AASE BIRKHAUG“APOTHEOSIS of the ILLUMINATA” NOVEMBER 7-DECEMBER 6, 2018Georgia O’Keefe advised, “Fill a space in a beautiful way.” Following a long tradition of nature-inspired art, Norwegian artist Aase Birkhaug captures visions of earthly delight in her stunning floral paintings which radiate superlative color and light to fill her canvases with supreme beauty. Her reinterpretations of roses transport the viewer to idyllic, iconic locations through her vivid color palette, tantalizing texture, and radiant luminescence. An emissary of nature, Ms. Birkhaug visually combines her physiotherapy training with her passion for flowers to paint exquisite floral interpretations in her signature neo-impressionist style that combines textural brushstrokes with a contemporary approach to color and composition. Her virtuosic floral oeuvre is both modern and timeless, providing beauty and thought-provoking concepts to the auspicious viewer, commemorating the glories of nature and immortalizing the permanence of our natural world. Inspired by the psychological effects colors and imagery have on the mind, Ms. Birkhaug skillfully and deliberately combines her color palette and rose compositions to yield a calming effect for her viewers. “I discovered several years ago that roses have a positive effect on me, almost like healing, and the combination of the small and the sight feels like a mediation” she explains of her inspiration. These ravishing tableaus become incandescent icons to the lyricisms of nature as the floral kingdom metamorphs into celestial objects of beauty with therapeutic effects on the human soul. A kaleidoscopic palette of hues such as rosy reds, succulent greens, rich lavenders, sun kissed yellows are imprimatur tones of her dreamscapes where colors burst forth from the canvas with an explosive and effervescent charm. With a balanced sense of composition and keen sensitivity to light, Ms. Birkhaug creates images that capture the spirit of impressionist masters, but then moves that spirit forward into the contemporary realm through a bold, expressive use of color and a modern take on texture and movement. These portraits of roses dazzle the eye as they are rendered with skillful brush strokes that are both calming and invigorating to the soul. A tantalizing interplay of light and shadow, radiate the sun-kissed scenes, imbuing her joyful paintings with ambrosial good cheer and a sense of joie de vivre. Stunning in its simplicity as it is compelling in its level of detail, Aase Birkhaug illustrates the beauty of her floral subjects in the minutia of visual details and the broad, overall atmosphere of each composition. Proficient in art media such as aquarelle, tempera, gouache, oil, acrylics, and pastels, Ms. Birkhaug’s quest for learning places her at the forefront of artistic innovation. Through her art, Ms. Birkhaug’s visual poetry is a message of serenity to the world with images that are refreshingly tranquil, reminding the viewer of the serene moments and vistas that perhaps still do exist if we but know where to look. Celebrated in both private and public collections in Europe and the U.S., Amsterdam Whitney Gallery is proud to shine the spotlight on this contemporary master!