In memory of 
Olle Bærtling

There is one Swedish artist who has made an entirely original contribution to the art of our time, comparable with the foremost masters of modern art history, and that is Olle Bærtling. It is all too easy to use presumptuous words on a matter like this. And yet, I wish to maintain that Bærtling, with his 'open form' and his 'two-dimensional sculptures', is the only Swede - besides Viking Eggeling, whose achievement came to a stop at its very beginning - who has added something unique to the store of forms available to art. His work, from 1950 to his death in 1981, has an innovative quality and an international range which may be compared - mutatis mutandis - with the finest achievements of scholarly research. It is not by chance that his works have found a place in many universities around the world.
Bærtlings art requires that we can understand with the eyes and see with the intellect. It makes visible concepts like 'force', 'movement', 'tension', 'energy', 'struggle'..... What you see is a continually gambit of oppsites, and these opposites create a tremendous dynamic that at superficial consideration might seem disharmonious. But here there are a harmony of higher order, obvious to the one who gives himself time to contemplate what happens outside the markings (painted on canvas or cut in steel). The disharmony is only a starting point for the physically present of these objects. Let the shape act. Observe where it leads. By extension the opposites reaches balance - this 'either - or' is ''both - and'. The disharmony becomes a confirmation of the diversity of opportunities. A great harmony 'after all'.

Gunnar Berefelt 1933 - 2016
Doctor of Philosophy, Professor emeritus of the History of Art at the University of Stockholm

 

Olle Bærtling
Olle Bærtling 1911 - 1981 
photo László Bogardy
Creator of open form
"Invisible wealth is to be found in open form.

It radiates a compressed concentration of highly-charged power that is transformed with suggestive radiant force into infinite space in strong dynamics and unknown dimensions.

Art at its most sublime is a hymn of praise to creation, an invisible but ever-present force. 

A sense of the infinite, a flight to an invisible destination.
 
A positive change of man's inner life, a realization of his world of ideas. An intellectualization, a visualization of the positive source of creative power, a visualization of its ethereal beauty."

SignaturOlleBaertling .jpg

Olle Bærtling

 


Sculpture YAYAO 1971 h 525 cm Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris 

  
Irgur, 1958
Oil on canvas, 195 x 97cm 

Drawing for TV tower in Abu Dhabi,
from 1978,
based upon the sculpture YAYAO

 

 Stipendiater - 2018 - Olle Stjerne

Olle Stjerne får Bærtlingstipendiet 2018 för sitt suggestiva utforskande av spatiala förhållanden. Olle Bærtling stod själv förankrad i den konstruktiva traditionen där konstformerna möts för att utforska rumsligheter. För Bærtling tog detta rumsliga utforskande, som han kallade ”öppen form” oftast och tydligast sig uttryck i måleriet, vilket hela tiden strävar utanför sina fysiska begränsningar. Olle Stjerne använder istället skulpturala element och objekt som närmast för tankarna till bygg- och konstruktionsvärlden. När Stjerne placerar sina objekt i rack och staplar dem mot väggar skapar han förutsättningar där sammanfogandet till en rumslig helhet inträffar hos betraktaren. Just i denna gest möts de bägge konstnärerna.

 Specialpris - 2016 - Lars Englund

Lars Englund (f. 1933) får Bærtlingstiftelsens hederspris 2016.

I likhet med Bærtling studerade Englund hos Fernand Léger i Paris och bägge konstnärer har visat ett stort engagemang i det non-figurativa formspråkets utveckling i såväl traditionell konstmiljö som i det offentliga rummet. Lars Englund utvecklande av komplexa rumsligheter och konstruktioner finner sin motsvarighet i de rumsligheter Bærtling arbetade med sedan 1950-talet och som denne kom att kalla för "öppen form". Där Bærtling rörde sig mot monumental skala och enkla gestalter har Englund arbetat med veckande och repeterande av grundformer. I bägge fallen uppstår rumsligheter som är på en gång tydliga och intrikata.