Art exhibition: Sverre Bjertnæs

As we walk into the room at Galleri Brandstrup we are eungulfed by a purple-blusih haze covering all the walls.
Centrally positioned in the room, an intriguing looking sculpture that in a sympathetic yet pathetic way, seems to represent an 18th century noble man with wig and the like. A couple of larged sized Pelican like birds are standing opposite, and a lizard carrying a kind of wheel is diagonally positioned against the wall. The scupltures catch one´s attention immediately, but the walls feature several paintings that in no way are merely backdrops. Indeed, the exhibition is an interesting mix between painting and sculpture.

Sverre Bjertnæs (born 1976) is today one of Norway´s most acclaimed contemporary artists, often being ranked just after the likes of Bjarne Melgaard amd Odd Nerdrum. He has been frequently associated with these during his career.

Art Gallery Brandsturp writes of Bjertnæs´ paintings that they " 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, Bjertnæs 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 Bjertnæs' oeuvre, where the focus is the exploration in itself, both of the arts own possibilities and of himself."

We find that the paintings are dominantly expressionists, often showing strong influences of Edvard Munch in our opinion. All though in comparison, the themes seem to be lighter and have a more esthetic and decorative feel than Munch´s or other expressionists of that time.

Not any one piece are overly emphasized in this exhibition. As mentioned even the walls contribute to the overall artistic effect. We think Bjertnæs has succeded in a holistic approach, with interesting individual pieces effectively telling their own story.

There is a blue and purple hue that seems to run through much of the room, giving an aquarian impression. One thinks of Picasso`s Blue period. Maybe Bjertnæs has one too? Yet this use of color gives one the sensation of being inside the work of art. The walls are no longer just walls, they participate in creation. And if walls can participate, surely spectatiors too can enter this world with their contributions as well. This exhibitiom was unusual due to its many pieces and elements that were well integrated into a unifying space.