Algae, minerals, streams, oceans and cell formations are the main inspiration in Birk Bjørlo's paintings, which, like acids, burn through existing architectural frameworks and create new spaces without any walls. Spaces where potentials, materials and fluids flow together and create compositions that balance somewhere between chaos and control. The abstract spaces in Birk Bjørlo's works draw on the meditative, the bodily and the contemplative, while presenting the whole of the world by containing both the largest and smallest components that we know of.
In Bjørlo's practice, the focus is on time and on the slow process. By lingering in front of the, seemingly, empty canvas as an essential part of his workflow, Birk Bjørlo breaks with painting traditions, habits and with his own preconceived ideas about the finished work. Through this slow process, Bjørlo reaches a kind of zero point, through which he is able to give in to the coincidences and to the opportunities they bring him. Bjørlo thus works in the span between, on the one hand, controlling the random process, and on the other hand letting random actions take him in completely new directions. There is therefore always a dialectical curiosity associated with Bjørlo's process and in his technically superior study of the abstract, where he and his works clearly demonstrate what paint, epoxy and pigments actually manage in their fusion on a simple and organic wood surface.
Bjørlo's works are an overall study of, abiogenesis, the origin of life that took place
long before bodies appeared from the oceans of the world. The paintings place their viewers in a primordial soup of molecules and bacteria, and let one dive into the world that existed before life actually arose. The potential of the blank canvas thus reflects the enormous space of possibility that abiogenesis itself is a picture of. The finished paintings appear as fragile mysteries and as lifes that started far too soon; a body too small to be carried out in the sun, and which seems to fall apart if it came in contact with the actual world.
The "motifs" of Birk Bjørlo’s works are surprisingly recognizable and offer an immediate bodily resonance within the viewer. With their alluring materiality and sculptural dimensions, they seem both vibrant and dynamic despite their actual surface. The individual paintings take the form of images that contain a sense of the wholeness and complexity of everything, and are at the same time both lush Nordic landscapes, microscopic cells, bacteria and cosmic movements.
A Nordic islet also seems to be found in Bjørlo's works. The foundation for each of the paintings consists of a wooden board, on which the pigments form with and against the veins of the wood.
The tactile surfaces of the paintings become like dynamic and infinite landscapes in both its detail and in its entirety. The immediate surface of the works is only a cover for the mental space of perceptual exploration, into which the audience is invited when faced with one of Bjørlo's paintings. Here no words are sufficient and we are ascribed to a meditative and contemplative elsewhere. About his practice, the artist himself says:
“I believe in a language beyond words. I believe that in an encounter between art and the body, some physical and mental experiences can arise that go beyond our linguistic understanding of the world. I think it is important to insist on the relevance of art in the present, in time and in seriousness ”.
Birk Bjørlo (f.1986, NO) lives and works i Copenhagen. Bjørlø is a graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, 2014. Birk Bjørlo has solo exhibited at Elephant Kunsthall i Lillehammer (NO), Trignac Projects (FR), Gether Conmtemporary (DK), Showrrom (SE), Galleri Kant (DK) and he has participated in group exhibitions at Huset for Kunst og Design (DK), &Model (UK), Galerie Weissraum (JP), KH7 ARt Space (DK). The works of Birk Bjørlo is acquired by Ny Carlsbergfondet and Statens Kunstfond.
O is for Supper
Born 1986, Hønefoss, Norway
2013 - 2014
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art. Copenhagen, DK – Professor Thomas Locher
2012 - 2013
Kunstakademie Düsseldorf Professor Tal R.
Sculpture Department Charlottenborg – Professor Martin Erik Andersen
Painting Department – Professor Tumi Magnusson
2008 - 2014
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art. Copenhagen
O is for Supper, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen, DK
Abiogenesis, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen, DK
Snailtrails and Other Signs of Existence, Elephant Kunsthall, Lillehammer, NO
I Took a Look at the Sun and it Gave Me a Headache, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen, DK
Ursuppe, (Duo) med Lea Guldditte Hestelund, Treignac Projet, FR
0 is a Place Where I Eat My Breakfast, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen, DK
Trying to Paint with My Back to the World, Showroom, Malmö, SE
: coloured signs., Galleri Kant,København, Dk
Det som er, og det som kunne være, (Duo) med Tyra Tingleff, Bks Garage, Copenhagen, DK
A.R., (Duo) med Magnus Andersen, pop up gallery, Copenhagen, DK
‘New Positions’ Group exhibition at Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen, DK
Substantial investors moving markets on their own, Group exhibition, Elephant Kunsthall, Lillehammer, NO
Duo exhibition ‘Cleanstep’ with Lea Gulditte Hestelund, Kunstforeningen Gl. Strand, DK
oVo, (Duo) med Lea Guldditte Hestelund, 3 x solo, Huset for Kunst og Design, Holstebro, DK
Smudge Cleanse, Kvit Galleri, København, DK
Wundercammer An Epistemological Buffet, KH 7 Artspace, Aarhus, DK
EKPGO 2016 (del af Tegnebiennalen Oslo), Oslo, NO
MeMeMemories, Galleri Møller Witt, Aarhus, DK
Allesverloren, SØ, København DK
A room of one´s own, ApArt, Copenhagen, DK
AFGANG 2014, Charlottenborg Kunsthall, Copenhagen, DK
Scenery, & Model, Leeds, UK
Kritikklassen, Galleri Q, København, Dk
The untitled, Galleri Kant, København, Dk
Rundgang 2013, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, DE
Intermezzo, Galleri Kant, Copenhagen, DK
Das Komabrutale Duell , Tidens Krav, Oslo, NO
Snow Blind, Galerie Weissraum, Kyoto, JP
Sne Blind, Bks Garage, København, DK
MUDshow #2- Theres No Place Like Home, Joungstorget Oslo, NO
If Everyting Ellse Fails , Entré, Bergen, NO
MUDshow #1- Den Gode – Den Onde – Den Grimme, Copenhagen, DK
Langt Inn I Skauen Erre Bare Mer Skau, Viul skog, NO
Young Bucks, Byens Kro, Copenhagen, DK
Artist in residence
Nordisk Kunstnersenter Dale, Dale, NO
Treignac Projet, Treignac, FR
Ny Carlsberg Fondet
Via University Campus Nord, Aarhus