A World Beyond Past and Future: Odd Nerdrum’s Hopeful and Soothing Vision of Humanity | The Cave of Apelles

What is it that captivates people about his paintings, what is his life project, and is philosophy the key to reach the highest achievements?
Carl Korsnes and Einar Duenger Bøhn sit down to discuss the work of Odd Nerdrum in light of his recent retrospective exhibition “You see we are blind”.

Topics from the conversation:
00:00 Exhibition openings
01:12 Grotesque and depressing or hopeful and soothing?
03:20 Horrible actions beautifully depicted
09:58 Aristotle on technê: knowing why you do what you do
14:05 A painter with a vision of humanity
18:47 Contemporary painters avoid focusing on the face
21:00 Being shaken up is only possible through a classical form
30:11 Nerdrum’s world: past, future or a different realm?
36:46 Day-to-day or timeless: newspaper articles vs. stories and myths
40:45 Nerdrum balances the concrete and the general
45:48 Not abstract and not “too realistic” / hyper realist
50:42 Being cultivated is to understand the commonality of things
57:00 Don’t waste time on new books or newspapers
1:04:53 Philosophers of art should learn to draw first
1:08:20 Aristotle’s approach
1:10:52 The humanist aspect of drawing
1:15:46 What are we looking at and judging accordingly
1:19:22 At its foundation, Nerdrum’s work is philosophical
1:22:30 Is Nerdrum an anarchist painter?


▶ Full video: https://www.patreon.com/caveofapelles
🎵 Full audio: http://caveofapelles.com/podcast

The conversation was produced by Bork S. Nerdrum and assisted by Cassander Straumsgaard and Kristine Onsrud.
The centerpiece was a 19th century reproduction of G. F. Watts’ Hope.

Fergus Ryan
Shaun Roberts
Matthias Proy
Børge Moe
Eivind Josten
Dean Anthony
Alastair Blain
Anders Berge Christensen
Erik Lasky
Fernando Ramirez
Hårek Jordal Andreassen
Iver Ukkestad
Jack Entz Warner
Jared Fountain
Marion Bu-Pedersen
Maurice Robbins
Misty DeLaine
Michael Irish
Richard Barrett
Stacey Evangelista
Trym Jordahl
Yngve Hellan


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  • Apelles was asked why he touched and retouched his pictures with so much care, to which he replied:
    "I paint for eternity"