Bjarne Melgaard (1967, Sydney, Australia, raised in Norway). Lives and works in New York and Oslo.
Bjarne Melgaard is a contemporary artist working in total installation genre. In 1992, he graduated from the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts and went on to study at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht and since had exhibitions at institutions around the world.
In his installations Bjarne Melgaard combines painting, film, animation, photography, fashion and other objects that demonstrate his ability to create expressive, highly sensual spaces. His art deals with the dark side of humanity and provides an insight into parallel worlds that exists alongside the world of normality. Artist points to problem areas that have been marginalized by society and which we perhaps prefer not to be confronted with: subcultures such as Black Metal, the exploration of identity and the testing of the limits of the body, existential loneliness, the constant search for love and a sense of security.
Melgaard’s most famous work is his fiberglass sculpture Chair (2013), an appropriation of a similar Allen Jones piece from 1969, which depicts a black woman on her back while a white woman sits on the cushion of her thighs. The pop art sculptures Jones made in the late 60s, which use women – literally – as furniture, reflect the attitudes of its time and now is represented as a part of Tate collection. Questioning the power of representation, Melgaard investigates the psychological attitude of society to the problems of sexism, racism and the use of the female image in the mass media and pop culture.
During his career, Melgaard has had more than forty-five solo exhibitions in leading galleries around the world. In addition, he is a frequent curator and collaborator, has written more than a dozen novels, and produced seven films. Artist’s works have become part of the permanent collections of major museums such as the MoMA in New York, the MOCA in Los Angeles, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, amongst others.
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Museum het Domein, Sittard, Netherlands
The Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, Norway
The Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Marta Herford, Herford, Germany
Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA
FRAC – Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand, France
Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCS), Strasbourg, France
KODE – Bergen, Norway