Halmstad, 1911 - 1981

Olle Bærtling

Olle Bærtling is regarded as one of Sweden’s most seminal postwar artists, and one of the few of his contemporaries to have an international reputation. He was inspired by the new wave of non-figurative art that evolved in Paris in the late-1940s. From the second half of the 1950s and onwards, he developed his own characteristic style of painting, based on open triangular shapes that appear to extend beyond the canvas, into infinite space. This expansive, unbounded vision is also redolent of American minimalism.

Bærtling had his first solo exhibition in Paris at Denise René in 1955, and thereafter exhibited regularly in France and Scandinavia. In 1964 he participated in an exhibition organized by the Guggenheim Museum in New York to coincide with its annual International Award. That same year,...

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Biography

Olle Bærtling is regarded as one of Sweden’s most seminal postwar artists, and one of the few of his contemporaries to have an international reputation. He was inspired by the new wave of non-figurative art that evolved in Paris in the late-1940s. From the second half of the 1950s and onwards, he developed his own characteristic style of painting, based on open triangular shapes that appear to extend beyond the canvas, into infinite space. This expansive, unbounded vision is also redolent of American minimalism.

Bærtling had his first solo exhibition in Paris at Denise René in 1955, and thereafter exhibited regularly in France and Scandinavia. In 1964 he participated in an exhibition organized by the Guggenheim Museum in New York to coincide with its annual International Award. That same year, Columbia University organized Bærtling’s first major solo exhibition in New York.

Bærtling died on May 2, 1981, just before the opening of a retrospective of his work organized by the artist with the Mälmo Konsthall and the Moderna Museet in Sweden. His work is represented in major museum collections in Europe, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie; the Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris; and many others. In the U.S. his work is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the University of California, Berkeley; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and others.

Artworks

4

Reba, 1965

Related Categories

20th Century Art / Abstract Painting / Abstract Sculpture / Abstraction / Art after World War II / Art of the 1950s / Art of the 1960s / Artists of All Time / Canvas / Color and Form / Color Field Abstraction / Color Field Painting / European Art / Geometric Abstraction / Industrial Materials / Media Study / Oil on Canvas / Oil Painting / Painting / Restrained Expression / Sculpture / Space/Spatiality / Steel / Stockholm / Sweden / Swedish Art

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Cutting Edges: Nordic Concrete Art from the Erling Neby Collection, Scandinavia House, New York, NY

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Curriculum Vitae

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Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Cutting Edges: Nordic Concrete Art from the Erling Neby Collection, Scandinavia House, New York, NY