Vebjørn Sand paintings are on display at Gallery Sand, 277 West 4th Street between Perry and west 11th Street in the West Village, New York, opening May 3rd, 2012 running through September 1st, 2012.
Norwegian painter Vebjørn Sand extends his well-received World War II series with three new works further exploring the European Holocaust, seventy years since the Wannsee Conference took place.
In what New York critic Donald Kuspit calls, “a conflation of extremes resulting in an explosive discharge of instinctive energy…” Sand’s paintings give us a “mixture of expressionistic painterliness and atmospheric impressionism, the gloom and doom darkness of the former and the joyous luminosity of the latter infiltrating each other….” thus conveying the insoluble paradox and emotional disconnect of the Nazi’s “final solution” and the terrifying capacity of human beings to rationalize such acts.
“Scenes from the Second World War” is a deeply personal project that has taken Norwegian Vebjørn Sand many years to complete. His work ponders a historical passage still close to the European psyche. Yet, renewed interest in the Second World War and, indeed, the challenging unrest in the US and Western Europe about the nature of power and democracy, give the exhibit a powerful tone of post-modern social commentary. The paintings’ mood of moral ambiguity reminds us that still “evil prevails when good men do nothing…” as Edmund Burke famously remarked.
Kuspit concludes, “Sand’s ironical painting (of the day the “final solution” was formulated) – an aesthetic masterpiece, as well as a masterpiece of psycho-social insight – shows how Nazi destructiveness becomes self-destructive.” Within the darkness, Sand’s work finds a flicker of redemption in our spiritual capacity to choose.
Sand lives in the West Village of New York City, and is a celebrated artist in Norway since he appeared on the scene with an exhibition of paintings from Antarctica in 1998. The outdoor exhibit overlooking Oslo, called the “Troll Castle” was visited by 180,000 people becoming the best-attended art exhibit by a living artist in Norwegian history.