Birk Bjørlo is known for his large-format canvases and his bright colour palette. Birk Bjørlo builds his abstract compositions in layers, keen on holding fast to a work process where he would be able to add and subtract from the painterly material at all times. Birk Bjørlo builds an inner landscape, a meditative space trying to establish a place for contemplation in a world where events occur at a speed of light. As Birk Bjørlo explains himself his work finds itself in a span between controlling the uncontrollable and letting the uncontrollable take control of him.
Birk Bjørlo’s series of etchings are seen by the artist as a form of x-ray images of his painterly work. Not only the chromatic scale becomes suggestive of this parallel, as the works on paper are printed with a mix of black and silver, but also when considering the technique chosen for the project. Through the painterly printmaking technique of soap ground aquatint, Birk Bjørlo reveals his composition’s constructive elements to the spectator.
The World of Matter
Those graphic works allow the viewer to dive into a world of organic molecules and bacteria a place in the time before humans. Algae, minerals, streams, oceans and cell formations seem to be the main inspiration for the abstract compositions of Birk Bjørlo for his series of etchings. By driving inspiration from the world of natural matter, Birk Bjørlo avoids the need to introduce a central element, one that could potentially serve as the subject matter of those abstract compositions. Our eye wonders across the paper moving between the few points of light. The light is the whiteness of the paper, on which the copper matrix, worked by Birk Bjørlo is printed. The freshness of the white Somerset paper brings us to the surface, while the grey tones lead us into the depth of the composition and its darkest points.
Birk Bjørlo, born 1986, Hønefoss, Norway. Lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. He received an MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
Birk Bjørlo’s recent exhibitions include I Am Lost to This World, Møstings Hus, Copenhagen (DK), Abiogenesis, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen (DK), snail trails and other signs of existence, Elephant Kunsthall, Lillehammer (NO). His work is included in the collection of The Danish Arts Foundation.
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Both Birk Bjørlo and Mathias Malling Mortensen navigate within the world of pure abstraction but while Birk Bjørlo draws his inspiration from the world of natural matter Mathias Malling Mortensen seems to be led by the irregularities of jazz rhythms.