Terje Bergstad (1938-2014) is often described as “an artists’ artist”; he is highly regarded among an informed circle, but is not very well known to a broader public.
Bergstad’s oeuvre is characterised by an obstinate consistency, which evades fleeting contemporary trends. He has steadfastly held onto an expressionistic, explicitly symbolic mode of expression and has a particular kinship with Edvard Munch and the German expressionists of the artist group Die Brücke. This is clearly expressed in this powerful “Self-portrait”, where the means are few, but effective: smouldering red against black and bold, rough traces of paint and oil pastel.
Terje Bergstad is amply represented in a number of public and private Norwegian art collections and large-scale retrospective exhibitions were devoted to him at the Norwegian Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo in 2000 and at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in 2011.