This page is intended to briefly show some background material. Please click on the thumbnails to view a complete picture of that image, such as this photograph of Hagtvedt from 1995:

Henrik Hagtvedt was born January 6th, 1971, in Sandefjord, Norway. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, as well as at private art schools in Norway and Denmark. Having lived in many countries and traveled extensively in different parts of the world, he has had the opportunity to seek out impulses from a variety of cultures. After his early breakthrough in Italy, with accolades from such famous art critics as Mario De Micheli and Tommaso Paloscia, Hagtvedt has also exhibited in several of those countries. The photographs below depict one such instance, from an exhibition in the United Arab Emirates:

Hagtvedt gives most of the credit to past artists he has studied in galleries and museums, acknowledging the vision gained by standing on the shoulders of giants. Through the years he has absorbed as many disciplines as possible, ranging from photo realism to abstract work, from sculpture to poetry. In some of his work he has also paid homage to old masters with an expression of that duality, such as in this painting:

Duality, or multiplicity, has also been present in other works. In the pieces below, different styles and techniques converge on the same canvas. In the one to the left, the face was first painted in black and white, with the chaotic background added afterwards. In the one to the right, the diversity and confusion is accentuated by the changing styles.

The four canvases below are taken from an exhibition where Hagtvedt painted the exact same portrait in 20 different styles:

Sometimes different techniques would bring a painting through different stages, leaving a finished result that looks nothing like the work in progress. Below is one such painting shown in two of its stages. In one stage the background has become abstract, but the central figure is still painted figuratively. In the next stage the figure has also become abstract.

Methods could also change depending on the clarity of vision at the outset. Below are three works begun with straightforward ideas in mind and executed with straightforward techniques. All three were thus completed right after each other in a single sitting during a summer day in Norway.

Other works may begin with clear images in mind, while the technique is less straightforward. In the pieces below the paint has been thrown and spattered on, the images slowly developing in a mist.

Finally, some works may take weeks or months to finish, the final result looking nothing at all like the starting point. The variety of styles and techniques that Hagtvedt has touched upon over the years is too large to illustrate on this web site. The result would be a cluttered mess. Our intention here was to show some of the early background while maintaining at least a semblance of continuity.