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Håkon Bleken The Descent, 1982.

Purchased in 1989, innkjøpsfondet.

Few artists have achieved a position on the Norwegian art scene and in public life comparable to that of Håkon Bleken (born 1929). He made his debut as an artist at the age of 23, in 1952, when he had his first solo exhibition in Trondhjems kunstforening. Since then he has had more than 30 exhibitions in Trondhjems Kunstforening and later on in Trondheim kunstmuseum.  Death, love, music, literature and politics are preoccupations that recur in his works. He often makes use of literary references in his discussions of man, society and the times we live in.

The Descentis one of Bleken’s most important works. It is a collage and consists of newspaper clippings that have been painted over. Bleken often makes use of collage, and by bringing together various images he opens up for discovering new connections. In the centre of The Descentwe see a naked cross. The scene we contemplate is the moment when Christ has been taken down from the cross, after he has sacrificed himself for our sins – a key motif in art history. In the background there are newspaper clippings, with images of war, terrorism, hunger, and natural catastrophies. In Bleken’s work God is absent and man has been left to his own devices. It is as if though Bleken poses the question “who will save us now?”.

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