Galleri Bo Bjerggaard
Galleri Bo Bjerggaard was founded in 1999. Initially located in the center of Copenhagen, in 2007 the gallery moved to a larger location in the old Meat Packing District.
Galleri Bo Bjerggaard presents international contemporary art from Europe and America. While its main focus is contemporary painting, the gallery also exhibits sculpture, photography, video and installations. The gallery has two separate exhibitions spaces, each with two to three adjoining rooms, allowing for two exhibitions to be presented simultaneously. The gallery participates in international art fairs throughout Europe and North America.
As humans we believe to be in control of our lives and choices, but what happens when we suddenly are hit with a pandemic. How does people react and how does cities cope with the strain of restrictions?
When communities collapse or are set under pressure urban people’s vulnerability are put under stress. We all react differently to the unredeemed potential to self-realization. In the group exhibition Urban People each artist will choose works that communicate some of the emotions or reflections the past year has given each artist.
The presentation includes works by A K Dolven, Anna Bjerger, Ivan Andersen, John Kørner, Jules de Balincourt, Tal R.
A K Dolven
The Norwegian artist A K Dolven (b. 1953) works with a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, performance, installation, film and sound. A K Dolven has managed to create her own unique artistic expression inspired by certain historic art genres which at first can seem incompatible.
Dolven’s work is often based on a view of nature characteristic of romantic artists from the 18th and 19th century, while her motifs and formal expressions often reflect the work of Nordic artists such as Edvard Munch and Peder Balke. What’s more, her work is equally influenced by modern movements such as Surrealism from the thirties and Minimalism from the sixties and seventies. This complexity has placed Dolven as one of the most innovative Nordic artists on the international art scene. Though Dolven’s work often contains biographical reminiscences of her own life, she is fully aware that the content is not private, thereby closing for the viewer's own interpretation: “I am in an ongoing dialogue about personal versus private. Edward Munch said that all good art must be personal. I’ve given that a lot of thought.”
The work of A K Dolven is represented in many international collections, such as Hoffman Collection, Berlin; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and KIASMA - Museum of Contemporary Art – Helsinki.
'1 am north', 2003, C-print, 180 cm x 145 cm x 4 cm; 5/5. Image credits Galleri Bo Bjerggaard and A K Dolven.
The Swedish artist Anna Bjerger (b.1973) received her BA in Fine Art from Central St. Martins School of Art and Design, London, UK in 1997 and her MA in painting from the Royal College of Art, London, UK in 2001. She lives and works in Småland, Sweden.
Anna Bjerger is one of the most prominent contemporary Scandinavian painters. The subject matter of her paintings seem to vary, the shadow of a tree on the ground, a skier careering down a mountain, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, an eye. In truth it is unwavering, as she says, the subject matter of her work is painting. Her imagery comes from old photographs, found in the books, outdated hobbyist magazines and travel brochures which cover her studio floor. She talks of rescuing images from history. These images were intended to be useful, to inform someone or to sell something. They had a useful shelf life, then quickly became redundant. Anna Bjerger keeps these images around her, sometimes for years, until they haunt her and need to be painted. The act of painting transmogrifies the image. Set loose from their moorings the images are free to take on new meanings, to open up, to allude rather than state.
Bjerger works in oil paint on aluminium panel, painting quickly, wet into wet. Most of the work is made in one sitting, the paintings retain an immediacy. She is a master of her craft.
She has works in the collections of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, (DK), Moderna Museet, (SE), Stedelijk Museum, (NE),The AkzoNobel Art Foundation (NE), Collectie G+W Sittard (NE), Zabludowicz Collection (UK), Vinunic (SE), Sveriges Radio (SE)
'Mural , 2017', oil on aluminium, 90 cm x 90 cm. Image credits Galleri Bo Bjerggaard and Anna Bjerger.
Ivan Andersen (b. 1968) works with painting as his preferred medium. He explores and ransacks painting’s possibilities and spacialities. He is an artist preoccupied with painting as a surface and the spacial displacements to which the canvas opens up. His motifs are often found as a result of a Google search, and extend from living rooms to iconic mountains and cellar stairs. Andersen’s attitude toward the subjects of his painting is playful and investigative, and his works attest to a formally experimental approach to the act of painting itself. Andersen constantly swings between the abstract and the recognisable, and it is the exploration of this border territory that is the driving force in his work. Ivan Andersen is a 2005 graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and currently lives and works in Copenhagen after several years of residence in Berlin. His works are found in collections including that of the Arken Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj, Denmark, and the KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark. Andersen has also undertaken several decorating projects in Denmark, including for Thy-Mors Higher Preparatory Examination Course and Adult Education Centre in Thisted and TrygVesta Insurance in Ballerup.
'Second Thoughts', 2020, fabric collage on panel, oil, acrylic and spray, 90,5 cm x 120,5 cm x 3,0 cm. Image credits Galleri Bo Bjerggaard and Ivan Andersen.
Tal R (Tal Rozenzweig) was born in 1967 in Tel Aviv, Israel, but has lived most of his life in Copenhagen. In recent years, he has become one of the leading international contemporary artists. With coarse brush strokes from a relatively modest color palette, Tal R rapidly worked towards a very characteristic expressive way of painting. The combination of large color surfaces, solitary figures and almost no perspective creates an imagery that seems both naive and complex. In recent years, Tal R's paintings have undergone an almost complete reversal with shower colors, thinner strokes and increasing details.
The new paintings are also influenced by the fact that the artist uses a technique where color pigments are mixed with glue made from hare skin, resulting in the color being quickly absorbed into the canvas, thus creating a matte quivering surface that cannot be painted over without being noticed In addition to painting, Tal R also works with sculpture, installation, prints, collages and drawings. His imagery is distinctive and recognizable (regardless of expression) and he often works in series, both with motifs and themes across different media. The motifs he finds everywhere, referring to "kolbojnik", the Hebrew word for leftovers or garbage. This is probably most striking in his collages, which are often composed of all sorts of items, including clippings, beads, sequins, paintings, drawings, yarn, thread etc.
Tal R's work is represented in many public collections, including Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Kiasma, Helsinki.
'Fledermäuse - Flagermus', 2020, patinated bronze, 133 cm x 125 cm x 33 cm; 2/3. Image credits Galleri Bo Bjerggaard and Tal R.
John Kørner (b. 1966) is a visual artist who takes being a contemporary artist literally. In his paintings Kørner thus embraces current concerns such as sex trafficking (Women for Sale, 2011) and war (War Problems, 2008). Most often, the examined topics open questions about our way of life and living conditions, be it societal groupings, youth and drinking culture or the Western world's means of production – the factory and the family as (re)production units.
“Problems” is a recurring theme in Kørner’s work. This might seem a vague formulation, since the term “problem” covers a range from contentious issues to a concept’s or a simple object’s existence in the world. At the same time, the problem itself becomes art's raison d'être. The role of art is to ask questions, and consequently the work's function is to raise problems, making the artist a kind of problematiser.
John Kørner works in various media, including painting, graphics, sculpture and installation. He has undertaken several decorating commissions, including the mural Afghanistan for Frederik VIII's Palace at Amalienborg. Nationally, Kørner’s works are found at the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj, ARoS, the Aarhus Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen. In addition, his works are represented in international collections including the Rubell Family Collection in Miami and the Tate Gallery and Saatchi Collection in London.
'Shopping in a Coat in Greenland', 2020, Crazy Watermelon Shipping, acrylic on canvas, 150,0 cm x 120,0 cm x 2,5 cm. Image credits Galleri Bo Bjerggaard and John Kørner.
Jules de Balincourt
French/ American painter Jules de Balincourt was born in Paris in 1972. From the early 1980’s he grew up in the United States. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn (NY). Balincourt’s works take departure in an intuitive and abstract approach to shapes and colors, where a form appears during the work process and gives the artist a narrative to work with.
His works have a strong color scheme and the spectator often experiences the encounter as an invitation to escape into another reality. In Balincourt’s miniature worlds a utopia or dystopia gradually appears and disquiet lurks in the details. The works are full of strong energy and intensity. The viewer is thus invited to explore a variation of abstract elements as well as figurative details that alternate between harmony and chaos. Balincourt’s works are of no real place, but stem from his own memoires as a global tourist. The images are narratives of a nomadic people, a personal memory translated into universal interpretations of the world.
The artist’s narrative is not a romantic one, but rather present subtle commentaries taken from social, political or religious contexts.
'Little Big City', 2020, oil on panel, 61,0 cm x 51,0 cm x 4,5 cm. Image credits Galleri Bo Bjerggaard and Jules de Balincourt.