New Black Romanticism

Travelling group exhibition by Kunstlerhaus Bethanien

Curated by Christoph Tannert and 


Topičův Salon, Prague, Czech Republic


Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz, Austria


Galerie der Stadt Backnang, Backnang Germany

16.11. – 10.12.2017

Kunstlerhaus Bethanien,  Berlin, Germany


Stadtgaleríe Kiel, Kiel, Germany


National Museum Of Art Bucarest (MNAR), Bucharest, Romania

Exhibition poster for National Museum of Art in Bucharest (MNAR)

Text by Jens Asthoff from catalogue for New Black Romanticism

The work of the Norwegian artist Anders Grønlien ranges from painting and drawing to complex

installations combining sculpture, sound and light effects, and special-effects makeup. His installations sometimes serve as backdrops to performances, most recently in Spirit World Rising (2016),

a co-production with Anežka Hošková.

Grønlien’s versatile approach is marked by continuous narratives whose imagery is inspired by romantic and fantasy tropes.

Grønlien himself cites a wide range of references, from art history and lm to mythology, folklore, science-fiction, archaeology, mysticism and occultism. ‘Actually, I see all of these topics as existing in the one and same visual realm, as I let my referential material come to me intuitively from a free form of interest and research’, he explains. One of his most elaborate productions was the piece Artemis Refuge (2010). In Greek mythology, Artemis – the goddess of hunting, the forest and the moon – is a wild and free-spirited character. Her attributes are the bow and arrow, which she shoots at mortals to bring disease upon them. Grønlien’s work offers a quasi-cinematic interpretation of the myth:

spectators face a chapel that seems to come straight out of a science-fiction film; an octagonal door opens up on the naked Artemis lying wounded on the ground, hit by her own arrow. The figure is

sacralised by a spotlight and gently framed by ivy. Pathos and seamless aestheticisation here combine into a strange mixture where irony and drama become indistinguishable.

A similarly affective stance is at play in Grønlien’s paintings, for instance in The Valley of the Vapors (2015), one in a recent series of blurry landscapes reminiscent of pastel paintings, which shows a waterfall in the style of Joseph Anton Koch rushing through an anthroposophical world of colour.




Walkthrough at MNAR, National Museum of Art in Bucharest, Romania

Walkthrough at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany 

Opening night of New Black Romanticism at MNAR

National Museum of Art Bucharest, Romania