|Summit by Odd Nerdrum, oil painting, 2000, 93 x 88.
Odd Nerdrum: Weekend With the Masters Instructor
Odd Nerdrum was born in Hälsingborg, Sweden, in 1944. He was a student at The
Academy of Art in Oslo at the time when Modernism made its delayed entry to
Norway. During a study trip to Stockholm organized by the academy, he broke
away from the group of students who had gathered around the works of Andy
Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein in The Museum of Modern Art. Nerdrum headed off to
the Rembrandt Hall in The National Museum and was standing spellbound in front
of The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis.
This moment became a turning
point in his life, and he decided to learn painting in the manner of Rembrandt.
The decision immediately brought him into aesthetic conflict with the students
and professors of the academy. None of them mastered the old techniques nor saw
the merit in such, and all of them thought his efforts were reactionary and
He left the academy and
started to study the Old Masters. Nerdrum felt a particular affinity to
Caravaggio as well as Rembrandt. Caravaggio, because of the realism and
implacable, dramatic temperament reflected in his works, and Rembrandt for his
picturesque substance and patience with man. The two extremes would later shape
the elasticity in the universe of Nerdrum's pictures.
Nerdrum has an extensive knowledge of Western art history and an in-depth
schooling in philosophy of the ages. He is obsessive about his work, his ideas,
and his politics. All of which have greatly affected younger painters
may be viewed at the Metropolitan Museum in New York; the San Diego Museum in
San Diego, California; the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis; the Milwaukee Museum
of Art, Milwaukee; and the Gothenburg Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden; as well as
the National Gallery in Oslo, Norway. For more information on Nerdrum, visit The Nerdrum
Return to the Weekend With the Masters Meet & Greet.