• Artist: Olle Bærtling
  • Creation date: 1970
  • Object type: Painting


The Swedish artist Olle Bærtling rejected all traces of figuration. For him, what was important was the quest to find abstraction and infinite form. The dissonant colours, jagged shapes, and futuristic titles of his works all stemmed from his desire to liberate art from the clutches of traditional notions and concepts. The canvas’s surrounding frame is merely an illusion. The experience of art continues beyond the picture’s physical border and leads the viewer out into a meditative, endless universe.

Today Bærtling is regarded as one of the leading Swedish artists of the postwar era. He participated for example in the biennale in São Paulo in 1959, and held seventeen solo exhibitions in the United States.

Yoyara summarizes Bærtling’s ideas in a work that typifies his art at the time. As usual, the title resists all interpretation, acting almost as a smokescreen. The elongated format encompasses both triangular shapes and a deviant colour scheme, with a brash green contrasting with the purple. Thick, black sash bars serve to both augment and limit the seemingly straight lines and forms. The resulting optical allusion gives free rein to the lines and enclosed areas to engage in a dialogue. In a sort of utopian idealism, the forms stretch out into a cosmos of unknown dimensions to convey the artist’s message of celebrating the creative power of the universe, where everything is in eternal flux.

Text: Stina Högkvist

From "Highlights. Art from 1945 to the Present", Nasjonalmuseet 2016, ISBN 978-82-8154-116-0


Olle Bærtling

Born 1911, death 1981

Work info

Creation date:
Other titles:
Yoyara (NOR)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Olje på lerret
  • Height: 180.2 cm
  • Width: 92.5 cm
  • Depth: 2.2 cm
Purchased 1977
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
© Bærtling, Olle/BONO