Sverre Bjertnæs

Mennesker i speil

November 2 – 30, 2022

BGE Contemporary is proud to present its fourth exhibition with Sverre Bjertnæs, «Mennesker i speil». The exhibition opens 2. November 2022 and marks the fifth anniversary of our gallery space. We are very excited to have Bjertnæs as a part of this celebration, since he has been with us from the very beginning.

Bjertnæs has been working as a visual artist for more than 20 years now, and he has created quite an impressive repertoar of visual expressions. His quest for change and renewal speaks of a dynamic core that manifests in his oeuvre – «change is the only constant». There is no doubt that he masters the foundational skills of painting as a craft, and still, Bjertnæs has gone through a wide range of stylistic preferences; from the photorealist «teenage» paintings from the turn of the millenium, through the collage-esque paintings from «New Visions» in 2015, to the present «Mennesker i speil».

With the exhibition «Mennesker i speil», Bjertnæs depicts inner life with an intimacy that makes it difficult to read as anything less than personally felt emotions. Nevertheless, he mediates something fundamentally human, that in turn creates recognition and an indescribable closeness. The fragmented image surface mirrors the subconscious’ sometimes neurotic structures. And the intimacy is portrayed in vibrant dialogue with our Norwegian modernist heritage. It is quite clear that Bjertnæs has rediscovered a clear-cut visual expression where figurative and surrealist tendencies come together – an homage to the renowned Arne Ekeland. A few of his canvases provide more breathing room, in Jacob Weideman’s lyricist abstractionist spirit.

Bjertnæs continues to distinguish himself as one of Norway’s most important contemporary artists.  He has hit a nerve with his art, a nerve that resonates with something deeply human. The exhibition «Mennesker i speil» is no exception. The title points toward self examination, and puts Bjertnæs’ figures in an intriguing light that calls for existential reflection: Are we meeting ourselves as the fragmented beings that we are, or are we mirrored in the people around us.

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