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Anna-Eva Bergman Biography

Recognised for her exploration of rhythm, line, light, and volume, Anna-Eva Bergman created abstract paintings inspired by the natural landscapes of Scandinavia and Spain.

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Early Years

Born in Stockholm, Bergman grew up in Norway and attended Oslo's School of Applied Arts (1927) and the School of Applied Arts in Vienna (1928). The artist relocated to Paris in 1929, studying at the Academy André Lhote and the Académie Scandinave.

It was in Paris that Bergman met German painter Hans Hartung, to whom she was twice married. Bergman and Hartung spent much of their time from the 1950s onwards in Antibes, France, which is now home to the Fondation Hartung-Bergman.

Anna-Eva Bergman Artworks

Initially painting in a figurative style, influenced first by Edvard Munch and later German New Objectivity artists, Bergman began to shift towards abstraction in the early 1950s. Bergman's paintings and prints that followed until her death in 1987 are characterised by their concerns with rhythm and line, and the simple forms drawn from the landscapes of Scandinavia and the Iberian Peninsula.

Abstraction

Bergman's early abstract works show a lyrical gathering of fragmented forms, as with the gouache paintings Fragment d'une ile and N° 39a-1951 (both 1951). In the latter, colourful shapes are held together by thin lines, their silhouettes sharp and opaque compared to the soft gradation of blue in the background.

A later work, N° 35-1958 (1958) demonstrates Bergman's transition to subjects found in nature. A circular foil cut-out is evocative of a celestial body, having been pasted onto a sheet of paper and painted over in shades of turquoise with tempera. Bergman continued to use metal foils to create enthralling interplays of light and depth in her paintings, such as with N° 55-1969 Autre terre, autre lune (1969), in which a large spherical sheet of foil floats in a dark sky over a small impression of the earth.

From North to South

From her travels to Norway in 1950, Bergman began to build a pictorial vocabulary encompassing mountains, fjords, rocks, and seascapes. An expanse of silver, made from sheet metal, suggests the coldness of glaciers in N° 2-1967 Glacier (1967), while black ridges evoke a wall of rocks in No 1-1973: Fjord 3 (1973).

The landscapes of Spain also exerted a lasting influence on Bergman's work, which she visited for the first time in 1933 and again multiple times between 1962 and 1971. During this period, she produced paintings of the horizon that typically consist of a canvas bisected into the sky and ocean or earth (N°8-1969 Grand horizon bleu, 1969) or a single line cutting across the canvas (N° 20-1971 Horizon à une ligne, 1971).

From North to South, Rhythms, a major retrospective exhibition of Bergman's work organised in 2018 by Fondation Hartung-Bergman, Bombas Gens, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, examines the artist's engagement with the two distinct landscapes of Norway and Spain. Among the works on view was 'Pierre de Castille' (Stones of Castille) (1970), a series of ink drawings on paper featuring black masses of stone, drawn from her trips to Spain.

Exhibitions

Bergman's artwork continues to be shown in solo and group exhibitions internationally.

Solo exhibitions include Anna-Eva Bergman: From North to South, Rhythms, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2020) and Bombas Gens, Valencia (2018); Anna-Eva Bergman: Les Univers d'Anna-Eva Bergman, Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris (2019); Anna-Eva Bergman: A Graphic Universe, National Museum Art, Oslo (2016).

In April 2022, the Estate of Anna-Eva Bergman announced a partnership with Perrotin, holding a major retrospective exhibition of the artist's work in September at the gallery's New York space.

Group exhibitions include Flukten fra Fornuften: Nordisk Kunst og Det Okkulte, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum (SKMU), Kristiansand (2022); Rites of Passage, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2021); Restons Unis: Sous Le Soleil Exactement, Perrotin, Paris (2020); Painting the Night, Centre Pompidou Metz (2018).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2022

Anna-Eva Bergman
featured artworks

N°44-1971 Land sea and sky by Anna-Eva Bergman contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture
Anna-Eva Bergman N°44-1971 Land sea and sky, 1971 Acrylic and metal sheet on canvas
162 x 104 cm
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Untitled. by Anna-Eva Bergman contemporary artwork painting
Anna-Eva Bergman Untitled., 1952 Tempera on Ingres paper
48 x 63.2 cm
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Untitled by Anna-Eva Bergman contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Anna-Eva Bergman Untitled, 1952 Tempera and pastel on Ingres paper
31 x 47.1 cm
Perrotin Request Price & Availability
N°41-1960 Tumulus by Anna-Eva Bergman contemporary artwork sculpture
Anna-Eva Bergman N°41-1960 Tumulus, 1960 Tempera and metal sheet on brown cardboard on canvas
495 x 64 cm
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N°98-1970 Tree by Anna-Eva Bergman contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture
Anna-Eva Bergman N°98-1970 Tree, 1970 Acrylic and metal sheet on Isorel wood panel
61 x 46 cm
Perrotin Request Price & Availability

Anna-Eva Bergman
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Perrotin contemporary art gallery in Paris Marais, France
Perrotin Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai +1
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