Olle Baertlings unique ouevre speaks to a growing number of new art collectors each year, who finds his “open shapes” appealing and suggestive. Like many other artists, Baertling experienced resistance during his time. For a long time, he was “the always disputed bank man who tried to paint” Despite the fact that he, unlike many other artists at the time, reached far beyond his home country’s borders.
Baertlings painting developed step by step from being figurative in the 1940s towards the nonfigurative. When the borders opened up after World War II, Baertling travelled, like many other artists, to France, the art world’s center of gravity.
‹ Olle Bærtling, ”NULY”. Signerad Bærtling & daterad 1955 a tergo. Duk 130 x 81,5 cm. Utrop 600 000 - 800 000 SEK.
The 1950s was his most important decade. During the first years, he took extended periods of leave from his job at the Scandinavian Bank and travelled to Paris. There, in the artistic Mekka, he came into contact with the new art movement at Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and sought company in artists like André Lhote, Fernand Léger, Victor Vasarely, Richard Mortensen and Auguste Herbin. The latter became crucial for Bærtlings continued development as an artist. Herbin introduced Baertling to the forward-looking gallery owner Denise René who immediately installed him in her “stable” of constructivists.
Bærtling abandoned the optical art that had inspired him for some time and started to develop his own style where triangles and diagonals became the theme. He created a new pictorial world consisting of measurements, proportions, and synthetic, programmed colours from basic geometrical elements. Everything was executed methodically, where the geometrical understanding took over, and the “open shape” was born. Through the term “the open shape”, Bærtling strived to portray space and movement through his geometrical shapes that continue outside the picture’s frame.
Lines and large fields of black are characteristic of his paintings, contrasted with “Baertling white”, his own unique shade of white. Bærtling preferred artificial colours that didn’t associate with nature and claimed that black was a magical colour, both easy, happy, and beautiful.
To be sold at Olle Emanuelsson Collection October 6
When is the viewing and auction?
Viewing 1 October – 5 October, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm.
Open Fri–Sat 11 am – 4 pm, Mon–Tue 11 am – 5 pm.
Auction 6 October, 3 pm, Arsenalsgatan 2, Stockholm.