Lars Morell (1980) is from Kristiansand, Norway, and lives and works in Oslo, Norway. He is known for his interest in the work of illusionists and magicians from the 19th century. Being from the south of Norway, he grew in a town where the church stands strong and the Christian community is very tightly knit. The artist says “When I was a child, I always doubted the idea of belonging to a community that is formed around a belief in something abstract. This fueled a wider interest for me in the way communities form around belief systems, and this is what led me to the realms of magic and showmanship.”

In his approach to subject matter, his motives confront us with the shadows of the past: the trickery and contraptions of the pioneers of theatrical and cinematic illusion are treated with nostalgia. Plots and anecdotes are interweaved in a distinctive imaginary landscape.

He is known for his ever-changing shadow play, created with natural interest in silhouettes as composition – known from his series of paintings titled “Shadow Canvas”. Delicately and precisely composed, Morell’s paintings feel directly connected to particular events and scenes and the objects appearing in the compositions has a clear placement, yet with sometimes absurd and unintelligible function. The works read like scenes without actors and takes place simultaneously within each still frame – only shades and tints differs – as they were captured in various angels and light.

His sculptures also play on the same subjects, and they often hollow shell’s in bronze, where ghost objects hidden underneath a drapery are vaguely revealed of their shape and function. The recent sculptures are more organic, and takes the step towards a more open interpretation, though still referring the shapes occurring as shadow silhouettes in the paintings.

Morell is educated at Oslo National Academy of Fine Arts in Norway. He has exhibited at Jan Wentrup, Berlin, Germany (2006), Jeu De Paume (2009) and Fondation d’entreprise Ricard (2010), Paris; France; Perla Mode, Zurich, Switzerland (2010) and the annual Autumn Exhibition, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2011). In 2013 he received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s Grant. Recent exhibitions include ‘Hotel Paris’ at Galerie Nivet-Carzon, Paris and BYOB at Palais de Tokyo.

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