Henrik Olai Kaarstein

Selected Works


Born in 1989 in Oslo, Henrik Olai Kaarstein currently lives and works in Brussels. His practice involves manipulating textiles, paper, and wood with a range of transformative agents. Embracing chance and unpredictability, his process often begins by the soaking of various materials—towels, leather, cardboard—in a mixture of chemicals that might include paint, glue, or acetone. The objects emerge modified in unforeseen ways—they are stiffened and stained, corroded and calcified. For other bodies of work, the artist transfers images between two surfaces, similarly ceding control and allowing for unexpected translations of marks from one material to the next. Given his emphasis on process rather than outcome, the artist's works are visually diverse. In his latest painting series, Kaarstein embraced his own household environment and he developed an attentive gaze to the objects that are transferred on color fields canvases, becoming a metaphorical manifestation of affection towards the world around him.

Gallery Exhibitions

Other Venues




Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main
(Class of Willem de Rooij)

2009 – 2010

Nordland College of Art and Film, Kabelvåg, Norway

Solo exhibitions


‘Necessities’, Etablissement d’en face, Brussels
Breadbox Contemporary, Oslo


‘Mad about it’, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen


‘Lei Deg’, Christian Torp, Oslo


‘No Need For Good Luck’, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen
‘New Promises’, c-o-m-p-o-s-i-t-e, Brussels


‘Well Received Lies’, T293, Rome


‘This has nothing to do with this or Same as it never was’, WARM, São Paulo


‘Pride’, Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels
‘Aftershape’, Il Crepaccio, Milan
‘Warm Embraces’, Tidens Krav, Oslo


‘Mothers’, T293, Naples
‘Isn’t’, Welcome Screen, London
‘Charmless’, ReMap 4 (w/ T293), Athens


‘Turning and Returning’, T293, Rome

Group exhibitions


‘Hopeless Romantics’, Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA, Prague, Czech Republic
‘All Great and Precious Things’, T293, Rome


‘No Day but Today’, Bjurholmsgatan 3C, Stockholm


‘Group show’, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen
‘If you don’t like art, goodbye, fuck off, go home…’, Nordic Contemporary Art Collection, Kristianstad, Sweden
‘Sun and Spring in January – Next generation in Norwegian Contemporary Art’, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo


‘Dreaming’, Pantaleonsmühlengasse, Cologne
‘June show’, Kunsterforbundet, Oslo


Kristiandsand Kunsthal, Kristiandsand, Norway
‘Concrete Island’, Christian Torp Gallery, Oslo
‘Call me’, Carl Kostyal, Stockholm


‘BELOVED IN THE LANDSCAPE’, New Bretagne / Belle Air, Essen, Germany
‘…ma l’amor mio non muore. Opere dalla Collezione Alloggia’, Casa Museo Ivan Bruschi, Arezzo, Italy
‘T293-in-residence’, Via Gabba 1, Milan


‘The World is Made of Stories’, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo
‘Parked Like Serious Oysters’, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
‘F •R •I •E •N •D •S ✓Friends’, Evelyn Yard, London
‘Karmic Thermal’, Ideal Uh-huh, Berlin
‘Outdoor I’, WARM, São Paulo
‘NN-A NN-A NN-A – New Norwegian Abstraction’, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo


‘THE GO-BETWEEN. A selection of emerging international artists from the Ernesto Esposito Collection, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples
‘De Generation of Painting’, Fondazione 107, Turin
‘Nuit Américaine’, Office Baroque, Brussels
‘Do not disturb’ (At the invitation of Elmgreen & Dragset), Gerhardsen Gerner, Oslo
‘Touched (2)’, Apt. 302, Marseilles
‘Snakes in the Grass’, Clarence Mews at 10 Northington St., London


‘Touched’, Art Metropole, Toronto
‘Mild Mania’, 68m² Art Space, Copenhagen
‘Influence’, Galerie 1m³, Lausanne
‘Wassup Painters’, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles
‘Merry Company’ (w/ Buck Ellison), Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Frankfurt
‘Følsomme Gutter 3’, Bergen Kunsthall


‘Pour_ce_laine’, Leonhardi Kulturprojekte, Frankfurt
‘Busy Sleep’, online art project (www.busysleep.com)
‘Idea is the Object’, D’Amelio Gallery, New York


‘Open Kunsthall’, Oslo Kunsthall, Oslo
‘Hard Glance //Soft Rock’, Kuk & Parfyme zine # 2 Exhibition, Holodeck, Oslo
‘Deep Sea Adventure’, Apartment exhibition, London
‘Projectile Weapons’ (w/ Thomas Grødal), NICC exhibition space, Antwerpen


‘You Like Diamonds, I Prefer Cash’, Nordland College of Art and Film degree show, Galleri Lille Kabelvåg, Kabelvåg


‘Whale Carpatio’, Forgotten Bar Project, Berlin


‘Prøverommet’, Fincken Bar, Bergen
‘Exhibition Without a Name’, Markveien 46, Oslo