Rolf Aamot

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Born September 28, 1934(1934-09-28)
Bergen, Norway

Rolf Aamot (1934) is a Norwegian painter, graphic artist, film director, photographer and tonal-image composer. His is one of the pioneers of audio-visual art in Scandinavia. Since the 1950s, Aamot has been a pioneer within the field of electronic painting, exploring the emerging technology as it combines with the traditional arts of painting, music, film, theatre, and ballet. Much of his work consists of creating electronic tonal images; frequently in a form of performance art with abstract photographic elements.

Since the 1950s, Rolf Aamot has been considered a pioneer of electronic artistic expression in the field of graphics and photo-images, as well as scenic and film media. His exploration of experimental innovative technologies (data, laser, photographic technology) in combination with many traditional art forms (music, film, theatre, ballet and photographic art) has gained international interest and attention.

While still studying at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in 1952-1955, Aamot received a large commission to decorate the Paleontological Museum in Oslo. His traditional education then continued at the Public Academy of Arts 1958-1960 with Professors Aage Storstein and Alexander Schultz as masters. Both worked under the influence of Cubism and the New Classicism and were dedicated to the efforts to combine figuration and abstraction in the 1920s.

Throughout his artistic endeavors, Aamot was inspired by the accelerating development of contemporary electronics. This led him to research and study with the aim of creating new artistic expressions for concerts, film and television. Among other things, he took a number of courses at the Public School of Film Studies/Public Centre for Film 1969-1977 and at The Drama Institute of Stockholm 1973. Through his work he gained professional contacts and made study trips to Austria 1952, Italy 1959 and Spain 1961. Between 1966-1984, his work was exhibited in Scandinavia, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Soviet Union, the USA and Japan.

The modern electronic technological developments of 1955-1965 and the openness of visual art to other art forms provided Rolf Aamot with many possibilities. Artistically and technically, graphic tone arts/picture-music developed thanks to laser and computer technology. The tone-arts belonging to music, film and television was manifested in the programme Evolution (1966) with music composed by Arne Nordheim. The work was broadcast in 1967 on the Norwegian Broadcasting System (NRK/TV) and at the time represented a milestone in a new art form in which the television medium was used for the first time in Europe as an independent means of visual-artistic expression. Inspired by the results that now existed after ten years of technical studies in close contact with a rich and complex artistic environment, Aamot continued his work in the 1970s on electronic paintings, art films and video art for various media. He often did so in collaboration with painter and composer Bjorg Lødøen. In 1986, their collaborative visual drama Medusa was made, in which Lødøen participated as an actor.

The foundation was laid for visual picture-tunes in colours, nuances and lines; a performance/play for the eye in motion in time and space. Aamot's sophisticated melody-based coloring has a rare ability to provide spatial depth while appealing to the viewer's participation in his fiction. It is as much about the inner as the outer landscape in the human quest for the expression of contemporary appreciation. Although his motifs are abstract in form, they provide associations to landscapes reflected in titles such as Before the Storm and Dead Calm (2003).

Aamot's lesser-known experimental and exploratory artistic endeavour is his photography; with character studies of famous Norwegian figures such as Erik Løchen, Finn Alnæs and Elisabeth Granneman.

Aamot has exhibited at the Norwegian National Autumn Exhibition [Kunstnernes Hus], the Henie-Onstad Art Centre in Høvikodden and the Bergen Art Museum, and has participated in group exhibitions at home and abroad, for example at the Kalmar Art Museum, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the International Biennial "The Masters of Graphic Acts" in Hungary, the International Printmaking Triennial in Krakow, Poland, and the Norwegian International Graphic Triennial in Fredrikstad. In 2000 he was specially invited by the jury to participate in the national exhibition The Norwegian Autumn Exhibition, in addition to the 2003 Contemporary Art Gallery in Opole, Poland and the 2004 Old Manege exhibition in Moscow.

Among Aamot's solo exhibitions, mention should be made of the exhibitions at the Henie-Onstad Art Centre in Høvikodden 1995 and at the Norwegian Museum for Photographic Art 2003/2004. Here he demonstrates not only the power of colorful art, but a highly skilled knowledge of laser and computer techniques, computer painting on canvas, computer graphics, digital photo paintings and picture-tunes in physical time. The motifs are characterized by a refined color intensity, based on an over-toned color palette, in which they create an unexpected but profound sense of space.

Aamot is the author of several films, including Actio (1980) and Aurora borealis (1991), and a number of television productions. He has received many public commissions, including for the National Committee for Short Film, the Norwegian Broadcasting System, the Norwegian Arts Council and Norwegian Film Ltd. Rolf Aamot is represented in the National Museum of Art, the Henie-Onstad Art Centre in Høvikodden, the Bergen Art Museum, the Kalmar Art Museum and several other public and private collections, and has been represented at many international film and art festivals.

Aamot was awarded the Rune Brynestad Fellowship in 2004 for Energi (2003). The scholarship was awarded by the Association of Norwegian Visual Artists. (Source)



  • Evolusjon [Evolution], with electronic music by Arne Nordheim (first presented in 1966; TV-broadcasted on 28 May 1967) [1];
  • Relieff, with electronic music by Bjørn Fongaard and choreography by Edith Roger (21 April 1968) [2]
  • BSK (1968)
  • Visuelt [Visual] (1971). Music by Rolf Aamot. Recorded and produced by Bjørg Lødøen and Rolf Aamot.
  • Progress (1977). Music by Rolf Aamot. Recorded and produced by Bjørg Lødøen and Rolf Aamot.
  • Puls (1986). Music by Rolf Aamot. Recorded and produced by Bjørg Lødøen and Rolf Aamot.
  • Medusa - hun som ser (1986). A composition by Bjørg Lødøen and Rolf Aamot. Directed by Aamot, cast: Lødøen.
  • Utdrivelsen [Expulsion] (1987)
  • Nærklang (1987)
  • Drømmen er der alltid [The Dream is Always There] (1988)


  • Relieff (1966–67)
  • Kinetisk Energi [Kinetic Energy] (1967–68). Music by Rolf Aamot. Recorded and produced by Bjørg Lødøen and Rolf Aamot.
  • Vision - en film om Gustav Vigeland (1969). Music by Rolf Aamot. Recorded and produced by Bjørg Lødøen and Rolf Aamot.
  • Strukturer [Structures] (1970). Music by Rolf Aamot. Recorded and produced by Bjørg Lødøen and Rolf Aamot.
  • Actio (1980). Music by Rolf Aamot. Recorded and produced by Bjørg Lødøen and Rolf Aamot.
  • Nordlys [Northern Lights] (1991). With Bjørg Lødøen.
  • Tid-e-vann (1997-2000). With Kristin Linder.
  • Energi [Energy] (2003). With Bjørg Lødøen.
  • U (2005)
  • Ir (2006)
  • Wirr (2008)
  • Contra (2009)
  • X (2010)
  • W (2011)
  • RRR (2012)


  • Rolf Aamot, Tonal Image Films 1968-1991, Prisma Records, CD, 2011. Works: Actio, 1980; Kinetisk Energi Part 1 & 2, 1968; Nordlys, 1991; Progress, 1972; Viisuelt, 1971. The disc contains audio part to Aamot's tonal image films. The music consists of abstract sounds and movements from different electronic sources, interacting with pre-recorded and prepared acoustic instruments and human voices. [3], [4].

See also[edit]