Artist Aase Birkhaug By Art Critic Timothy Warrington

Poetic Petals

 

From a philosophical perspective, the divine balance of Birkhaug’s flowers combined with the irregularities of unique shades of colour, create overcoming compositions that evoke the German philosopher Georg Hegel’s concept of Thesis and Antithesis. In fact, Birkhaug’s innate predilection and inclination for the wonders concealed in a flower garden inflame unexpected juxtapositions, while the observer’s emotional reaction becomes the metaphorical Synthesis that harmonizes and goes beyond the previous phases, leading to the truth. Thus, when the viewer shapes a unique and personal interpretation of Birkhaug’s intricate depictions, a new shared reality is born, solving and reconciling their peculiar discernments of the natural universe, forming a new shared awareness.
 
Birkhaug deliberately abandons the mannerism of the scientific reproduction of flowers born in Flemish Baroque paintings and demonstrates references from Impressionist artists. In fact, each artwork is determined by a unique perspective of the light that delicately touches the rosebush, and even the smaller bud acquires the mystical aura of a celestial creature. Birkhaug conveys an effect of spontaneity and effortlessness that masks her carefully constructed compositions, using exquisite, condensed brushstrokes of pure unblended colors that barely reveal form. Rejecting the classical research of an ideal of beauty and an eternal essence of reality, Birkhaug follows Claude Monet’s footsteps, assuming that the authentic vision and perception of the subjects portrayed is preponderant compared to any learned conventional theory. Thus, each wonderful flower garden appears contingent on the conditions under which the same rose can be investigated and, above all, influenced by the emotional temperament of the painter herself. 
 
Season after season the blossoms give a different rainbow, in a limitless colour spectrum that ranges from the most sensual red to the delicate innocence of pale pink. Birkhaug becomes the indisputable “Mother of Roses”, a creative soul that is entirely captured by the alluring beauty of these flowers and, at the same time, that is able to make the viewers experience an equal astonishment, enchanting them with her beautiful bouquets. Deeply analysing and understanding the mysterious meanings secluded in these apparently simple botanic organisms, Birkhaug saturates each composition with her passion and dedication towards nature, becoming “emissary” of empathy. 
 
Birkhaug welcomes the secret language of flowers, an alphabet that she can entirely interpret and unfold, in the attempt to make the viewers partakers of the delicate words whispered by flowers. She then goes beyond the boundaries of an easy imitation of reality, admitting her limits in front of the fierce power of Nature and leaving an air of mystery in her compositions. Birkhaug’s work truly emits genius and an intensity that can be felt even without a deep examination of Art History. She is perfectly aware of the past glories and at the same time she has a profound sympathy towards contemporary artistic developments. Hence, she becomes an inspiration for our generation, both for her artistic talent, and gentle educational impulse.