I met Henrik Uldalen at a time of transition. The artist’s figurative, ethereal paintings are distorted through impasto brushwork that obscures his subject’s bodies. His aim for the last 13 years has been a constant self-taught search for beauty, attempting to harness the tools of aesthetics to depict it, mastering his craft, and now… he doesn’t care? whynow finds out more.
The ability to shift focus is an exciting aspect of any artist’s career, that they can do it radically and totally, towards a new subject, a new medium, a new way to express themselves. Henrik Uldalen has been unchangingly dealing with existentialism on a muted, Scandinavian palette. It surprises people to discover he’s Asian, born in South Korea and adopted in Norway. He has lived in Mexico, Florence, Barcelona and, currently, London. Henrik stays true to the feelings of existentialism and nostalgia that he wants to project onto the work.
So, it was a surprise when I walked into his studio to find it populated by wooden sculpture attempts and abstract works on large canvases that climbed the walls up to the double height ceiling. The abstracts are just sketches, he tells me, but they couldn’t have been done smaller with the feeling he was attempting to capture.