In recent years, Sofie Berntsen has worked within an abstract painterly tradition. She herself describes the works as collages, and as such they continue her earlier work within more traditional forms of collage, drawing and sculptural assemblage. With spontaneous and light brush strokes, she paints over pages taken from vintage art magazines, or old books on science and art history. The sheets she chooses are covered up until only faint remnants of information may reveal their origin, but they nonetheless provide the works with a nostalgic aura of old printing-craft. The materials used as a base layer could be considered as visual triggers, a starting point to initiate the painterly process. They also point to themes that have remained consistent throughout her artistic practice: science, art history, and our pursuit of knowledge and acknowledgment, though, compared to the previous two exhibitions, the origin of the collage material is now even harder to decipher.
Berntsen wants to be allowed to make art and to liberate herself from strict internal principles of what is good or bad. She works intuitively, with a desire to induce emotions in the reception of work; an energy that is difficult to communicate with words. She allows herself to be vulnerable in her exploration of what painting can be, and trusts that the naked painterly expression alone can create emotions and energy when meeting an audience. At the same time, she challenges our intellectual need to readthe origin of the material, and to "decipher" her intentions.
A visual pictorial language, and perhaps in particular an abstract expression, seeks to offer insight beyond the intellect. Berntsen's art practice may be regarded in the context of various abstract traditions from Hilma af Klint's esoteric paintings to Abstract Expressionism and Post-Minimalism.
Sofie Berntsen (born 1968 in Oslo, Norway) began her art education in Paris at the Ecole Superieure D'Arts Graphique (1988-1989) and Parsons School of Design, BFA, Paris (1989-1993), before she finished with one year at the School of Visual Arts (1994-1995) in New York. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions both at home and abroad, and has had solo shows at, among others, Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Gallery F15, Akershus Art Centre and the Munch Museum, as well as last years exhibition at the National Museum in Oslo. Her work is represented in key private and public collections. Sofie Berntsen lives and works in Oslo.