Kristian Evju in front Dark River II, 2013 - image courtesy of the artist

Kristian Evju /   Kristian Evju

Norway 1980


Kristian Evju
Kristian Evju
March 1, 2016
Behind the pseudonym of Lor Dethal lies Nemanja Torlak, a writer for Widewalls intrigued and moved by diversity in art and in the lives of those who create it. It is often the unexpected that come forth and surprise us, and art is a world that allows it and makes it possible. David beats the Goliath daily, and writing about it is a pleasure.

The empty space of the canvas is the widest of fields for a creative mind, one that liberates its potential and sees it to its fullest possibilities. Whether for better or for worse, projecting thoughts onto the white surface will always bring a certain nuance of one’s personality, constructing a narrative and adding a version of oneself to it. Reconstructing a sense of self is exactly what Kristian Evju is referencing in his pencil-drawn images, recontextualizing photographic material to the smallest detail. Starting out as a student of psychology, the inner reflection that follows the viewing of his works comes as no surprise. Becoming a rewarded artist, Evju is a remarkable addition to the contemporary art scene.

Kristian Evju
Kristian Evju – Ruby Rucola (detail), 2013

A State of Limbo

Intrigued by how the back of the mind works, Evju draws his works in a way that makes an artist out of any viewer. Portraying photographic scenes, his characters are frozen in a state of limbo, filling up the fictional reality with endless possible outcomes that may come out of the viewers mind. Evju draws the moment, but he cleverly leaves enough space for it to be on the verge of existence, relying on the artistic component of the viewer for the narrative to be completed. The artist stated that he sees himself as a director, an assembler of conversations, writing screenplays without the actual scripts.

Evju sees himself as a director, writing screenplays without the actual scripts

Kristian Evju
Kristian Evju – Airstrip Linger (detail), 2013

Carefully Placed Signature Marks

Born in Norway, Kristian Evju graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2007, and received his MA Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art in 2011.  However, before pursuing the path of an artist, Evju had studied psychology, and his works often explore social constructs and phenomenon. Using pencil on paper instead of rendering allows him to take on the journey of investigation, immersing himself into the creation of the artwork completely. The slow process of producing the piece lets him plan even the tiniest detail, placing signature marks on the work and creating an autobiography in the process.

Evju places signature marks on the works, creating an autobiography in the process

Kristian Evju
Kristian Evju – Dark River II, 2013

Inscribed Artistic Path

With his father being a full-time artist, it could be said that Evju’s decision to turn to painting after having studied psychology was somewhat advocated. Turning to artistic expression around 2002, he hasn’t regretted the choice and has even been rewarded for his works, most recent ones including the Painter-Stainers Prize for Drawing and The Conte a Paris Drawing Prize. His pieces have been exhibited in both group and solo shows worldwide, and viewers in the UK, as well as Oslo, Berlin and New York had a chance to see his work. With cleverly portrayed narratives and detailed representations, his images are a candy for the eye and food for thought.

The artist is represented by the Arusha Gallery, Venet-Haus Galerie in Germany, and Galleri Semmingsen in Norway.

Kristian Evju lives and works in London.

Featured image: Kristian Evju in front Dark River II
All images © Kristian Evju

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016 Kristian Evju Gulden Kunstverk Solo
2016 Untitled Arusha Gallery Group
2016 London Art Fair London Group
2016 7th Biennale der Zeichnung Kunstverein Eislingen Group
2015 Assemble: Dissemble Telemarksgalleriet Museum of Art Solo
2015 Lie Me a River Aalesund Art Society Solo
2015 London Group Open Cello Factory Group
2015 Untitled Venet-Haus Foundation Group
2015 Untitled Galerie ROOT Group
2015 Untitled Griffin Gallery Group
2015 Untitled Galleri Semmingsen Group
2015 Untitled Galleri Laszka Group
2015 Untitled Kongsberg Kunstforening Group
2014 Dark River Venet-Haus Foundation Solo
2014 Untitled Galerie Cornelissen Group
2014 Untitled ART.FAIR, Galerie Cornelissen Group
2014 Untitled The League Residency Group
2013 Memoirs of the Other Gallery 39K Solo
2013 The National Open Art Competition Mine Group
2013 The National Open Art Competition Royal College Group
2013 The Other Art Fair Old Truman Brewery Group
2013 Untitled Janinebean Gallery Group
2013 Østlandsutstillingen Akershus Kunstsenter Group
2013 Untitled Rauland Kunstforening Group
2013 Østlandsutstillingen Stadtgalerie Group
2012 Memoirs of the Other Accesso Contemporary Art Solo
2012 Dark Skies Galleri Dyrmyr Solo
2012 100 Curators 100 Days Saatchi Gallery Group
2012 Novemberutstillingen Lyche Pavillion / Drammen Museum Group
2012 Østlandsutstillingen Galleri F15 Group
2012 Høstutstillingen Kunstnernes Hus Group
2012 Untitled Galleri Dyrmyr Group
2012 Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011 BayArt, Cardiff and Lanchester Gallery Group
2011 Novemberutstillingen Lyche Pavillion / Drammen Museum Group
2011 Untitled The Others Art Fair Group
2011 Metamorphosis Islington Arts Factory Group
2011 Jerwood Drawing Prize Jerwood Space Group
2011 Juvenarte Galleri Ramfjord Group
2011 Accesso Contemporary Art Pietrasanta Group
2011 Brenda Landon Pye Portrait Prize Triangle Space Group
2011 Summer Salon Islington Arts Factory Group
2011 Østlandsutstillingen Hamar Centre for Contemporary Art (Kunstbanken) Group
2010 Limbus Gulden Kunstverk Solo
2010 Østlandsutstillingen Palais am Festungsgraben Group
2010 Interim Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Art and Design Group
2009 Faber-Castell and the Years of Distraction Tegnerforbundet Solo
2009 Østlandsutstillingen Studio STAG, Vestfossen, and Galleri Skårer Group
2009 Aspect Prize Paisley Art Gallery and Museum Group
2009 Spring Open Royal Scottish Academy Group
2008 Kristian Evju Kongsberg Kunstforening Solo
2008 The Scottish Show Thompson’s Marylebone Gallery Group
2008 Joint Exhibition of Drawings The Prince’s Drawing School and ECA Group
2008 New Faces The Leith Gallery Group
2007 Fresh 2007 The White Gallery Group
2007 Høstutstillingen Kunstnernes Hus Group
2007 Høstutstillingen Trondheim Museum of Contemporary Art Group
2007 Juvenarte DogA Group
2007 The Next Step Billcliffe Gallery Group
2007 Joint Exhibition of Drawings The Prince’s Drawing School and Edinburgh College of Art Group
2007 NorskArt La Viande Group
2007 Mood Clarion Contemporary Art Group
2007 Untitled Royal Scottish Academy Group