(Norwegian, b. 1949, in Lofoten, Norway, lives and works in New York City)
Inger Johanne Grytting’s abstract drawings and paintings are the portals or “gangways” to the core of her inner landscape where narrative elements are reduced to abstract signs. A technique involving repetitive parallel lines has consumed Grytting’s form of expression for more than a decade. The line, applied with a system of self-imposed limits, is central to her art. Lines represent traces and extensions of the artist and each drawing is the result of a meditative process. The artist refers to her own work as “recordings”: “My artworks are like diary entries of psychological states…. The process is a probing inwards, where emotions and insights are translated into graphic expressions”. (Ref. Curator Charis Gullickson in Grytting’s first monographic presentation “Extensions” that was published in conjunction with her exhibition at the Northern Norway Art Museum, 2015).
In the 1970s, Inger Johanne Grytting moved from northern Norway to New York, where she studied art and settled as an artist and become part of a pulsating art community, receiving lasting impulses from the Abstract Expressionist and Minimalist movements. Since then, Grytting has been an important link between the American and the Norwegian art scenes, as became evident in the group exhibition Parallels at Northern Norway Art Museum in 2011. The artist’s loft on the Bowery in Lower Manhattan has been for many years a meeting point for American and Norwegian artists and writers. Grytting and her husband, Mark J. Mirsky, are also notable figures in the American literary world, as editors and publishers of the cult periodical Fiction (Ref. Knut Ljøgodt, Director, Northern Norway Art Museum 2015).
In April 2016, Inger Johanne Grytting work was featured in The Daily Norwegian newspaper “Dagens Næringsliv” with regards to the acquisition of six of her works by The National Gallery (part of The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Norway). Grytting’s exhibition schedule for fall of 2017 includes The Vigeland Museum in Oslo (October 13, 2017- January 2018) with Recent Drawings.
"Grytting begins her drawings and paintings by defining a set of self-imposed limitations, which are impossible to follow precisely. They center upon her execution of a multitude of repeating, parallel lines, organized into tight columns. When producing these lines, she is aware that the movements of her hand are inherently imperfect, impossible to fully control, subject to the vagaries of her thoughts and emotions. She embraces these inevitable deviations. Recalling the austere compositions of Agnes Martin, Grytting’s works, like the oil-on-canvas painting M-29 (2014), appear highly controlled yet remain loose, their rhythmic regularity constantly interrupted by the artist’s hand.” - Karen Kedney (Artsy Editorial, October 13, 2014)
"My drawings are like diary entries. I record the constant clash between my intentions and the adjustments I must make in response to demands and obstacles in my environment. The process is a probing inwards, where emotions and insights are translated into graphic expressions".
- Inger Johanne Grytting