October 11-15, 2023
Perrotin is pleased to be part of the Modern Women section of Frieze Masters with a solo presentation by Anna-Eva Bergman, the first-ever in London.
Since announcing the representation of the Estate of Anna-Eva Bergman, Perrotin has been committed to promoting the artist's work worldwide, particularly in places where she has never been exhibited. In collaboration with the Hartung Bergman Foundation, the gallery organized the artist's first survey exhibition in the United States at Perrotin New York in 2022. Bergman was also the subject of a major retrospective at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris. The next major solo exhibition will happen in 2024 at the National Museum of Oslo, Norway.
Curated by Camille Morineau and AWARE, Modern Women section is devoted to art by women and spans 1880-1980, from first-wave feminism to the beginnings of feminist art in the 1970s. Taking its name from MoMA’s groundbreaking 2010 publication, the section breaks with the idea of modernism as single, linear, progressive, and masculine.
Anna-Eva Bergman was born in Stockholm on May 29, 1909 to a Norwegian mother and a Swedish father. She later studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo (1927) and at the School of Applied Arts in Vienna (1928). Bergman’s writings and drawings show her sense of humor and observation, and demonstrate a virtuosic talent for drawing.
In April 1929, she moved to Paris and enrolled at the André Lhote Academy where she met Hans Hartung, to whom she got married the same year. From 1933 to 1934, the couple lived on the island of Menorca in the Balearic Islands, where her interest in the golden ratio and architecture resulted in simple and constructed forms in her paintings and watercolors.
After divorcing Hartung in 1938, she devoted herself mainly to illustration and writing, before committing again to paint in 1946 and to a non-figurative style. Line and rhythm became fundamental. This period marks a major turning point in her artistic creation: she produced her first painting in gold leaf and definitively abandoned illustration.
During the summer of 1950, Bergman took a boat trip along the Norwegian coast, visiting the Lofoten Islands and Finnmark, which was decisive in the evolution of her painting. With the tempera technique, she rediscovered the transparency of the landscapes and the light of the midnight sun. In 1951, following several summers spent in Citadelløya (southern Norway), Bergman produced paintings and drawings depicting the structure of rocks worn by the sea. From this series, which she called Fragments of an Island in Norway, came her first motif: stone (1952).
In 1952, Bergman moved to Paris and found Hans Hartung again. They remarried in 1957.
In 1958, in a series of works on paper of the same format, in tempera and metal leaf, Bergman used for the first time in painting her repertoire of forms: stone, moon, star, planet, mountain, stele, tree, tomb, valley, ship, prow and mirror. These archetypal forms inspired by Scandinavian nature and the powerful Nordic light would become the central elements of Bergman’s work.
The couple moved to Antibes in 1973 where together they designed their house and studios which later became the Hartung-Bergman Foundation. Bergman’s work evolved towards increasingly simpler forms and a restricted color palette. She abandoned the construction of her paintings based on the golden ratio and added two themes to her vocabulary of forms: waves and rain.
Anna-Eva Bergman died on Friday, July 24, 1987 at the hospital in Grasse.