Dag Ronny Pettersen

The pain of middle aged insight

I see before me Dag Ronny Pettersen in Denmark in 2003, a solo exhibition in The Theatre Of Music’s Gallery in Holstebro. A group of large oil paintings named “The reunion” – the powerful experiences of the woman or the feminine in us all. Another group of paintings was named “Pictures From No Man’s Land”, apparently acrylic paintings, which Dag masters so well that their physical surface becomes sparkling. We experience the bright light, the light on the landscape, suddenly bright, then in the next moment it disappears in a fog, the dark figures suddenly become human forms, then part of a landscape, then a hidden city. There is ample space for the experiences of the observer. In the new oil paintings from 2005 we rediscover the title “Pictures From No Man’s Land” from the almost abstract, perhaps bomb-ridden landscape, perhaps itself a part of the bombing and the chaos. Onward to the dream of the human being, where we recreate the community and the society of beauty. In a substantial triptych we stand perhaps behind the world of the poor, which advances towards our rich cities… We find ourselves in the painful clarity of seeing experienced in midlife, with the knowledge of the past and an uncertain future. What the artist may have felt I do not know, but I sense the lonely child, which needs to be taken by the hand, as we play our roles in the community… Two other large triptychs on paper on canvas are figurative and direct, paintings of great beauty, even then the fear of existence and war is engraved, so that it both rocks the mind and evokes memories of The Scream from another Norwegian painter…

Ove Torp, Denmark 2005

Arts critic at artnews Kunstavisen, Herning Folkeblad and the Annual Report of Danish Art