Torbjørn Rødland (b. 1970, Stavanger, Norway) makes photographic images that pointedly address their viewers, evoking a wide range of emotional and intellectual states. Curiosity, humor, criticality, artifice, reverence for the natural world, and romanticism appear throughout his work and often in the same image. Rødland also emphasizes the formal attributes of his photographs, pushing the medium toward modes of visual expression more commonly associated with painting, and forging links between twentieth century art photography and 21st century approaches to image-making common to advertising and social media. Often prompted by non-photographic imagery that he transforms into real-world photographic subjects, Rødland portrays scenes designed to generate psychological reaction through his depiction of highly sensory qualities. The physicality present in the work is driven by his use of film-based cameras and chemical darkroom processes.
In 2021, Torbjørn Rødland was the subject of a solo exhibition at The Contemporary Austin, Texas. Other solo exhibitions include Fifth Honeymoon, a traveling exhibition produced as a collaboration between Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki (2018–2019); THE TOUCH THAT MADE YOU, Fondazione Prada, Milan (2018) and the Serpentine, London (2017); Back in Touch, C/O Berlin (2017); and Blue Portrait (Nokia N82), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016). Notable group exhibitions include What People Do for Money, Manifesta 11, Zurich (2016); LIT, 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2016); and the 48th Venice Biennale, Italy (1999). His work is in the permanent collections of museums including Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway; Malmö Art Museum, Sweden; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Museum of Modern Art, New York. Rødland lives and works in Los Angeles.