Born in Trondheim, Norway, 1966.

Lives and works in Oslo.


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016     Michael Janssen,  Berlin

2015     Galleri Ismene,  Trondhjem

2015     Haugar Museum of Art, Tønsberg

2013     “Samtidig – like i nærheten, Galleri Brandstrup, Oslo

2012     Litografier, Galleri Norske Grafikere, Oslo

2011     Galleri Ismene, Trondheim

2011     “Oppenheimer’s Garden”, Thomas Williams Fine Art, London

2010     Galleri Brandstrup, Oslo

2009     Nicholas Robinson Gallery, New York

2009     “Fiksjoner», Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo

2009     Bærum Kunstforening

2008     Bodø Kunstforening

2005     Briggs Robinson Gallery

2004     Galleri Norske Grafikere

2002     Hå Gamle Prestegård


Selected Group Shows

2016     Blaafarveverket, with Kai Fjell

2014     Munch by Others, Haugar Museum

2014/2015/2016    the Armory Show, NYC

2013     “Meshes of the Afternoon”, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, USA

             The Armory Show, New York, USA

             MARKET Art Fair, Stockholm, Sweden

2012    Edsvik Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden

             MARKET Art Fair, Stockholm, Sweden

             Østfold Center of Art, Norway

2011     Copenhagen Art Fair, Copenhagen, Denmark

2010     “Portretter», Galleri Ismene, Trondheim, Norway

2009     “Hamsun», Galleri Ismene, Trondheim

2008     “Norske bilder», Oslo Municipal Hall, Oslo, Norway

             Gamle Ormelet, Tjøme, Norway

2007     Art Chicago, USA

             Lillesand Kunstforening, with Frank Brunner

2007     “Norske bilder», Oslo Municipal Hall, Oslo, Norway

2002     ”Contents”, Briggs Robinson Gallery, New York, USA


Awards and Grants

2012     Axel Waldemar Johansens Memory Award

2005-2009 Yearly grant from the Norwegian Visual Artists Association     

2002/2014/15 Vederlagsfondet

2000     Grant from the Norwegian Authors´ Union

1998     Houen og Mohrs legat

1997     Federhasenpreis, Austria

1996     Award of the Department of Culture, Austria

             Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, Germany

1995     Prix Octogon, Paris, France

1994     Ragnvald Blix Legat, Copenhagen, Denmark


Public Collections

2015     Oslo Municipality Collection

2013     Kistefos-Museet, Jevnaker

2011     The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Oslo

2010     Trondheim Kunstmuseum

2009     The National Library of Norway, Oslo

2000     Nord-Trøndelag County Council

1998     The National Gallery, Oslo

1998     Arts Council Norway, Oslo

1998     European Commission


Public commisisions

New National Hospital, Oslo


Selected bibliography

2016     Bodies of Work, Della Monica, Schiffer New York

2015     Picturing People, Charlotte Mullins, Thames Hudson

2015     Lucid Dreaming, Press Forlag

2010     “Palimpsest”, essay by Joshua Ferris, Press Forlag

2002     “Paintings”, introduction by David Shapiro, Press Forlag

2002     “Havet og kjærligheten”, Lars Elling, Cappelen

1999     “Album”, Gro Dahle, Cappelen

1997     “Den trofaste oksen”, Ernest Hemingway, Cappelen

1997     “Velkommen til speilet”, Gro Dahle, Cappelen

1997     “To og to”, Lars Elling

1993     “Raudt, blått og litt gult”, Bjørn Sortland, Samlaget

Press Release

Michael Janssen presents the first solo exhibition in Germany with Norwegian painter Lars Elling (*1966). Entitled LUCID DREAMING the exhibition will show 12 new paintings which were created over the course of last year.

Lars Elling's work features a rich spectrum of narratives broken up into different sequences and which, together, form a transitory pictorial universe. The literary content in his work is articulated through filmic and photographic references that are played out against the non-figurative grammar of the paintings. Thus, a subtle play arises between figurative and abstract elements, an alternation between clearly rendered and more blurred, indistinct areas of the painting. The many lines into the literary landscape are woven together with auto-biographical material, with the nostalgic retrospective glance accentuated in the referencing of the artist's own family photo album, forming an enigmatic, mysterious passage into a dream -like reservoir of memories. The impulsive acts played out in the paintings suggest a desire that has broken free from the control mechanisms of rationality, with the human figures moving instinctively from an existence ruled by convention and into a purposeless fulfilment of self.

His layers of imagery evoke memories of childhood, with the possible disturbance and trauma written between the lines. Family is the repetitive theme in Elling’s works; familiar moments infiltrated by surprising or unpleasant elements. The formalistic aspect of Lars Elling’s paintings is characterized by the erased and the broken. The pure visual expression has a meaningful function, where story and poetry are strong fundamentals. The paintings can be seen as a burst of memory, a description of a moment, where the almost experienced or almost seen is presented in a dream like and poetic expression, which can be compared to the poetic expressions in the works of Francis Bacon. Like Bacon, Elling also portrays a description of the logic of feelings, and illustrates a beginning, a middle section and an end, not necessarily in that order.

Lars Elling works with language, but not in the traditional sense. This can be illustrated by comparing Ellings way of painting to “Toute Une Nuit“, a film by Chantal Ackerman. Neither Ackerman nor Elling can be decoded using a rigorous structuralism; the character of their works are late in their symbolism, and thus do not escape aspects of melancholy. “Toute Une Nuit“ is one of the simplest visual films ever made. We meet about 50 different people who do little other than embrace each other on a summer night. Still Ackerman was surprisingly precise in writing the scripts of her film, contrary to the natural assumption that such a pure visual expression does not require language. There is a language that cannot be read in a linear way, it is an emotion or a symbol that only can be expressed through an aesthetic matter.

Lars Elling (1966) was educated at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts (1988-92). He lives and works in Oslo. Exhibitions include 2015 Haugar Museum of Art, Tønsberg (solo, cat), 2013 “Samtidig – like i nærheten, Galleri Brandstrup, Oslo (solo), 2011 “Oppenheimer’s Garden”, Thomas Williams Fine Art, London (solo), 2009 Nicholas Robinson Gallery, New York (solo), 2014 Munch by Others, Haugar Museum, Tønsberg, 2013 “Meshes of the Afternoon”, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, 2012 Edsvik Konsthall, Stockholm