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Frithjof tidemand-johannessen

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Carl Frithjof Tidemand-Johannessen (11 September 1916 – 9 October 1958) was a Norwegian designer, illustrator, writer, author and craftsman. He is best known today for his woodcut prints and for the decorative works on the Torshov Church in Oslo.[1]

Tidemand-Johannessen received his artistic education at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry 1935–37 under Per Krohg, and made his debut at Høstutstillingen in Oslo in 1936. Tidemand-Johannessen then began studies at the Berlin University of the Arts, but was expelled by the Nazi management of the academy after three weeks for allegedly being a "Degenerate artist". After that, he participated in an illegal, underground academy in Berlin for about a year, and made study trips to Austria and Hungary.[2]

During World War II, Tidemand-Johannessen participated in the defense of Norway in 1940, and then in the Norwegian resistance to the German occupation.[3] He was arrested in February 1941 by the Nazi authorities. For a year and a half, between February 1941 and July 1942, he was being moved between the prisons in Åkebergveien and Møllergaten 19. Then, from 9 July 1943 onwards he was imprisoned at Grini concentration camp.[4]

Tidemand-Johannessen was editor-in-chief of the magazine Avant-garden, which was published by the Young Communist League of Norway until the liberation from German occupation in 1945. He continued in this position when the magazine became legal after the war. In the late 1940s he also served as a culture journalist/writer for Friheten, the party's daily newspaper.[5] After the war Tidemand-Johannessen taught for a while at the National Academy of Craft and Art Industry, and played a central role in the idealist-communist circles at the academy up until the Furubotn Purge within the Communist Party of Norway in 1949.[6]

In his time Tidemand-Johannessen became well known, and to some degree controversial, because of his radical ideas about art. In an interview in the Oslo newspaper Verdens Gang in 1953, he argued for erasing the line separating art from the crafts. Tidemand-Johannessen himself printed large, unnumbered editions of woodcuts on a manual book printing press, made possible by innovative techniques involving heat and pressure applied to the specially prepared wood panels. As a result, he could produce graphic art of high technical quality at prices most people could afford.[7]

Tidemand-Johannessen married Blanche Aanesen and had two children, of whom the son Kjeld Tidemand-Johannessen also became an artist.[citation needed]

Tidemand-Johannessen produced most of his graphic art during the years 1946–1958. Much of this work is in the medium of woodcut prints. He is considered to be part of the Norwegian color-woodcut school, along with others like Paul René Gauguin.[8] Tidemand-Johannessen was known for his experimental approach to both process and expression, and his own visual vocabulary evolved to a large extent during his relatively few years as a practicing print-maker.[citation needed]

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