original prints by Kjell Erik Killi-Olsen

The Queen Sonja Print Award is proud to present a new solo exhibition: Lost Faces – original prints by Kjell Erik Killi-Olsen.

31.05.2023 - 17.09.2023

Kjell Erik Killi-Olsen has had a diverse and notable career, working primarily with painting, sculpture, and printmaking. Yet, this is the first exhibition solely dedicated to his graphic art. Predominantly featuring works produced in 2023, the exhibition provides a glance into the artist’s characteristic imagery, manifested in delicate, yet bold, lines of drypoint engraving. The themes in the exhibited works range from studies of birds, and frightening spiders, to comments on the human condition. The latter always a current in Killi-Olsen’s work, encouraging proximity to the time and world we live in. Subjects such as war and forced migration presents encounters with the dark corners of the human condition in a simultaneously unreserved and layered manner.

Recognized as one of Norway’s most prominent contemporary artists, Killi-Olsen’s grotesque, primal, and yet humorous subject matter is well known to many. Fabled animals, pine trees, and humans covered in warts and boils reappear in these drypoint prints, sometimes against photopolymer backdrops where the artist has reprinted old prints or used photographs depicting natural or cultural heritage. Among these are photographs of Sandbu, the artist’s own medieval farm in Vågå. The fragile and defeated meet creatures from the underworld, and with a familiar undertone, the strange and unknown is entering our world. Delineating rough, yet fragile conditions, Killi-Olsen’s prints are a testimony to what has been lost and that which remains.

Kjell Erik Killi-Olsen (b. 1952, Trondheim) received his artistic education from Trondheim Art Academy, Academia Sztuck Pieknyck in Krakow, Poland, and the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Art in Oslo. He has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and America, and his work is held in most major museum collections in Norway, including the National Museum, and KODE Bergen. The Museum of Modern Art in Campiñas, Brasil is amongst other collections where Killi-Olsen is represented.

Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen

Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen