Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum, Tønsberg (NO), 27. 4–8.11.2019
Book launch: 28.4.2019, 1 p.m.
The Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum, Tønsberg, presents a comprehensive retrospective of the contemporary Norwegian artist Sverre Bjertnæs: beginning with the works of the early 1990s, when the 16-year-old became a student of Odd Nerdrum, following his career to his current works, which include paintings, installations and also film production. In the courtyard of the museum you will find also monumental sculptures. On the day after the opening of the exhibition, a new play by Arne Lygre will also be performed as part of the exhibition.
Sverre Bjertnæs’s motifs include the painterly investigation of psychological tensions between the individual and the collective. He also addresses taboo political themes. The use of literary and artistic references creates a striking polyphonic dramaturgy.
In his work, Bjertnæs repeatedly and existentially questions the origin of the creative process. For this he works in a very dialogue-oriented way: immanent in his work, by establishing references to other works of art, or in a lively exchange with other artists, directors, actors or authors. He uses the space for action opened up in this way for interreligious, ethical and even conflict-laden discussions. Hence Bjertnæs’s enduring collaboration with the artist and curator Bjarne Melgaard is invaluable. Melgaard has curated a show with Bjertnæs’s works at the Gallery Maccarone in New York that was recognized by the New York Times as one of the top ten exhibitions of 2011.
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalogue raisonné (in Norwegian and English language).