Yngve Zakarias presents his 80’s works in Trondheim Art Museum (2011)

“Bloody Serious – Norwegian art in the 80’s”  opened in Bergen Art Museum in January 2010 curated by Eli  Okkenhaug. “Bloody Serious” has also been presented at the Sørlandet Museum of Art and Haugar Vestfold Art Museum. Trondheim Art Museum is now presenting the tour finale in the Gråmølna department and in the museum’s main building on Bispegata 7B.

In the show, Trondheim Art Museum focuses on the museum’s 80s collection, and some important artists and art environments that have been central to the city in that decade. The museum gave Yngve Zakarias free hands to present his work from the 80’s in room 204 in Bispegata in the period June 18 – September 18, 2011.


Yngve Zakarias was born 1957 in Trondheim, and for most of the 80’s he was based in Berlin. He has now moved back to Trondheim.

Economy of means has long distinguished the work of Yngve Zakarias. He has been characterized as “the most prominent Norwegian representative of Arte Povera” (Prof. Dr. Jan Brockmann, 2001).

For “Bloody Serious” he has chosen to show a selection of woodcut works printed on canvas. Based on the simplification inherent in the graphic technique, the potential for serial development gave a new direction to his work.

When Yngve Zakarias once more took up the woodcut technique early in the  80’s, it was as a response to the historic German Expressionism, as well as to the painting and the brutality in handling material expression of that decade.

During the late 80’s, i.e. the works shown here, a gradual clarification of methods takes place. The components of an image can be replaced and used in new contexts. Woodcut has potential based in limitations, where the differentiation of black and white corresponds to the binary logic of 0 and 1 of the data-world. From there, situation, fiction and story emerge, built up by means of variation, repetition, series and shifts.

The material form is read as components of potential fiction. Here also lies the seeds of animation. For instance, the lines in the year ring pattern of a wooden board may be read as contour lines and converted into virtual 3D landscape data, as Yngve Zakarias showed at the Trondheim Art Museum in 2005.

Works of Yngve Zakarias have been purchased by a number of public and private collections in America and Europe, as well as by a number of institutions such as the Norwegian National Museum, Trondheim Art Museum, Stavanger Art Museum, Berlinische Galerie, Kunstmuseum Reutlingen, the Swedish Arts Council, Deutsche Bank and AXA Art Collection.