Born in 1909, married twice to Hans Hartung with whom she lived a passionate love-affair, Anna-Eva Bergman has recently benefited of a renewed and important interest. Recognized during her life-time, her works were left in the shadows by art historians after she died. Besides the fact that she was a woman at a time when art history was a matter of men, it’s also the singularity of her work and her artistic choices that overshadowed her importance in the post-war art scene.
As Annie Claustres writes it : “Anna-Eva Bergman’s production isn’t part of the linear history of the “avant-gardes”. The use of materials, such as gold leaf or silver with paint and the attachment to a symbolism bound to a metaphysical conception of landscape, places her in a remote dimension from the aesthetics issues of the 20th century.”
It’s probably the reason why her works have found such an echo in the contemporary art scene where she’s compared to living artists. Situated where the “abstraction meets the nature” as stressed out by the historian, Ole Henrik Moe, her work strike by its contemporaneity as far as its universality.
Anna-Eva Bergman’s work was exhibited twice in Turin, first in 1969 for a retrospective at the Museo Civico and in 1975 at the Centro Annunciata. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo held a major exhibition of her work in November 2015 and, more recently, the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid has devoted a major monographic exhibition to her in 2021. In 2023, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris holds a major retrospective of her work. Present in numerous museums in the world, her works have rejoined different contemporary collections such as the Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris), the Samdani Art Foundation (Bangladesh), and the Carré d’Art (Nîmes), etc.
“I dream of Finnmark and Northern Norway. The light makes me ecstatic. It comes in layers, and gives the impression of different spaces being simultaneously very near and very far. It feels like there is a layer of air between each ray of light, and these layers of air create the perspective. It’s mystical.”