Love in Exile

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JD Malat Gallery is delighted to present a solo exhibition by Henrik Uldalen, ‘Love in Exile,’ on view from 18 November 2021 to 8 January 2022. Featuring a new body of work, including striking new portraits, expressive figurative paintings, as well as some blow-torched pieces, the exhibition reflects Uldalen’s growth and progression as an artist, striving to build on his neo-classical roots.

Uldalen, with a following of almost one million on Instagram, and now presenting his third solo show at the gallery, is a London-based Norwegian artist who is internationally recognised for his thick impasto portraits that illustrate the deeper and darker spectrum of human emotions. The exhibition features new paintings that address the feelings of loneliness, suffering, fear, and uncertainty.

A striking departure from ‘Lethe’ and ‘Metanoia,’ his first two solo exhibitions at JD Malat Gallery, ‘Love in Exile’ is the artist’s finest series to date. Uldalen draws inspiration from philosophers like Nietzsche and Sartre, to arrive at his current approach - darker backgrounds, looser contours, experimentation - the philosophical questioning brings freedom in the new series. Through ‘Love in Exile’ the artist seeks to realize and accept the fact that existence is meaningless, which brought him to looking for a way out of an existential crisis. Reflecting on his private experiences, he brings to life the push-pull relationships between love and loneliness, drowning and escaping, by portraying his figures and their inner battle.

With over twenty new paintings, Uldalen has surpassed himself with skill and innovation. Paintings such as Enfold demonstrate his ability to delicately capture human emotion in the moment of release. By concealing the eyes, known as ‘the window to the soul,’ Uldalen gives the viewer the opportunity to reflect on the themes of despair and self-discovery.

When discussing the preparation of the show, Henrik declared that real-life connection is the foundation he needs to build a life, and create sincere artwork that people can understand and relate to. “We are together in this universe devoid of reason, let us surrender to it and embrace,” the artist explains. “There is no greater meaning, but that life can be lived to the fullest, to create subjective ‘meaning’ and happiness.” We are faced with human nature in its most raw and intimate state. It seems that Uldalen has arrived at a new chapter - his works remain innovative (not many people can pick up a blowtorch and a paint brush at the same time), while the themes explored are timeless and relatable.

Henrik Uldalen had two other solo exhibitions at the JD Malat Gallery, ‘Lethe’ in 2019 and ‘Metanoia’ in 2018. He was part of the residency program at Arthouse Pani, Museo e Arte  de Querétaro in Tequisquiapan, Mexico in 2020, as well as the JD Malat St Moritz Pop-up  space in the winter of 2020. Works by the artist belong in many important collections worldwide.


For more information, images, and comment, please contact: [email protected]

Exhibition opening hours; Monday to Friday, 10am – 6pm; Saturday 12pm – 6pm