Birte Claire Højberg's paintings - a mysterious and sensual universe of imagery
by Lise-Lotte Blom, art critic, mag.art.
Birte Claire Højberg's imagery consists of motives of mostly one person or several people - seen in the wild or in an interior scene. Occasionally, there are one or more animals. The person or the people (often a woman/women and/or close family relations) depicted in the same image so that the person/persons are seen as both an observer/observers and at the same time perceived as an individual/individuals that are being observed.
It is this duality that makes the images appear puzzling in a very exciting way. The subjects are painted with many light and crisp strokes, giving the characters a lot of volume.
Birte Claire Højberg mainly uses warm reddish and golden colors, contrasted by deep shades of blue combined with whitish yellow accents.
The paintings from 1999 until today shows greater and greater simplicity in design. Although, sometimes, several people are depicted in the paintings. In a series of paintings, the subjects are painted in contours. Meanwhile the contours are almost entirely dissolved again, as the light, bright brushstrokes often completes the subject's outlines.
A world of dream and poetry
One senses that a world of dream and poetry might be the basis for the motifs. The motifs are further processed, and the colors are always blended by the artist herself, i.e. the colors are never used directly from paint tubes. As a result, a very fine crispness of color arises with a beautiful, deep glow.
Art History continuation
Seen from an art historical perspective Birte Claire Højberg's art can be seen as a continuation of, among others, Delacroix's and Cezanne's vision.
French painter Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) was of huge importance to a number of major figures of impressionism, such as Cezanne, Renoir, van Gogh and Seurat. Delacroix's ideas came together to inspire the expressionism in the early 20th century. It was Delacroix's color theories and his emphasis on oil paint texture and expressionist potential that came to play such a big role.
In 1832, Delacroix took part in a French delegation to Algiers and Morocco. He brought back numerous watercolors and sketches that formed the basis of a number of recent oil paintings. Thus, in 1834 he painted the famous: Women of Algiers (oil on canvas, 180 x 229 cm., Louvre), a harem image in fine color harmonies, which emphasizes the sensual experience of the Islamic world. The image is an example of the so-called orientalism.
Birte Claire Højberg has just painted a series of painting of sensual women with deep hues where the motifs also have a rich texture.
Quote from art review: by Ragnhild Sørstrømmen, art critic
Birte Claire Højberg is a colorist. Her imagery is abstract. Her inspiration is the world around her. The daily impression is processed in nightly dreams to later manifest themselves on the canvas. Dreams and fantasies give motives to the paintings. Motifs, people and animals are recognizable elements in the paintings. These are held together by an abstract contour line, a line which is very delicate, but sharp at the same time. The subjects appear in non-logical order so that the viewer feels fragments of the surrealist expression.
The colors have their own visual value, and her use of color is fascinating. Each painting has one overtone color with elements of other primary colors put together in harmonious composition. The images are evenly lit, and it does not feel like something should ought to be in focus rather than something else. The painting are done in the romantic art tradition. The materials are oil and acrylic on canvas.