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Art Critics

Ancient perceptions and modern affections in the works of Elisabeth Haug (solo ex Galleria Collezionista, Rome) 

A cura di Elena Gradini "The first meeting" - solo exhibition at Galleria Il Collezionista, Rome, 2018

A sudden and cutting gash seems to cleave the canvases of the artist Kari Elisabeth Haug with the same violent creative passion from which the gesture generates the visual substance, which is the plant itself. Suddenly, without soft transitions, the spectator  perceives on himself a whole series of relationships with the other, necessarily identifying himself with the gesture fixed on the matter support. The artist is inspired to the double encounter with her homeland - the great North - and with the city of Rome, already investigated through the novels of the Norwegian writer Sigrid Undset. Something strikes the hand and the mind of the artist, who reading and taking over the literary plot of the Undset, shows on the canvas the novelistic topic  of the “Incontro”. The first meeting is in fact the dense report of the many different feelings of who i for the first time is find to cross the Eternal City, with all its incomparable beauties. A homage to Rome therefore, but also a homage  to the meeting like event. The alogical meeting, the expected, the canceled or the feared. The complex of physical and emotional relationships that to it are tied in an indispensable way; the consequences that can be alleged. These are all thematics  that emerge strongly in the works of the artist Haug that thanks to the clear and decisive gesture manages to express with the color an infinite emotional universe that binds or divides people, depending of the type of connections established. Few, in truth, are the traits that allow to the eye of the observer  to capture  events and details. Like to think that to the artist is dear to express the universe of the affections through a clean and essential feature that does not need additions or superabundances. It is a sure, fast, quick gesture, at least as much as that of who it meets, who quickly comes into contact with the other to reapply, however, in the fastest way possible, of their own space and their lived intimate experience. An encounter of lines, of graphic features, goes to impresses  the canvas, obtaining exactly what the artist expected; the foregrounding of an affective situation that, as such, expresses itself through a few quick gestures before dissolving into the transparency that necessarily the emotional situations require.

By art historian Elene Gradini

Artreview by the Italian art critic Dott. Salvatore Russo, July 2015 - according the Award «Premio della Critica 2015»:


An artist who manipulates the sign. This is Kari Elisabeth Haug. An artist able to paint the silence of the world. The reality that she choses to represent, is a reality that Kari has in mind and heart. An extraordinary reality, made of beautiful colors and a high signic synthesis. Its lines run through a new milky way and lead the observer into the beautiful paradise.

Artreview by the Italian art critic Dott. Salvatore Russo, March 2015

Kari Elisabeth Haug

"A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind", I want to start from this quote from Eugene Ionesco, to explain the art of Kari Elisabeth Haug. An art that for years, is fighting  against figural prejudice; an art that, through his informal writing, reveals to us the most intimate confessions, that the artist chooses to share with us. Scratches of the soul. Dilemmas of the psyche. Hamletic doubts and chromatic dances. These are the main characteristics of a painting that has in Kari Elisabeth Haug its maximum interpreter. An abstract painting that weaves its sign frames  elaborations on canvas. A painting that explores the dark places of the human mind and casts the riddles. In Haug we find a linguistic power capable of binding the meaning and the signifier subtended of things. Narratives, which have the same evocative power of the divine laws. Sign  and chromatic narratives  able to seduce the mind of the observer, bringing him as well, to make that intangible trip, that sees the soul becoming detached from the body and exploring  new worlds. Worlds in which the Art is the absolute Queen. An art that of Kari Elisabeth Haug made mainly of an  essential signic, but which brings with it very complex meanings. In this art can be seen throughout the creative power of the painter action paintings. A painting that lets itself be guided by the genius of the instinct. A painting whose strength is represented by the strong gestures. As the biggest informal artists, Kari, expresses the great power of its sentiments. A painting that encloses screamed emotions, and dramas whose philosophy is to search for in the mind of the artist. A mind that explores the infinite, and then reporting the extreme synthesis. A fundamental role in the artist's works, is occupied by colors. The colors, in the narrated of Haug, always has positive implications. No pragmatism or cosmic pessimism. A light that obscures the darkness and shines more beautiful than ever. The painting of Haug, is a painting of hope. Testimony to this, are the titles that the artist chooses for her works. Works such as "Keep on telling", "Hope", "Existence", are the invitation to continue to believe in life. The painting of Kari Elisabeth Haug, is, therefore, the painting of the hope. A painting that tells us that, beyond the horizon, there is a new light, that will lead us to eternal salvation.


Artreview by Persis May Singh, NY


The Art Of Kari Elisabeth Haug

As an artist constantly working, evolving and producing painter and artist extraordinary Kari Elisabeth Haug establishes herself once again as an artistic force to be reckoned with. A powerful painter Haug’s overture places her with the likes of  Alberto Giacometti, Lynne Frehm and Helen Frankenthaler. Yet, while Haug’s paintings have the swirling energy of many great abstract expressionist painters, they also suggest something quite different: the murmuring of numerous voices beneath each layer. The artist’s work has changed greatly over the years, and is seldom truly abstract.

 She courageously goes beyond the given and familiar, pioneering new techniques and materials in order to expand her own vision. Many of Haug’s works are exemplary of her penchant for monolithic, eccentric, dynamic forms, and bursts of emotion. Her art is impulsive but not violent—and more seductive than confrontational. Haug's works don’t want to assault you, but suck you into their oceanic swirl, carry you along for the ride. The magic emerges in the tension between control and spontanety, and the result is invariably surprising, open-ended, poetic, and spiritual. In the majority of works the artist creates an explosion of color. A master of color, Haug is equally adept in her use of pure white. In "Kjærlighetsbåndet (meaning The Knob of Love)" and “The Circle of Life” Haug uses white to both invade and neuter the surrounding cacophony of colors, the artist’s intent is to block out the outside world in order to give the viewer space in which to roam freely.                     

Born into Norway, Haug was raised in an environment with a strong emphasis on music, literature, astrology, and the arts. Haug studied teaching, focusing her attentions toward literature, music, nature and outdoor activities, playing the piano and writing poetry. Still based in Europe Kari Elisabeth Haug has shown her paintings around the world, including The Oslo Art fair and the Florence Biennale. Shifting between two approaches—Devine Abstraction, and Romantic Expressionism—her oeuvre is compelling in its diversity. Her painterly approach revolves around the uncovering the spirit of each color. She paints intuitively, instinctually coloring her canvases in bright palettes of brilliant hues. Inspired by the natural world, she infuses her works with a Zen-like spirit of harmony and balance. In fact, it is this kind of spirituality that motivates her work. According to Haug, her work acts as an interface between the physical and spiritual realms, and inspires healing and transformation of the soul. Many viewers of her work have even commented on a kind of energetic vibration that one may feel when absorbing one of her works. “The term is intuitive, often abstract. I am looking for a different reality than the sensuous reality around us,” Haug says. “I'm on the hunt for something else, a power, a source is a mystery I know I am a part, but I still can not quite comprehend”. 

Certain works evokes a sense of vibrational fields of energy. Reminiscent of the intense cave paintings, as well as some of the abstract designs in the paintings of British artist Cecily Brown, like automatic drawing, the images resonate with a profound sense that the subconscious soul has been manifested in color and form. In "Landet bakenfor/The land beyond" and "The Vision", Haug portrays landscapes so simplified that they have been reduced to lines upon the horizon that is divided into distinct color fields- subtly blended streaks of shimmering color. This minimalist reduction is effective in its simplification of form, which like Platon’s ideal forms, function not as reality, but as an archetype of the land and sky which reside deep in our collective unconscious, as well as a representation of our deep connection with the earth. “The shape and composition is open, which symbolizes life and the individual who is in the process of constant development and change. It is the desire to focus on the power and energy every human being possesses,” Haug says.

This could not be truer, and we have Haug to thank for bringing the spirit of her visionary world into ours. Haug finds her ideology in the deep contours of creation. It is her acute love and understanding of color, composition, and positivity that lends comparisons to Picasso, Edvard Munch, Rothko, and Chagall.

Employing a strongly stylized painting method, the work is distinguished by layered shapes and elegant color. The artist’s figurative narratives are distinguished by dynamic, undulating, and lyrical brushstrokes combined with curved “whiplash” lines of syncopated rhythm. Charismatic and forceful, Haug’s use of seductive color, vibrant brushwork, and sinuous line highlight the development of the artist’s sense of freedom and her unique style. The tie linking Haug’s work is her overwhelming sense of fluid organic shape and swelling curvaceous line work, and her succulent approach to applying paint on canvas. Color and form undulate in florid feminine compositions that depict subjects ranging from shimmering, blossoming landscape, to delicately rendered dream-like visions. Haug’s strength of vision and personal style always resonate deeply within the recesses of the viewer’s heart and imagination. 

Written by Art Historian Persis May Singh, New York, December 2011



Artreview by Paola Trevisan, IT


The Art Of Kari Elisabeth Haug

Kari Elisabeth Haug currently lives and works in Sande, in Norway and she has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally.

Through her studies and her passion for literature and music, she learned to let herself be transported by her own creative inspiration; refusing to accept the limitations imposed by rules, elements of style and formal techniques, she relies on her own imagination, using brushes to explore the surface of pictures and spaces linked to the sphere of emotions and memory, amusing herself by inventing forms and colours that give rise to refined, brilliant compositions, as though guided by a mysterious, rhythmic force. The artist confers a personal character to her own artistic research that, in continuous evolution, highlights more and more the abstract and the rhythmic elements constituted by lines, forms, paths, and spaces.

In her recent production, Kari Elisabeth Haug shows a careful study of colour and forms creating a soft and vibrant abstractionism. In this visual journey of refinedabstract imagery, skilful and selective articulation of the strokes, stages and spaces are constants, revealing an unceasing dialogue between the painter and the surface of the work. Through their evocative function which lack representative purpose, Kari’s paintings are guided by refined and continual aesthetic exploration, transmitting emotions instead of recording images. The temporal and spatial dimensions move closer together until they meet in a happy fusion that bears a unique and vibrant plot into which the spectators are free to insert themselves.

  The abstract works created by the artist are impressive for their general harmony that while cleverly rhythmic in the effects, is fruit of a synthesis of colours, forms and textures. The dynamic expressiveness of the brushwork - that can be intense or intentionally contained - creates visual, chromatic and compositionally-balanced solutions, and thus, is fascinating. The balanced and ordered structure of the paintings still allows for fast and strong impulsivity and improvisations that reveal the intense tension of feelings within the painter, transferred on canvas and presenting the more instinctive side of her personality.

  Kari Elisabeth Haug’s art reveal its refined force in the liveliness of colours, shapes' effects, textures, pictorial matter, and magnetic energy that the pictorial stroke releases from the canvas and images and also in inventing and elaborating the space and chromatic shades to attain lyric, harmonic and also mysterious informal results.

Paola Trevisan, Director of Trevisan International Art, Italy, 2010


Artreview by Lisa Bently, Art Approach, NY


Your work has an undertone of  personal biography, addressing the issue of self through symbolism to express your own ideology, what results are gripping images rife with human emotion; complex forms and compositions are configured in forms of pure expressionism; at times rhythmic and other times fearlessly exposing the rawest elements of the human emotion.

A wide variety of artistic invention greets viewers of  your work with classic, expressive, and highly stylized images that are almost sculptural in their depth and realism. I was actually talking to a colleague about the works today, and he was saying the idea of producing art that is this poetic is almost unheard of. It is simply fascinating!  

The works are just beautiful- perhaps the most striking quality above all else in these works your work is the attention to the subtle and magical power of light, and the energy of composition. When combined with a focused subjectivity they engender luminescent surfaces that glow with a special radiance not usually encountered by work of this kind. There is an understated incandescence to these images that is nostalgic and mystical all at once. You position yourself in the theatrical realm through the dream-like fantastical quality of the imagery—almost Surreal, yet not  quite there, as if some ghostly memory from a heavenly far-away place; producing a work which resonates with the viewer long after viewing.

I have to say, there is something deeply intense and critical in personal sensibilities and modalities of your beautiful art works and expressions. Your art somehow manages to muse and fuse the classical and the modern, the flat and the defined-it is personal biography meets movement, passion and a very physiological presence. Exhibiting an impeccable instinct for the emotionally evocative power of color, movement, texture, and shape, you shine as an artist whose work relates more to a state of mind, mood or feeling than a tangible object. Amidst a sea of art, you manage to say something very different. (2011)


















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