press release

Ragna Bley: Stranger’s Eye
June 3–August 7, 2022

Ragna Bley’s artistic work is characterized by an experimental and nuanced use of materials, colours and references. Her solo exhibition is presented in collaboration with Malmö Konsthall, where several of the works have been shown previously. At Kunstnernes Hus, the works appear in new constellations and in dialogue with completely new works.

Bley’s monumental paintings testify to a dynamic and sometimes uncontrollable painting process, a kind of colouring or staining of the canvas. The paint seems to follow its own paths and forms fluid transitions to tighter graphic parts in the borderland between imagination and abstraction. At Kunstnernes Hus, the artist presents an installation of monumental paintings that hang on joints in steel wires through one of the skylight halls. The tight, diagonal axis contrasts with the meandering and organic shapes that characterize the paintings.

The paired procession of paintings shows two different series of works back-to-back; soft cotton canvas against hard PVC canvas, transparent acrylic paint against mirror-gloss enamel paint. The installation invites the viewer to a walk around the room, with changing perspectives of closeness and distance, spaciousness and intimacy. The exhibition as a whole is characterized by an aquatic atmosphere that resonates in Kunstnernes Hus’ characteristic skylight hall, which with its high vault and sparkling light is reminiscent of a life under water.

The exhibition is followed by a publication in the series Minigraphs which contains a conversation between Ragna Bley and artist and critic Ragnhild Aamås.

About the artist Ragna Bley (b. 1986, Sweden) works with painting, sculpture, text and performance. She lives in Oslo and has a BA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo (2011) and an MA from the Royal College of Art in London (2015). In addition to Malmö Konsthall, Bley has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthall Oslo – Munchmuseet on the Move, OSL contemporary, Kunsthuset Kabuso and Downs & Ross in New York. She is currently working on her first solo exhibition for Pilar Corrias Gallery in London.