Sverre Bjertnæs, with works in collaboration with Bjarne Melgaard

Veien igjennom

January 17 – February 18, 2018

Sverre Bjertnes (1976) was educated at the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo, for then to further develop his studies at AKI Academy of Fine Art in Enschede in Holland. During the most recent years, he has been rising as a star in Norway’s contemporary art scene, with a strong artistic identity.

He made his mark as a young figurative painter and drawer after attending the Norwegian “Nerderum School” as a teenager. Bjertnes’ paintings frequently display portraits, where a playful tone meets the images complex relationships. These perspectives have in the latest years formed a unique language. Each work is a new discovery equipped with its own codes and instruments, an exciting artistic style that both stays true to classical figuration, as well as experimenting with conceptualism. His works, Bjertnes states, are focused on the community between the works and the viewer as an aesthetic experience. This transition between styles have had a groundbreaking effect on Bjertnes’ oeuvre, where the focus is the exploration in itself, both arts own possibilities and of himself.

His first solo exhibition was at the Norwegian gallery Anarchist Fraction ran by Bjarne Melgaard in 2000, a natural starting point as the two artists has developed close affiliation, both personally and creatively. In 2011 Bjertnes was a part of the exhibition “After Shelley Duvall '72 (Frogs on the High Line)”, curated by Melgaard in Gallery Maccarone in New York. The exhibition got great reviews from the media, among them Roberta Smith ranged the exhibition as among the 10 best that year. They first worked together artistically at The Armory Show in New York that same year, which also got picked up by the same newspaper. In 2013 Bjertnes opened the exhibition “If you really loved me you would be able to admit that you're ashamed of me”, arranged and curated by Melgaard at White Columns in New York. In 2017 Bjertnes was again featured in the New York Times with the article “What to See at New York’s Art Fairs This Week”.

Now Bjertnes works with painting, drawing, film, and wooden – and bronze sculptures. His variation in media has resulted in a maximalist type of curation, each exhibition is like entering another world, enhancing the aesthetic experience in focus. In January 2014, Bjertnes showed in a much-celebrated solo exhibition at the Oslo based museum Stenersen Museet, followed by his first solo exhibition at Galleri Brandstrup “Nå. Ingenting. To” in 2015 and “Det kollektive mennesket/ Minner om oss” in 2016. In 2017 Melgaard and Bjertnes will be cooperating together on two new exhibitions.

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