Rolf Aamot, "Nordlys", 1991, installation view "Abduction", Kontraskjæret, Oslo, foto: Adrian Bugge
Rolf Aamot, “Nordlys”, 1991, installation view “Abduction”, Kontraskjæret, Oslo, foto: Glafira Severianova

Rolf Aamot, born 1934, electronic painter, graphic artist, visual tonal-image-composer, film director and cultural author.
Rolf Aamot, has since the 1950`s, been regarded a pioneer within electronically based expressions of art in graphics and photo paintings as well as the scenic and filmatic media. His exploration of experimental innovative technology (data, laser, photo technique) combined with multiple traditional art forms (music, film, theatre, ballet and photo arts) has gained international interest and attention.

While still attending Academy of Arts and Craft 1952-55, Aamot was granted a great decoration assignment for the Paleontologic Museum of Oslo. His traditional education then continued at The Public Academy of Arts 1958-60 with the professors Aage Storstein and Alexander Schultz as masters. Both worked under the impression of cubism and new classicism, and were devoted to the 1920`s efforts to unite figuration and abstraction.

Throughout his artistic endeavor, Aamot has been inspired by the accelerating contemporary electronic development. This led him into exploration and study to express new artistic expressions for concerts, film and television. Among other things, he accomplished a series of classes at Public school of Film studies/Public Centre for film 1969-77 and at The Drama Institute of Stockholm 1973. Through his work, he obtained professional contact and undertook study travels to Austria 1952, Italy 1959 and Spain 1961. During the years 1966-84, his works of art were displayed in Scandinavia, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Soviet Union, USA and Japan.

The modern electronic-technologic development during the years of 1955-65 and the frankness of picture arts towards other art forms, gave Rolf Aamot mind-boggling opportunities. Both artistically and technically, the graphic tone-arts/picture-music evolved through laser- and computer-technology. The tone-arts belonging to music, film and television was expressed in the show Evolution (1966) with music composed by Arne Nordheim. The works was broadcasted in 1967 in Norwegian Broadcasting System Television (NRK/TV), and it then represented a milestone of a new art-form in which the television-medium, for the first time in Europe, was used as an independent picture-artistic means of expression. Inspired by the results, which now existed after 10 years of technical studies in close contact with a rich and complex artistic environment, Aamot continued his work throughout the 1970`s with electronic paintings, art films and video arts for different medias. This often occurred in cooperation with the painter and composer Bjørg Lødøen. In 1986 came their joint picture-tune drama Medusa, in which Lødøen contributed as an actor.

The basis was laid for visual picture-tunes in color, nuance and line; a performance/play for the eye in motion through time and space. In a rare way, Aamot`s sophisticated tune-based colorite manages to provide spatial depth, and simultaneously appeal to the viewers participation in its fiction. This is as much a question of internal, as well as external landscapes in human search for an expression of a contemporary acknowledgement. Even if his motives are in an abstract shape, they will provide associations to landscapes reflected in titles as Before the storm and Dead calm (2003).

Less known in the experimental and explorative art deed featuring Aamot, is his photo arts; with earnest character studies of famous Norwegian personalities such as Erik Løchen, Finn Alnæs and Elisabeth Granneman.

Aamot has had exhibitions in The national Norwegian Autumn Exhibition [Kunstnernes Hus], the Henie-Onstad Art Centre at Høvikodden and Bergen Art Museum, as well as contributing in collective exhibitions domestic and abroad, such as Kalmar Art Museum, Louisiana Museum for Modern Arts, the international biennial «The Masters of Graphic Acts» in Hungary, International Print Triennial in Krakow, Poland, and The Norwegian international Ggraphictriennial in Fredrikstad. In the year 2000 he was especially invited by the jury to participate at the The national Norwegian Autumn Exhibition, besides Contemporary Art Gallery in Opole, Poland 2003 and Old Manage in Moscow 2004.

Among Aamot`s separate exhibitions, the exhibitions in the Henie-Onstad Art Centre at Høvikodden 1995 and The Norwegian Museum for Photo art 2003/2004 should be mentioned. Here, he does not only demonstrate the force of coloritic arts, but a highly skilled knowledge of laser and computer techniques, computer painting on canvas, computer graphics, digital photo paintings and picture-tunes in physical time. The motives are characterized by an exquisite intensity in color, based on the over-tone scale of the color, in which they create an unexpected yet profound feeling of space.

Aamot has created several films, as the cinema films Actio (1980) and Aurora borealis (1991), and a number of TV productions. He has been given many public assignments, among others for National committee for Short Film, Norwegian Broadcasting System, Arts Council Norway and Norwegian Film Ltd. Rolf Aamot is represented in the National Museum of Art, the Henie-Onstad Art Centre at Høvikodden, Bergen Art Museum, Kalmar Art Museum and several other public and private collections, and he has been represented at numerous international film- and arts festivals.

With the work Energi (2003), Aamot received Rune Brynestad`s scholarship 2004. The scholarship was granted by Norwegian Visual Artists association.

Ole Petter Bjerkek

“Nordlys”, digital video, 1991

Courtesy of the artist

Rolf Aamot (født 28. september 1934 i Bergen) er en norsk maler, billedkunstner, fotograf, regissør,og billedtone komponist. Siden 1950-årene har Aamot vært en pioner innen elektronisk maleri, og har utforsket den fremvoksende teknologien. Aamot studerte maleri ved Kunsthøyskolen i Oslo (Statens Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole og Statens kunstakademi), og film ved Dramatiska Instutet i Stockholm. Han er kjent for sitt arbeid som maler, elektronisk maler og grafiker, kunstfotograf, regissør, billedtone komponist, og kulturskribent. Mye av hans arbeid består i å skape elektroniske billed-toner. Det er ofte en form for performance med billedtoner og fotografiske elementer. Aamots utforsking av eksperimentelt nyskapende teknologi (data, laser, fototeknikk) i kombinasjon med flere tradisjonelle kunstarter (musikk, film, teater, ballett og billedkunst) har vakt internasjonal interesse og oppmerksomhet. Siden 1966 har Aamots verk vært vist i Skandinavia, Frankrike, Tyskland, Belgia, Italia, Sovjetunionen, og senere i Russland, Polen, USA og Japan. Hans arbeider finnes i en rekke viktige offentlige samlinger, og han har vært representert ved flere internasjonale film og kunstfestivaler.

Rolf Aamot (f. 1934) er en pionér i norsk elektronisk kunst.
Vår moderne kunst- og mediehistorie er full av Aamots fotavtrykk, og han ønsket å skape en ny kunstart med sin «billedmusikk». «Maksimal informasjon per tidsenhet!» utforsker Aamots kunstnerskap fra debututstillingen på midten av sekstitallet og frem til i dag. – Aamots kunstnerskap forteller en annerledes historie om nyere norsk kunst, og setter også vår egen samtid i perspektiv. For flere tiår siden drøftet han problemstillinger som er mer relevante enn noensinne nå i vårt hektiske informasjonssamfunn, forteller kurator Frode Sandvik.

Med en forskers innstilling har Aamot gjennom en årrekke tatt i bruk ny teknologi som kunstnerisk uttrykksmiddel. Hovedprosjektet har hele tiden vært hans «bildende tonekunst», enten det har vært i form av lys- og fjernsynskunst, film eller elektronisk maleri. Aamot utforsker lys og farger, med en særlig interesse for selve kunstopplevelsen.

Fra 1960-tallet til slutten av 1980-tallet laget han fjernsynsverk vist på NRK, i samarbeid med komponister som Arne Nordheim, Bjørn Fongaard, Bjørg Lødøen og Olav Anton Thommessen. Aamots kunst har blitt vist i Norden, Europa, USA og Asia.

I dag er Aamot svært opptatt av klimautfordringen og planetens sårbarhet.

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