Exhibition poster. Foto: © Yves Bresson

Yesterday we went to the Nationalmuseum to catch their exhibition about trompe l’oeil art, “Lura ögat”, during its last weekend. The objects on display were many and varied, ranging from 17th-century paintings to video installations.

Based on the exhibition poster I was expecting most of the works to be modern, but the bulk of the exhibition consisted of works from the heyday of trompe l’oeil painting: pictures pretending to be plaster reliefs, or deceiving the eye about the dimensions of the room, or simply attempting such verisimilitude to make the viewer believe that what we see is not a painting but the real thing.

The video installation I mentioned showed a woman balancing on a tightrope that’s runs just along the horizon, where the sky meets the sea. Other modern works included what seemed to be a photo of Queen Elizabeth II but turned out to be a photo of a wax statue at Madame Tussaud’s.

The exhibition topic was interesting and so were the contents, but the presentation was suboptimal. There were too many objects in too few rooms: many of them would have made more of an impression if they had had more space around them. Especially the small rooms were way too small (or way too crowded) – I skipped several rooms because I could not see past all the other people in there. It’s partly my own fault for waiting until the last weekend, of course. The poster image was particularly badly placed, in a corner, opposite a three-dimensional installation which left a relatively narrow passage in front of the image, so everyone was queueing to go past there.

Many of the older hyperrealistic paintings lost much of their effect because of the frames around them – they became nothing more than impressive still lifes. That’s the traditional way to display oil paintings, I know, but it was not very appropriate for this exhibition. On the other hand, Escape from the Critique looked great.

I also thought there were disproportionately many paintings of quod libets (paintings of small objects on a wall, like this one), which became much of a muchness after a while.

My favourite was Yrjö Edelmann’s Packed Picasso (Blue period). What you see here is a photo of a painting of a parcel containing a painting.

You can see many more pictures on the exhibition’s press relations page.