Thor Lindeneg Interview
You have been described as “autodidactic,” or self-taught. What are some of the advantages (or disadvantages) that you have encountered throughout your career without the formal training of the Art Academy?
I think it is an advance that no one has told me how and what to paint. As a young painter it’s dangerous to be influenced by others. I’m lucky to have a free spirit that has not been distorted by professors.
But perhaps some (stupid) critics think that I’m not a real artist without the usual education.
Your work is featured on several book and periodical covers, including Umberto Eco and the British Medical Journal. In these cases, your work is seen outside an artistic context (i.e. galleries, art blogs/websites, and articles). How do you think this affects the level of exposure your work receives?
For me it’s a piece of art no matter what media wants to show it.
Do you think that it shifts your art into something else? Or does it add new layers of meaning to it?
No! And the layers of meaning are all up to the observer.
You had originally started off in a musical career before shifting into the visual arts. Had you been painting throughout this period? If so, when did you start painting? And what inspired you to exhibit your work at Charlottenborg in 1972?
Musical and art career went hand in hand. I painted my first oil painting as 8 years old. I’m sure all artists want to exhibit their work. In Denmark it is important to be accepted at Charlottenborg. In 1972, I felt that my paintings were good enough to give it a try.
Could you describe the process of preparing for this first exhibition? And with the benefit of hindsight, what might you do differently today?
If I was to live my life again, I’m sure it would be the same paintings of mine embellishing the walls at Charlottenborg.
Your career is dotted with international exhibitions, from Denmark, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and the United States. Could you describe some of the challenges you faced during these international exhibitions?
What might some of the differences be when exhibiting within your country of origin?
At the age of 72 I think that I’m through all the trouble that goes with exhibitions abroad, shipping works, being present at openings, etc etc. Exhibiting in Denmark is unproblematic as we are in acreage a small country.
On your website, you have described your word as Fantastic Figuration. What is Fantastic Figuration for you? Also, how did you come to identify with Fantastic Figuration?
In a North Art Magazine article, Jens Pedersen identified you as a “second generation,” wanting to expose the possibilities that exist outside convention and conformity. How does this philosophy play into Fantastic Figuration?
I belong to the second generation of surrealistic painters in Denmark witch the art-historic described as ‘fantastic figuration’
Fantastic Figuration is for me just a word. I am and will always be a surrealistic painter.
What kinds of projects do you see for yourself on the horizon?
I will just keep on paint til I die…