Introduction by John August Wood. Text by Cecilie Tyri Holt.
Per Fronth began his career as a photojournalist in the 1980s, documenting the Alexander Kielland oil rig disaster in the North Sea. Along the way, however, he apparently grew skeptical of that profession’s claims to represent unmediated truth, and his more recent work combines painting and photography--“I want to redefine photography by way of using my paintbrushes,” he has said--such that assumptions of verisimilitude, accuracy and fictional narrative all become equally ungrounded. Sumptuous visuality, whether as photographic near-abstraction or as intricate webs of cracked paint, is paramount. Here, in the first book-length presentation of the Norwegian-born artist’s works, one can track his trajectory from the late 1980s to 2002, a journey that leads from the bold geometricism of the Xingu Chronicles (created during a stay with the Amazon Indians in Brazil) through the darkly distressed surfaces of Archipelago, a series dealing with the September 11 attacks.