Tor-Arne Moen

Tor-Arne Moen(1966) is a Norwegian painter, printmaker and author. He lives and works in Notodden (Telemark), Norway. He was educated at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts (1988-94).

The artist is recognizable by his high-powered figurative technique with heavily painted surfaces consisting of coarse and thick brushstrokes made with varying brush widths, in layer upon layer. He uses a mix of oil-paint and egg-oil tempera, an old technique based on an emulsifying binder. Emulsion is a mixture of two substances which initially cannot be mixed, in this case oil and water. The egg is added as the emulsifier, which allows oil and water to mix. The word tempera refers to the actual painting technique and was used by the masters since Medieval times. While the tempera is often applied in thin layers, Moen uses it with oil-paint, and in generous amounts, in order to get the creamy texture, and set the brushstrokes in relief to the canvas.

Moen had his breakthrough with a series of paintings for Hamsun’s collected works in the early 90s and continued with a series of expressively painted motorcycles. Throughout the last 25 years he has worked through a wide range of different approaches to the medium and has gone through most classical, figurative disciplines, with motifs such as portraits, landscapes, urban landscapes, burlesque and imaginative, more or less surreal constellations between animals and human figure. In short,  most of what he has found visually interesting.

Moen usually works in series over a topic that can occupy him for several years, before changing his theme and style, seeking new angles into his painterly excavations.

For two periods, from 2004 to 2012 and from 2017 onwards, he has worked with a nostalgic approach to the painting based on old black and white family-album photographs as motive basis and support for the eye. Here, the viewer immediately recognizes the photographic reference to a certain time and a certain type of photography, while experiencing the painterly addition of coats and colors in bold, often expressionist brushstrokes.  «In front of his painting», an art critic once said, – «I often get the urge to press my nose against its surface to smell it, and maybe even taste it».

The broad-brushed realism and oily, almost juicy surfaces becomes an important source of distance from the photographic art.

Even though the references and the narrative in these paintings have a retrospective character, the spectator is forced to realize that the images are made in our present time, and seen with the eyes, -and nostalgia of our time.

Tor-Arne Moen also makes 2-30 minutes short films about his work, showing in detail how he builds up a painting, or a woodcut, from scratch. The films can be viewed on YouTube or on his website (


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019/16/13/10/09/08/06 – Galleri Ismene, Trondheim. 2019 – Upcoming show in October.

2019 /17/15/13/11/09 – Galleri A, Oslo – Upcoming show in September.

2019 – Vossajazz, Voss art union, Voss.

2019 – Kunstgalleriet, Stavanger

2019 – Every year since 2006 – Galleri Elisabeth, Tysnes.

2018 – Haugesund Billedgalleri, Haugesund.

2018 – Farsund Kunstforening, Farsund.

2018/07 – Grimstad Kunstforening, Grimstad.

2017/01 – Kragerø Kunstforening, Kragerø.

2017 – Hamar Kunstforening, Hamar.

2017 – Maloy Kunstlag, Maloy.

2017 – Gamle Ormelet Art and culture center, Tjome.

2016 – Gulden Kunstverk, Steinberg.

2014 – Drammen Museum/Drammen art union, Drammen.

2014 – Nils Aas Kunstsenter, Inderoy.

2014 – Surnadal Kunstforening, Surnadal.

2013 – Galleri Henrik Gerner, Moss.

2012/08/02/00 – Almenningen Galleri, Bergen.

2012 – Galleri Osebro, Porsgrunn.

2011 – Aalesund Kunstforening, Aalesund.

2011 – Telemarksgalleriet, Notodden.

2010 – Soli Brug. Greaker

2009 – 1995 – Tranoy Galleri, Hamaroy.

2009 – Galleri Jennestad, Vesteraalen.

2007 – Sogne gamle prestegard.

2006  – Bodo Kunstforening.

2004/01/98 – Galleri Steen, Oslo.

2004 – Norske Grafikere, Oslo.

2004 – Galleri Voss.

2003 – Seljordsutstillinga, Seljord.

1999 – Sogn and Fjordane official county museum gallery, Forde.

1999 – Sorlandsutstillingen, Kristiansand.

1998 – Galleri Steens juried spring exhibition, Oslo.

1998 – Skien Kunstforening, Ibsen-house, Skien.

1997 – Baerum Kunstforening, Baerum

1997 – Sandefjord Kunstforening, Sandefjord.

1995 – Kunstnerhuset, Gvarv.

1995 – Tegnerforbundet, Oslo.

1995 – Hostutstillingens utvalgte, Sandefjord.

1994 – Hostutstillingen, The Autumn Exhibition/National Art Exhibition, Oslo.


Master from the Bergen National Academy of the Arts (1988-94)


Norske Bildende kunstnere (Norwegian Visual Artists Association)

Den Norske Forfatterforening (The Norwegian Writers Association)

Norske Grafikere (The Norwegian Printmakers Association for)

Awards and Grants

Den Norske Forfatterforenings legat (The Norwegian Writers Association Grant)

Statens diversestipend for skjønnlitterære forfattere. (State Grant for fiction writers)

BKH kunstnerstipend (The Visual Artists Fund -one year working grant)

Vederlagsfondets stipend (Compensation Fund grant)

NBK stipend (Norwegian Visual Artists Association Grant)

Den Norske Forfatterforenings etableringsstipend for skjønnlitterære forfattere. (The Norwegian Writers Association Grant for aspiring writers)

Norsk illustrasjonsfonds stipend (The Norwegian illustrators association Fund)

Public Collections

NRK-fjernsynet (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation -(National State owned broadcaster))

Skien sykehus (Skien regional hospital)

Arendal kommune (Arendal Municipality)

Sogn og Fjordane Fylkesgalleri (Sogn and Fjordane official county museum gallery)

Skien Billedgalleri (Skien Municipality official gallery)

Asker kommune (Asker Municipality)

Trondheim kommune (Trondheim Municipality)


Alex Sushi, Oslo

Alex Sushi, Copenhagens

Lyngbakken sykehjem

Skien Kommune

Goosen Skole Stavanger

Selected bibliography

2008 – Novel, “Bronnorreten”, Piratforlaget.

1998 – Collection of short stories, «Host i sommerfuglhagen». Cappelen.

1997 – Book covers, The Complete Hamsun Collection. Gyldendal.

1996 – Literary debut, Anthology: «Signaler 96», Cappelen.



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