Bjarne Melgaard

Bodyparty (Substance Paintings)


Bodyparty (Substance Paintings)

Bodyparty (Substance Paintings)

Press release

An exhibition in two parts





Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, is pleased to present an exhibition in two parts,  by Bjarne Melgaard. The physical gallery exhibition, Bodyparty (Substance Paintings) will be displayed in tandem with a pioneering virtual extension, Life Killed My Chihuahua.


Bodyparty (Substance Paintings) is an installation of 14 new paintings in the London gallery’s Ely Room. This intimate, introspective body of work, straight from the artist's Oslo studio, reflects on his complex relationship with past and present. The series, shown here for the first time, began when the artist returned to Norway from the US in summer 2017. The works were revisited and completed in the winter of 2017 with a second layer that challenges the first. This incorporation of a change in stylistic approach embodies both the effects of passing time and the duality present in the title. ‘Bodyparty’, is what Melgaard sees as a ‘sexy’ allusion to the body and its physicality, while ‘Substance Paintings’ is his ‘dorky’ analysis of the making of the works themselves. The phrase ‘substance paintings’ is written on a number of the pieces and refers to the different effects of the conscious and unconscious mind on the painting process and its resulting timeframe.


Life Killed My Chihuahua is a digital concept by Julia Peyton-Jones, Senior Global Director: Special Projects at Ropac, and curated by Melgaard himself and publisher Elise By Olsen. It grants a unique insight into Melgaard’s artistic practice and the loneliness of being an artist; chronicling Oslo’s contemporary counterculture. Prominent creatives from the city’s thriving underground scene are showcased, including Admir Batlak, Victoria Duffee, Haikw/, Matias Kiil, Pasenau, Charlie Roberts, Silicone Works, Anne Karine Thorbjørnsen, Morteza Vaseghi and Bror August Vestbø, with content ranging from sculpture, video and painting, to textile, design, photography and graphics. Running in parallel with the exhibition in the gallery, Life Killed My Chihuahua will unfold on the gallery’s Instagram (@thaddaeusropac). It actively involves the audience by creating a holistic relationship between the physical and digital, spatially-limited and virtual, introversion in Bodyparty (Substance Paintings) and the extraversion in Life Killed My Chihuahua. Both parts of the exhibition are characteristic of Melgaard’s singular style: independent, radical and non-conformist.