The artistic means employed in Portrait (Hospital Sign) are simple—a few hurried lines in pencil. Nevertheless the picture has an immediate and powerful expressive force. The face is sensitively depicted; we can sense the feeling of resignation and profound despair.
Terje Bergstad (1938-2014) was tormented by mental illness for long periods and while he was in and out of hospitals himself, he drew some of the people that he met there. Bergstad is an artist whose work was so closely tied to his life that the boundaries dividing them are often unclear. He uses his own life and identifies with those who are struggling, those who have fallen by the wayside.
By Oda Wildhagen Gjessing