Kjell Varvin was born in 1939 and became interested in art already at the age of twelve. He used to be a painter, but after he defied his father’s advice, he decided to quit school — left all sense behind and moved to Paris. He travelled Europe with his paintings, selling them on the streets. But 10 years later things started changing.
Over the past years Varvin has gained recognition among young artists. A constant of Varvin’s work is the unstable and imperfect. His sculptures are made with a strong and clear signature. Hence the title free geometry, which refers to an abstract idiom with no other rules than his own.
His latest exhibition Fri Geometri (Free Geometry) opens at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo today. His geometric installations, steel sculptures and drawings will fill up both ‘rooms’. This is the first major presentation of Kjell Varvin’s oeuvre in Oslo.
We were lucky to get thirty minutes with this fascinating artist on the transition from painting to sculpture and installation, and his passion for what he describes as three dimensional drawing.
What is it in art that moves us? How is it that two patches of red can leave one person shaken to the core, while someone else meets that same Rothko with a shrug of the shoulders?