MLAG proundly opened the 2021 season with a remarkable exhibition by Odin Austefjord. Austefjord's artistic work affords new insights into neo-encaustic forms merging with crafted wood. Through the layering of dried industrial paints, Austefjord’s approach to physical form is reminiscent of Rachel Whiteread and Lynda Benglis. Austefjord stages a dynamic choreography reliant on strength and spontaneity in the application of the industrial paints. Like lava flows, the industrial material find its own path through Austefjord’s deliberate architecture of richly harvested steamed oak spires.
Austefjord's sculptures play with our ideas of consumption, disposability and preservation. The new sculptures on display in the gallery seemingly consume the jettisoned industrial paint, while exquisite steamed oak thrusts outward defying any meaningless spill of the lesser material.
The carefully harvested choice oak strips come from Austefjord’s Grandfather’s land on the West-Coast of Norway. The Austefjord family history is often missed, but having the chance to spend time Odin and listen to the care in the types of foresting practices are involved, one can learn a lot about why the materials have value outside of the market-economy of lumber. Each strip of wood as been treated to steam baths then reassembled within Austefjord’s distinct sculptural practice.