

By Mike Brennan

Emerging artists: Olve Sande: 'On the Inclination Towards Restrained Affinity and The Transubstantiation of Love'

The restless spirit of enquiry permeating the work of young Norwegian artist Olve Sande is perhaps exemplified by his educational background: having studied architecture, he then pursued a degree in Western Literature before finally completing a BA in art.

contemporary artists; Olve Sande

All three disciplines find a pertinent place in his practice.

Architectonic form is a particular feature of many earlier works, frequently aligned with the urge to investigate concealed structure - literal as well as metaphorical - both in his own output and that of significant artefacts of cultural production.

Dedication to M (2012, left), for example, is at once a coolly Modernist-inflected totem and critical musing on the short story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, 'My Cousin's Corner Window', in which a view from a garret apartment becomes symbolic both of the creative vision and gaze through which the art object is apprehended.

On the Inclination Towards Restrained Affinity and The Transubstantiation of Love (2011, page top) sees the posited undersides of Frank Stella's seminal 'V' paintings constructed as a series of ghostly fictions, an imaginative rendition of the stretchered framework on which these canvases might depend.

contemporary artists; Olve Sande

And a series of prints referencing T.S. Eliot's 'The Wasteland' (left) focuses solely on the editorial mark-up through which Ezra Pound amended passages in the Modernist literary classic, shaping the poem we know today.

While it's tempting to interpret these manoeuvres as bravura, forensic investigations into the very apparatus through which the creative act and object are enabled, Sande himself has spoken of such mediation as emanating from a reticence to commit to wholly autonomous creative gesture.

Such circumvention does, indeed, seem particularly central to recent works, which although ostensibly concerned with spontaneous mark-making, essentially document the unseen and withheld.

The lines and smears of No Better Cure than Business (2011), for instance, appear artful in the most literal sense. Yet they are entirely unpremeditated, consisting of the marks left on a paper sheet positioned beneath a sculptural object as it was painted.

In similar fashion, a voluptuous interlacing of Brice Marden-like tracery (Drawing No 1, 2012, below, left) is created by outlining the offcuts of a rejected sculpture.

Both pieces consist of a literal delineation of now-absent form: records of creative process and experimentation, they are equally afforded the authority of the autonomous artwork.

Yet inscrutably, they also lack finality, confronting the viewer with a series of enigmatic gaps and spaces. By filling them ourselves with notions of unseen artworks, we become complicit in the act of creative construction, adding further layers of complexity to works in which the issue of artistic agency is always fundamental, yet consistently deflected, approached via strategies of indirect intervention.

contemporary artists; Olve Sande

Olve Sande, installation view, 2012

Nov 2012

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