Bjarne Melgaard

Bjarne Melgaard

Faurschou Foundation

Bjarne Melgaard, Untitled (detail), 1999. Oil on canvas, 200 x 765 cm.

May 23, 2015

Bjarne Melgaard
Bitter Angel

13 June–9 August 2015 

Opening: 13 June, 4–6pm

Faurschou Foundation Beijing
798 Art District No. 2 Jiuxuanquao Road
Chaoyang District
Beijing 100015
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

Bjarne Melgaard is an internationally acclaimed painter, sculptor and installation artist. Throughout his career he has created an aesthetically striking, powerfully personal universe. He often combines painting, film, animation, photography, fashion and other objects in large installations that demonstrate his ability to create expressive, highly sensual spaces. 

In his art Bjarne Melgaard points to problem areas that have been marginalized by society and which we perhaps prefer not to be confronted with: subcultures such as S&M, Black Metal, sexual transgressions and abuse, the exploration of identity and the testing the limits of the body with drugs, existential loneliness, suicide, the constant search for love and a sense of security. 

The exhibition Bitter Angel at Faurschou Foundation Beijing centres on a series of eight large paintings from 1999, which move within these contrasts between life and its seamier sides. The large tableaux have been executed in Melgaard’s easily recognizable, personal and clearly expressionistic style with firm black contour lines and paint in strong, bright colours in the figuration, with Bjarne Melgaard’s own words and text elements. The paintings can be seen as visual diaries, revolving around art, masculinity, sexuality, and identity. 

Bjarne Melgaard often creates acknowledgements of other visual artists and cultural figures who have inspired him—in one of the works it is Matisse’s famous painting La Danse that he interprets in his own personal style. Also threads are drawn to the great Norwegian painter Edvard Munch—for example we see an interpretation of the loving couple in Lovers, and the solitary human being on the beach in Melancholy. As a recent exhibition at the Munch Museum in Oslo has also shown, one can find formal traces of Edvard Munch’s late painting style and spontaneous line-drawing in Melgaard’s expressive brush strokes—just as they share existential themes and motifs.

It is not least the powerful energy in Bjarne Melgaard’s works that makes him a unique figure on the contemporary art scene. His work is a critique, at once romantic and dystopian, of our modern society, staged with pitch-black humour. His works have a duality of something private and something public at the same time. Yet the works Bjarne Melgaard creates are neither exposures of the private nor sociological studies with built-in solutions. Instead he reveals himself time and time again as a participant, someone who is both inside and outside, committed and observing. 

Over an incredibly large number of exhibitions in recent years Bjarne Melgaard has demonstrated a persistent drive and a continuing ability to be provocative, dramatic and emotionally expressive. 

Bjarne Melgaard
Bjarne Melgaard was born in 1967 in Sydney, Australia to Norwegian parents, and grew up in Oslo in Norway. He lives and works in New York. Bjarne Melgaard studied at the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 1991 to 1992 and at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht from 1992 to 1993. Recent exhibitions include: Melgaard + Munch – The end of it all has already happened, The Munch Museum, Oslo, 2015; Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, 2014; 9 Artists, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2013; 12th Biennale de Lyon, 2013; and the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011.

Faurschou Foundation 
Faurschou Foundation is a privately owned art institution with a collection of contemporary art, and with exhibition venues at Copenhagen North Harbour as well as Beijing’s attractive art neighbourhood 798. Faurschou Foundation introduces the visitors to some of the world’s most acclaimed artists. Faurschou Foundation’s collection is constantly developed and expanded. 

Over a very short period since its establishment in 2011 Faurschou Foundation has profiled itself as a significant art institution with solo exhibitions of among other artists Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Louise Bourgeois, Shirin Neshat, Gabriel Orozco, Danh Vo, and Bill Viola. 

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May 23, 2015

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