Sverre Bjertnæs

Sverre Bjertnæs (b. 1976, Trondheim) made his mark as a young artist working in figurative painting and drawing after attending the Norwegian Nerderum School as a teenager, later furthering his education at the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo and AKI Academy of Fine Art in Enschede, Holland. In recent years, Bjertnæs has been a rising star in Norway's contemporary art scene, cultivating a strong artistic identity. He frequently works in portraiture, developing a playful tone that juxtaposes the complex relationships within the images. Bjertnæs' first solo exhibition was at the Norwegian gallery Anarchist Fraction in 2000, a natural starting point as Bjertnæs had developed a close personal and creative relationship with its director and fellow artist Bjarne Melgaard. This in turn led to A Projective Identification, Bjertnæs' first international solo exhibition at White Columns Gallery, New York, in 2012. Curated by Melgaard and named one of the 10 best exhibitions in New York in 2012 by the New York Times, the gallery walls were covered in bold colours and patterns and featured portraits of a variety of subjects, from Jesus Christ to the artist's wife. This curated style of exhibition - rooms brimming to the edge with paintings, drawings, films and wooden and bronze sculpture - has become one of Bjertnæs' trademarks.