A Futhork for Jan Groth & Anders Beyer 2016-17

Posted on October 10th, 2016 by


Runic drawings. On the wall in Jan Groth.'s apartment. 29 11 16 Oslo

Runic drawings (effectively, his Futhork). On the wall in Jan Groth.’s apartment. 29 11 16 Oslo

…and work continues on Jan Groh caprices for Bergen. Here sketches for ‘his crayon’ with a lot of help from Patrick Leigh Fermor. New York City 10 4 17

First recordings

Outtakes from recording session-20 3 17

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin

No. 1 ‘Untitled 2007’

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No. 3 ‘Thorn (Rune)’

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No. 5 ‘…no inclination to rest…’

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No. 8 ‘Gro(w)th’

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No. 11 ‘Quietness is not merely quiet’

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No. 13 ‘Sigil (Rune)’

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No. 14 ‘…just my hands…’

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No. 15 ‘Sign/Tegn’

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No. 16 ‘This is where I am’

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No. 17 ‘which but thy pictures be’

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No. 18 ‘If I whisper, someone always listens.’

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No.23 ‘The Spear’

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No. 25 ‘Eor (Rune)’

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No. 26 ‘Rad (Rune)’

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No. 27 ‘…the play between…’

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No. 30 ‘light inaccesible’

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No. 31 Lysebu Triptych I

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No. 32 Lysebu Triptych III

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No. 33 Lysebu Triptych II

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No. 34 His crayon

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No. 35 Svalbard II

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No. 36 Svalard I

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No. 37 Svalbard III

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Preparing for a Prelude on Svalbard. 

In a few weeks time, I will leave for Svalbard to work with a Jan Groth from 1990, on show there. Here’s the first of a set of Svalbard Prelude/sketches, working with the 1990 Tapestry, in preparation for that.

Svalbard Prelude 1. Sketch Materials on the desk. 14 3 17

Peter Sheppard Skaerved – Groth ‘Weapon’ (28 2 17)

At the desk, Lysebu 28 2 17

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After Jan Groth: Weapon. 28th 2 17 Lyseby

Day Four-in the Artist’s Studio

Maquette for Sculpture. Jan Groth’s Oslo Studio 27 2 17

Malene and I took the T-Bane down the mountain from Lysebu into Oslo, getting off at Nasjional Teatret, where we had a brief conversation with Ibsen and Halvorsen before walking down the Jan Groth’s immaculate studio ten minutes away. There then followed a day of conversation, of experimentation, storytelling, textures, tea, food, champagne and laughter-stretching till late in the evening, when we had a wonderful supper and celebration in his beautiful apartment, filled with art by Rauschenberg, Mancoba, Johns, Ernst, Michaux and so much more.

Detail of a Groth leaning sculpture. 27 2 17

The conversation went back and forth, from Groth’s materials to mine, from his drawings, to my violin, to his tapestries to my notebook, exploring questions of scale from small clay maquettes to 2 metre bronzes, to tiny gestures on the violin (he loves the sound of a gentle ricochet on the wood of the violin).

Working with my notebook 27 2 17

Malene Skaerved’s insight, as a writer and a Dane, was vital, and she drew stories of his childhood from him. For me, his art is now intimately wound up with his love of animals, his family in hiding during the war on farms, and the wonderful parallel between his love of the countryside and his identification with New York. For us, who spend so much of our life there, we recognise the New York shibboleths in him, and the fun of what he calls ‘the circus’ of that city.

Discussing tapestry and the fine points of weaving. Jan Groth and Malene Skaerved 27 2 17

I was also privileged to see the new drawings. We talked a lot about the problems and the opportunities of scale, and the intimate wonder of the new drawings, which remind me of Beethoven Bagatelles, or Purcell Fantasies, is haunting me still.

A corner of Jan Groth’s immaculate studio 27 2 17

 

 

Lysebu-Groth Triptych 3 (The Riddle Hoard). 25 2 17

 

Peter Sheppard Skaerved – Groth Lysebu Triptych 3 ‘Riddle hoard’ (25 2 17)

At the desk, Lysebu 25 2 17

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Lysebu (Oslo) February 2017 (DAY 3)

Clouds. fro7m my desk Lysebu 26 2 1

Rehearsing with Malene Skaerved, Cavalersalen 26 2 17

Lysebu (Oslo) February 2017 (DAY 2)

Bark. 25 2 17

Lysebu-Groth No 2 25 2 17

Peter Sheppard Skaerved – Groth Lysebu Triptych 2 (25 2 17)

At the desk, Lysebu 25 2 17

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At my desk. Lysebu. 25 2 17

The Next Stage. Lysebu (Oslo) February 2017 (DAY One)

Hare Tracks in the snow

I have come to Lysebu, the Norway base of the Dansk-Norsk Fondet, to spend a few days working on the Groth project. I have been lucky enough to spend time working and staying at the two extraordinary locations owned and run by the foundation, Schaeffergaarden, north of Copenhagen, and here, a 20 minute drive from central Oslo. The foundation has an great track record of supporting the arts and artists, and I have been a benificiary of that. When they heard about the Groth project, they immediately invited my wife and I to come and spend 5 days here. Time to write, draw and think, and to enjoy the spectacular nature and hospitality of the centre.

There are three extraordinary Jan Groths hangin gon the walls here at Lysebu. Response to ‘Untitled 1975’. A sunset beyond description and snow outside, and Malene Sheppard Skaerved writing away behind me. 24 2 17

But it’s not just the opportunity to work in peace and beauty. Lysebu has a collection of Groth drawings, including a group of three hanging a few metres from our room. So I have begun work with a response to these, the next step in my ‘Futhork for Jans Groth’.

Peter Sheppard Skaerved – Groth Lysebu Triptych 1 (24 2 17)

At the desk, Lysebu.

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Jan Groth – ‘Untitled’ 1975 (Lysebu)

Evening light. Snow.
Lysebu 24 2 17

Final (performing) score for No. 1 16 2 17

15 12 16 Ear'(Grave) with a response to one of his 1970 drawings

Concentration/contact 18 2 17

Ravelled. 18 12 16

The latest piece in the ‘Futhork for Jan Groth’ has emerged (No 26). A thrumming, ravelling piece, with Groth’s remark about his large tapestries: ‘Ive managed to make the weaving tremble.’ For the firs time in this set, the caprice began with this little painting, inspired b the ‘Tegner’ from his 1986 Guggenheim show. 18 12 17

Jan Groth (1938- ) is one of the great living artists. I have been honoured to have been asked to respond to his upcoming Exhibit at Kunsthallen Bergen. I first encountered his work in the permanent collection at the Louisiana Gallery, in Denmark, in my early twenties, and the example of highly concentrated, distilled expressionism that he has offered, has been a source of inspiration for years. Today (29th November 2016) we met, at his elegant apartment in Oslo. The apartment contains very little of his work, but many of the pictures and sculptures that Groth collected with  Steingrim Laursens, including pieces by Richard Francisco, Matta, Bruce Marden, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Tony Smith, Robert Rauschenberg, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Mark Tobey – a delight for me.

No. 26 R[ad] …ofer milpapas 13 12 16

A Futhork for Jan Groth
No 1. Chorale

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No 14. Elk sedge

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No 15. Tegn

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No 16.

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No. 20 ‘I think that it is possible for people to make identification through objects, to sense through my art my feeling of being, of life’ (Jan Groth)

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The score of Caprice 20, with Groth drawings, and material from R. Broby-Johansen ‘Oldnordiske Stenbilleder’ 4 1 17

No 21. Silence & Light

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No 22. Casting & Catching

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Balance 3 12 16

Balance 3 12 16

Casting 3 12 19

Casting 3 12 19

Rene Former 5 12 16

Rene Former 5 12 16

Tegn 5 12 16

Tegn 5 12 16

Jan Groth. Looking. 29 11 16 Oslo

Jan Groth. Looking. 29 11 16 Oslo

Wapping. Mist rising. William Morris 30 10 16

Wapping. Mist rising. William Morris 30 10 16

 

Jan Groth's design for his up coming exhibit. . 29 11 16 Oslo

Jan Groth’s design for his up coming exhibit. . 29 11 16 Oslo

Jan Groth. 29 11 16 Oslo

Jan Groth. 29 11 16 Oslo

The artist with the violin, observed. JanGroth w/ Anne Birgitte Paulsen. 29 11 16

The artist with the violin, observed. JanGroth w/ Anne Birgitte Paulsen. 29 11 16

No 11. Elk Sedge, 27 11 16

No 11. Elk Sedge, 27 11 16

 

No 1. 'Whither and wherefore, oh Phaedrus' 9-10/10/16

No 1. ‘Whither and wherefore, oh Phaedrus’ 9-10/10/16

Gateway. The entrance hall of Groth's apartment block. 29 11 16

Gateway. The entrance hall of Groth’s apartment block. 29 11 16

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Chorale/Caprice 1 for Jan Groth 

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Link to Groth’s work:  GLINK

forside

Jan Groth described this as ‘my typical gesture’

I don’t mind admitting, that the task is a daunting one. I have admired Groth’s work since I first encountered it at the Louisiana Museum in Denmark, in my early 20s. His approach to expression, to surface, to texture, to symbol and meaning is one that has profoundly affected my work as a violinist. So ro a while, I was silenced by the question of ‘what to do’ in response to this extraordinary work. But now, I think that I have a starting point. What is beginning to emerge is a series of ‘untitled’ musical objects ( I am aiming at 60) responding to to his eponymous ‘untitled’s. and the idea of ‘making’ the most distilled approaches to the violin, in a feeble counterpoint with this powerful material.

Progress: The third 'untitled' emerges 13 10 16

Progress: The third ‘untitled’ emerges 13 10 16

25 10 16

The series of caprices is beginning to grow, and with it, the notion of refrain of ‘choraler’. Here’s the sketch material, for ‘Chorale 1’

Listening to Jan Groth. Choral ! (Sketches-24 10 16)

Listening to Jan Groth. Choral  (Sketches-24 10 16)