Olle Bærtling (1911 - 1981) is a unique figure in the Scandinavian art world and considered as one of Sweden's foremost artists of the postwar period. He had great international impact, for instance with an exhibition at the Sao Paulo Biennial in 1959, and he had no less than 17 solo exhibitions in the United States. In 1981, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm presented a wide range of Bærtling's art, and the National Museum in Oslo had a large Bærtling exhibition in 2007.
Olle Bærtling studied with Fernand Léger and André Lhote in Paris, and was inspired by the new wave of concrete art that emerged in the 1940's- and 50's. He developed a distinctive style of painting with open, triangular shapes, which often extends beyond the canvas frames. The images therefore seem to be part of a sequence of events that take place outside of the actual painting.
Thanks to the art collector Erling Neby's commitment to the artist, we find Bærtling's works also in Norway. In the years ahead, HOK will present different parts of Neby's collection to the public, and this is the first in the series.