Tor-Magnus Lundeby

What happens when a wide array of media, including electronic music, science fiction, computer games, comic book characters, astronomic pictures and charts are all sampled in oil paintings and sculptures? This is what the Norwegian artist Tor-Magnus Lundeby will explore through the exhibition “Cityscape Colour Anarchy (Prospect Disorder II)” at MOGADISHNI. The gallery proudly presents the third solo exhibition by Tor-Magnus Lundeby (b. 1966) who is born in Frederiksstad, Norway and currently lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.

From numerous households in his neighbourhood Lundeby has for a long time been collecting printing house colour codes like Tetra-Tops, the ones hidden within cartons and boxes, through which he has found his obsessive way of approaching sculpture as well as implementing an additional language to his paintings. Rather than focusing on recycling and trash, this is more an approach towards the possibilities of what people usually find useless and leave behind. Lundeby focuses on elements that people are not aware of because they are hidden and stuck in the corners of cigarette boxes and milk cartons.

Lundeby imagines these small colour squares and dots lined up on the print codes as being windows on cylindrical towers in a futuristic architectural anarchy. Through these windows his paintings become alive and through both sculptures and paintings the spectator is faced with an organic futuristic architecture, floating in a characteristically infinite monochrome universe. In Lundeby’s paintings he has moved towards an organic aspect of architecture despite his obsessiveness with order, number and structures which creates the opposite when the colour codes are taken out of their original function and sampled together.

What can however at first sight be seen as a macro image in Lundeby’s paintings can at closer inspection appear as a depiction of a micro image. The architectural plan of a massive structure can be easily misread as the detail of a very elaborate mechanical piece or an intricate abstract form, always composed by planned lines in an extraordinarily balanced composition. This playfulness with scale levels is recurrent in his work and is always opening a vast field of possible and surprising significations.

Lundeby’s art constantly alternates between music, architecture and landscape, and often with the fascination of structure and the twist of prospect. The worlds of music and music-culture take a privileged position in Lundeby’s works as general codes for personal fantasies and subversive expectations. In this context, a psychedelic lore is employed not as a retro gesture but as an artistic method for mapping the self and stimulating the experience of the now.

Lundeby is currently exhibiting at the Carnegie Art Award 2008/2009 and has during the last couple of years exhibited at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, Moderna Museet, Sweden, The Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway and Museum of Modern Art KIASMA, Finland. His works are also represented in collections at The Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo, The Swedish Art Council, Norsk Hydro and The Arts Council Norway. He graduated from Vestlandet’s Art Academy in Bergen, Norway in 1996.


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