Haldis Marie Kjomme
Critique by Timothy Warrington
Haldis Marie Kjomme’s undeniably unique artistic style demonstrates her fervent creativity and intrinsic perspective as she shares her mind with unabated passion through an innovative exploration of technique and poetic response to her inexhaustible sources of inspiration. The curious spirit of the artist is palpable in each indelible mark that she applies to her canvases as she draws tangible influence from a vast array of movements ranging from the Pre Raphaelites to Surrealism while her exquisite brushwork is adroit in creating a concrete connection to Romanticism. The elements culminate with her vehement desire to express her intellectual thoughts; a prerequisite that she effectuates with uninhibited vivacity and eloquence.
The artist’s illusive subjects and diaphanous settings, realised through the sublime execution of her brushwork, give the viewer the impression that her compositions are set in a celestial realm; the deep colours and extramundane levitating figures assist the eye as it glides across the canvas and gives the viewer a sense of uncanny euphoria that conjures integral similarities with the Surrealist tendencies of Marc Chagall and Paul Delvaux through their phantasmagorical portrayals and chimeric inhabitants of their artworks. Kjomme’s academic exploration of Surrealism continues to push creative boundaries via the mysterious settings that environ the populous who reside within her landscapes suggesting psychological congruities with Salvador Dali, Giorgio de Chirico and Yves Tanguy.
The majestic elegance of Kjomme’s sibylline subjects is ubiquitous throughout her oeuvre and reflects the Renaissance propensity towards sitters with graceful postures and elongated necks that can be found extensively in Sandro Botticelli’s works. Kjomme, however, instills a visually complex layer to this established trope for the viewer to cogitate that introduces a contemporary touch to her compositions; this avant-garde rendering conjures images of Amedeo Modigliani and Alberto Giacometti, while the iridescent qualities of the skin holds resonance with Georges Seurat.
In Kjomme’s more abstracted collection, a sincere influence from Expressionism is present; indeed an aura of Paul Klee, Jean Miro, Edvard Munch and Oskar Kokoschka can be detected in these pieces through their emotively conveyed philosophical perspective and academic use of line and form. Meanwhile her perspicacious understanding of shape reflects a discerning sculptural understanding and a cerebral connection with Constantin Brancusi and Ossip Zadkine. She creates an elegiac atmosphere via the haptic textures formed by her experimental approach to her medium, giving the viewer an overwhelming cognizance of Henry Moore’s works on paper.
It is often said that eyes are the window to the soul and, indeed, the optical symbolism in Kjomme’s masterpieces contain a labyrinth of meaning; often wide open yet sometimes covered or closed, these expressive facets are portrayed with an astute realism that obtain the semblance of marionettes in an otherwise loose and abstracted composition. This emphasis on vision establishes a sense of the artist’s penchant for the Fauvist Kees van Dongen, who also imposes a firm and profound symbolic prevalence on the concept of perspective. The ethereal congregation of people enshrouded by dynamic backgrounds encompasses a myriad of elements that provoke a deep intrigue in the viewer. When considering the smoky atmospheres as well as the focus on interpersonal and societal relationships, a shared philosophical understanding with L. S. Lowry can be surmised while the artist’s intelligent utilisation of compositional elements and proclivity to incorporate highly detailed aspects amongst her more metaphysical leanings denotes an impact from Gustav Klimt. Certainly, further parallels with Klimt can be detected upon deeper analysis through the academic juxtaposition between the overtly emblematic backdrops and striking realism discernible in the faces of the models.
The alacritous symbiosis between man and nature in Kjomme’s glorious paintings harbours a resonance with Frida Kahlo as the surrounding pastures become synonymous with the central models. There is also an implied connection with the Post Impressionists, distinctly when observing the harmonious balance between mankind and the organic world presented by both Kjomme and Henri Charles Manguin. The flowers adorning the flesh of these characters suggests a numinous gravitation towards the Pre Raphaelites, particularly when considering John Everett Millais; this association becomes increasingly entrenched when one considers the elegance and arresting gaze of the figures, attesting to the artist’s inclination towards ancestral traditions heralded by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Marie Spartali Stillman. These artists convey with dexterous simplicity the delicacy of the female form, whilst refraining from renouncing their enduring resilience and beauty.
Kjomme’s vivid and poignant opuses draw upon a multitude of stimulating inspirations that she coalesces with scintillating ease in order to convey her primordial outlook; the denouement of which portray a powerfully serene and intellectual view of the world and allows the viewer an insight into the mind of the artist. Kjomme wonderfully communicates personal thought and emotions through her implicit affinity with her mixed mediums and fills the viewer with a peaceful sense of focused tranquility in which they are enabled to ponder the limitless creative facets through which the artist illustrates her philosophical ideas and unique point of view.