Sigve Knutson's soloshow at NEVVEN Gallery in Göteborg.

Sigve Knutson: Log Scriber
April 27 — May 28, 2023
NEVVEN Gallery, Göteborg


For Sigve Knutson creating in three-dimensions should be a process as natural as drawing, playing, daydreaming. More interested in learning than perfecting any technique, tools and materials, in their unique nature and histories, are often the prime focus of the broad array of objects he creates. Even when years of professional work should deny this possibility, Knutson still manages to find ways to keep having those intuitive serendipities which only a beginner might have when discovering a new material, or tool, allowing mistakes, the unplanned and playful to become part of his process. Described at times as a designer, a craftsman or an artist, Knutson’s practice is more like the one of a poet, seeking a kind of freedom and form which often transcends or defies its content. Some of his most famous works are functional objects, like stools and tables, however some are instead purely sculptures, which abandon design and sometimes even craftsmanship to reaffirm in new forms the lessons and familiarity with the three-dimensional space he’s learned from these very fields. For this exhibition, his first solo show in Sweden, Knutson presents a new body of works in wood and silver, expanding some of his most known series and introducing some experimental new ideas. Log Scriber is divided in two parts, one actually made of logs: carved, sawed and chiseled oak plinths bearing on top delicately shaped and smoothly sanded sculptures in birch and elm burls. The other is a shelf displaying ten miniature sculptures in silver. These tiny objects, developed as part of a broader project which will result in a publication later this year,(1) are like drawings in three-dimensions, a vocabulary of forms, or an inventory of monuments to come. Log Scriber is maybe also what Knutson would like the visitor, probably not familiar with carpentry and its tools, to imagine him to be: this fantastic character drawing with wood. And knowing what a log scriber really is is really not important and shouldn’t concern the viewer. Like any other tool in Knutson’s workshop is like a magic wand to him, something that can open new realms, a vessel to new discoveries. Something he has initially chosen to use maybe more for its shape than for the result he wanted to achieve with it, like a word chosen only for its sound, not for its meaning. This is the kind of inversions of roles common to a poet, akin to ingenuity in its irreverent, revolutionary and contradictory potential, especially when in knowledgable hands. Enzo Mari once said: “Ingenuity is a healthy quality of youth...that in years, beating one’s head against the contradictions of the real world is transformed into determined knowledge. Meaning that the ethical values of the initial ingenuity are maintained while the implications linked to miserable and complete ignorance are lost.”(2) And this might be the best description of the way in which intuition is kept alive in the practice of this poet, who’s also a designer, craftsman, and artist. Leaving behind any need of clear-cut definitions and borders, towards which the polarised societies in which we live in constantly push us towards, he decided to be the sculptor who conceived the soft and dreamy forms on top of the pedestals and in the wall displayer, the designer who shaped the plinths and the very shelf, and eventually also the craftsman who chiseled, formed, carved and cut these materials in his workshop in the South of Norway. Sigve Knutson must be the Log Scriber.

Mattia Lullini

Sigve Knutson (b.1991, Lillesand) holds an MA in Contextual Design from Design Academy Eindhoven (2016) and a BA in Design from The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (2014). He has been exhibited at Gerhardsen Gerner (Oslo, 2022), London Craft Week (2022), Carwan Gallery (Athens, 2021), Market Art Fair (Stockholm, 2021), Sørlandets Kunstmuseum (Kristiansand, 2020), Design Museum Gent (2020), Chart Design Fair (Copenhagen, 2019), Norwegian Presence (Milan, 2018), Patrick Parrish Gallery (New York, 2017), and Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, 2017) among others. Knutson lives and works in Oslo, Norway.