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Thorbjørn Lie-Jørgensen (1900 - 1961)

Thorbjørn Lie-Jørgensen painted many pictures of room interiors and seaside landscapes. His pictures are characterised by finely tuned fields of colour and a will to simplify and reduce visual impressions. Several works demonstrate his ability as a colourist. This expertise he also used to the full in his many years as a silversmith and enameller. Lee-Jørgensen was a designer for the jeweller David Andersen in Oslo during 1927–39, and thereafter a freelance designer until 1961. As a painter, he was interested in unifying a strong experience of nature with the formal pictorial elements. He wanted there to be correspondence between the experience of the subject and the expression in the picture. Instead of emphasising expression, he tried to construct his pictures based on ‘objective’ laws of composition.

"Unfortunately, I started collecting artworks by Thorbjørn Lie-Jørgensens too late. I only got in touch with him a few years before he died in 1960. The first painting I bought of him was "Uveir" (From Videheia) a couple of years after it was painted in 1950. […] I remember I could pay it in cash. This pleased him because he was just having a vernissage party on the occasion of his exhibition at the Artists' House (Kunstnernes Hus) at this time. He said: You have saved the whole vernissage event for me. It was fun to hear, because although he had a solid name and created good things, there was sometimes a lack of cash with him. […] I particularly remember the image "Sunrise". It was still on the easel. We discussed it. I told him it wasn't finished in the bottom left corner, and to my "satisfaction" he said I was right. " (Halvdan Hafsten)


Sunrise, 1956-59. Purchased from the artist

‘I experienced “Sunrise” on an early summer morning. I had just returned from Italy and was feeling quite ill; I had to go out and get some air. I then saw the sunrise over the coast, and it was breath-taking to see the dark blue mountains shift colour values. The windblown trees with leafy branches also came into play. I decided there and then to paint such a picture and I painted a sketch at that place. Sometime later I returned to the picture and simplified it a bit. Such an experience on an early morning has an enthralling effect. The colours are bright and render a peculiar light. I’ve painted pictures from this time of day on several occasions.’
(Written by the artist at Hafsten’s request)


Blue interior, 1956. Purchased from the artist

‘The window.
The blue interior is a direct and painterly experience of the great contrasts between the orange in the figure and the room’s deep blues, and then the strong contrast in the colour values is also important in the creation process. I painted this room once before, but then the room was restricted to yellow and there was no figure.’

(Written by the artist at Hafsten’s request)

Article and archive selection
Hanne Beate Ueland, Director Stavanger art museum

Stavanger art museum