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John Savio

Coffee break I

Coffee break I

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About the original:

Date: Between 1928 and 1928

Other titles: Coffee Break I (ENG)

Káfevuossi (SAM)

Designation: Graphics

Material and technique: Hand-coloured woodcut on paper

Technique: Hand-colored woodcut

Material: Paper

Dimensions: 231 x 181 mm

Width: 200 mm

Height: 259 mm

Circulation: Unnumbered

Subject: Visual arts

Classification: 532 - Visual arts

Acquisition: Purchased 2006

Inventory no.: NMK.2006.0095

Registration level: Single object

Owner and collection: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Visual Art Collections

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John Savio

John Andreas Savio was a Norwegian Sami artist who was born in 1902 and died in 1938. He is best known for his woodcuts that thematize Sami culture and way of life, as well as landscapes and folk life in Northern Norway. Savio had little formal art education, but was associated with the Norwegian School of Handicrafts and Art Industry for a period.

He was inspired by artists such as Edvard Munch, Nikolai Astrup and Gustav Vigeland, as well as woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer, Felix Vallotton and Japanese artists. Savio experimented with woodcuts and created approximately 150 different motifs during his short life. His most famous motif is Reindeer Calves, which, with its stylized and clear representation of running reindeer calves in a rhythmic pattern, has become a symbol of Finnmarksvidda's culture. Savio also depicted folk life and the close contact between people and animals in several of his motifs. He used a simple but varied carving style with an emphasis on the contrast between black and white, and printed the woodcuts in black and white. Some of his motifs were also hand-coloured.

Savio debuted with a solo exhibition in Tromsø in 1930 and had exhibitions abroad, including an exhibition in Paris in 1936. After his death, memorial exhibitions about him were held in Oslo. Today, Savio's powerful woodcuts are well known and sought after as collectors' items. His artistry testifies to his connection to Northern Norway and his portrayal of Sami culture and way of life.