Ksard, 1980, oil and damar on canvas, 195 x 97 cm

Olle Bærtling »100 Years«

Stockholm, June 30, 2011 - August 19, 2011

To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Olle Bærtling, Galerie Nordenhake presents an exhibition of works from it’s collection. Since Bærtling’s first solo show with the gallery in 1976 it has continued to show his work to both a Swedish and an international audience. The exhibition contains a selection of paintings starting from 1950, through to the final painting Bærtling made before his death, Ksard from 1980, in addition to one sculpture and a group of graphic works.

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Olle Bærtling developed his Open Form after contact with the Concrete Art movement in Paris in the late 1940’s. By the mid 50’s his Open Form had become refined and absolute. The diagonal lines that define his triangular fields of color converge off the extremities of the canvas, suggesting a scale that cannot be contained by the confines of such a surface. For Bærtling this was a proposal of an infinite, cosmic scale.  

The open forms, compositions and colors he presented were not to relate to anything outside the painting – nothing from “real life.” In the same way, the titles of his works later became linguistic constructions – invented words. Bærtling’s individual language proposes dynamic forces that suggest an optimism for the future.  

Olle Bærtling was born in Halmstad, Sweden in 1911. He spent the majority of his career in Stockholm, where he died in 1981. Since the 1950s, Bærtling's work has been presented in many solo and group exhibitions, both in Sweden and internationally. In 1954, he represented Sweden at the Venice Biennial. He was honoured with several important prizes, including the award of the 7th Sao Paulo Biennale in 1963. In 1981, Malmö Konsthall and Stockholm's Moderna Museet compiled the first comprehensive survey exhibition of Bærtling's work. In 2001, Kunsthalle Kiel presented a major retrospective. In 2008 Moderna Museet Stockholm presented a new survey exhibition of Bærtling’s work which later traveled to the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, founded by Donald Judd.  

Dabi, 1956, oil and damar on canvas, 180 x 90 cm

Madsikala, 1950, oil and damar on canvas, 60 x 92 cm

Aiyam, 1955, oil on canvas, 92 x 60 cm

Davi, 1956, oil and damar on canvas, 60 x 92 cm

Dynamique Noir Bleu, 1954, oil on canvas, 92 x 60 cm

Vert Noir Rouge, 1952, oil and damar on canvas, 60 x 92 cm

YAYAN, 1971, blackpainted iron, 293 x 222 x 2 cm