C O (Carl Otto) Hultén
Also previous exhibitions at Galerie Bel'Art: 1987 and 1989.
BIOGRAPHY - CV
C O (Carl Otto) Hultén is born in 1916 in Malmö, and starts painting in 1935, starts the group Minotaur in 1942, which later becomes the fundament for Imaginisterna around 1945. This group later becomes part of Cobra.
CO Hultén's art do not only reflect The North, it is in it's deepest substance one with the North. By this i have said almost everything about him.
He travels from time to time outside Scandinavia, to seek the postman Chevals castle in France, to meet an African fetish or an Serbian peasant. But he mostly travels from the North to the North. He participated in the Nordic group Cobra, which instead of collecting vegetables, united roots.
Cobra was a promise, and Hultén meets this promise.
Under the Cobra period 1948-1951 our friend C O played with the technique, most of all he invented 'imprimaget' , he limited and dug out his domain before he absorbed in it. Other painters in Cobra went through a similar development for instance the Dutchman Appel and the Belgian Alechinsky.
He discovered that The North is not just a fable and neither just reality, but both fable and reality, and that the artistic way of expression is not just a mean but also a universe. Is cloth and paper allready the sky? Is the colour not allready a soil? Is ink a river - or a night? The trouble was in this way to get substance of the universal art to coincide with the Nordic reality-fable. How did Hultén succeed with this. Through a rare spontaneity, a seeking sponatneity that moves with thousands of various speeds, and looks like the Nordic way of thinking towards the language, while people from the south thinks from the language.
The spontaneity that interests us is not the dashing elegance, but the strength that first swallows the technique and then bites. The fundamental reality-fable at Hultén appear to be the night, the night that despite the furniture factories is the most important speciality in Scandinavia, the night from where the light has to be pulled out in an endless love dispute.
The North itself is a boundless drawing or rather a boundless engraving, which portray the birth of the night, life and death, from the icy beach to the spring forrest, from a village of small flakes, to a city of great lines, from a river full of stars to a sky full of lakes, from the dimness of midday, to the midnight sun. In the south the darkness and light changes with harmonious equality. In the North they fight, love each other and parts just to be mixed together again, from here to eternity.
Hulténs works shows this story and this geography, these meetings, and these mixtures, and I most of all think of a new litograph, where you see the light explode the night without supressing it. Without supressing the night, without covering the changing excited, violent and vivid travel from night against light and without supressing the jump of spontanity, scratches and cracks towards the work.
Hulténs art is cosmic that is why it is sincere.
Christian Dotremont, 1962