A French Love Affair


17 years old Monica Fürst was sent to language school in Nice, France. That was the beginning of her lifelong relationship with France. After finishing high school she studied French and art history at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

The Norwegian painter Monica Furst has had a studio and apartment in Nice the past seven years, and now she exhibits her paintings in Oslo, illustrating the differences between Norway and France.

Fürst had her debut exhibition in Oslo in 1976. She is educated at the Oslo Drawing- and Painting School, and participated in the annual Oslo Autumn Exhibition in 1995. Since then she has regularly exhibited in Krageroe, Jomfruland and Oslo, but also participated in group exhibitions in Nice.

The last seven years she has lived in Nice during winter and in Krageroe, south in Norway, during summertime. And these two cities recur in her motifs. In her naïve style she paints regognizable places. The French Riviera has for generations attracted artists from all over the world, and the magical light is attractive even in January.

090214-francheville-by-Monica-FurstThe old, crooked houses and the urban environment in Villefrance are her main motifs. Colors are happy and strong – a typical Fürst expression. Villefrance is a little place just east of Nice towards the Italian border. The houses are located as in an amphitheatre on a steep slope facing south and overlooking the Mediterranean.  Here you will experience azure sea, green trees, crooked roofs and houses in all shades of red and orange clinging to the cliff edge.

In the bottom of the city center the church bells in the little yellow church are chiming every day. Fürst has used the old, crooked houses to create wider angles, and in the picture shown here she illustrates something quite common: a sense of happiness from the view of the blue, flashing sea and some old, venerable houses.

The exhibition at Gallery Artgate, Nedre Vollgate, Oslo, runs through February 14.