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Jæger, Irma Salo, 1967

Oil on canvas, 200x250cm, Haugar Vestfold Art Museum

Irma Salo Jæger (f.1928) was born in Finland, but moved to Norway in 1954, when she married the Norwegian scientist Tycho Jæger. Since then she has lived in Norway and made a name for herself as one of our most prominent and important visual artists.

Together with Jacob Weidemann, Gunnar S. and Inger Sitter, among others, she contributed to breaking down resistance to abstract painting in the Norwegian art milieu during the 1950s and 60s. Salo Jæger earned a PhD in art history from the University of Helsinki in 1953, and after she came to Norway she studied at the National College of Art and Design from 1954 to 57, and at the National Academy of Fine Arts from 1958 to 61.

Her real breakthrough on the Norwegian art scene came with a solo exhibition at Kunstnernes Hus in 1968, where she among many other works showed the monumental The Significance of the Remote Must Also be Duly Appreciated. What is characteristic of the pictures from the early 60s is a tactile and lyrical naturalism, in which the colours are balanced and harmonised in relationship to each other. In this sense, the works in the exhibition at Kunstnernes Hus marked a new direction in Salo Jæger’s oeuvre. In these works she progresses towards a more forceful and expressive painting style, with large formats and a gesticulating and neo-expressionist idiom.