Nilsebu 2 - 78° 55,929’ N 011° 50,133’ E

  • Artist: Hanne Borchgrevink
  • Creation date: 2011
  • Object type: Painting

Not on display


Houses often take centre stage in Hanne Borchgrevink’s art. In this picture, the house is portrayed with vertical stripes of varying width that form a rhythmic effect in black, white, and grey, and that also outline the building’s structure. The titles of Borchgrevink’s works rarely reveal the whereabouts of the given house. In this case, however, Nilsebu refers to a recreational cabin used by employees of the Kings Bay coal-mining company in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the high Arctic.

There is a dualism in Borchgrevink’s imagery: the houses can seem poetic and harmless, but they can also seem closed and unapproachable with their isolated location and dearth of entrances, sometimes without doors or windows altogether. One of the artist’s hallmarks is that she strips her work of all unnecessary details. Her starting point is a formalistic exploration of the painted surface. It is the formalist composition and the essential questions of painting that constitute her project. With almost scientific precision she undertakes to study the inherent potential of shapes and colours. In the beginning of her career Borchgrevink also painted animals, interior scenery, and people, but the house motif gradually took over. This motif provides an endless wealth of formalistic opportunities, even as it allows the viewer to engage in free association. The house is an archetype that we fill with our own memories and experiences.

Hanne Borchgrevink trained at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry and at the Norwegian Academy of Fine Art, with Arne Malmedal and Ludvig Eikaas as her teachers. This painting was acquired by the museum when she was the featured artist at the Bergen International Festival in 2011.

Text: Anita Rebolledo

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


Hanne Borchgrevink

Visual artist, Graphic artist, Painter

Born 24.09.1951 in Kristiania, Oslo

Work info

Creation date:
Other titles:
Nilsebu 2 - 78° 55,929’ N 011° 50,133’ E (NOR)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Akryl på lerret
  • Height: 120.5 cm
  • Depth: 3.5 cm
  • Width: 145.5 cm
Kjøpt 2011
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Børre Høstland
© Borchgrevink, Hanne/BONO