Bernd Koberling


17.03 – 22.04.2017


Galerie Mikael Andersen is pleased to announce the gallery’s first exhibition with German artist Bernd Koberling, titled Eyrarrós-Klang, opening Friday 17 March 2017, 5-7 pm.

Bernd Koberling is one of the most prominent German artists of his generation, being a major influence on the painters of the “Junge Wilden” that rose to prominence in the early eighties.

Koberling has continuously been pushing his painterly vocabulary, shifting his focus from a figurative form language to a more planar and process-oriented later painting style. The Danish audience was first acquainted with his works at the influential one-man show in 1986 at Aarhus Kunstmuseum, and recently at the exhibition “Director’s Choice 7-9-13” at ARoS in 2013. 

In 1959, the young Koberling travelled for the first time over the Polar Circle into Swedish Lapland. This experience became a turning point in his life and artistic practice. From then 

on, he visited northern Sweden and Norway yearly, and from 1977 to this day, he stays extensively in Iceland during the summer months.  Eyrarrós, or willow herb, is a wild tall plant growing on islets in Iceland’s glacial rivers near the coastline and in mountainous areas.


During Koberling’s extended stays in Iceland, he concerns himself with painting watercolours, observing the structures, colours and forms of nature. Koberling’s gaze is drawn to the myriad of details in the flora, and his works capture life at a microcosmic level filled with roots, berries, wind blown plants and fungi; and within the next blink of the eye, he turns his vision into an all consuming universe where the fragility and existence of mankind is at stake.


Even though the painterly point of departure in these new works is derived from nature, Koberling is not a narrative painter. He is concerned with painting as a process, with a constant unrelenting awareness of the possibilities of painting – a pictorial language between reduction, mark-making and the planar picture space.

Koberling has titled his new series of paintings Eyrarrós-Klang, resonating with the rugged landscape and flora of Iceland, where stems, petals and stone formations blend into a basic DNA, and at the same time are transformed into a highly personal statement of contemporary painting.


Bernd Koberling (b. 1938) was educated at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Berlin between 1958-1960. He was professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, 1981-1988 and at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, 1988-2007. His works are represented in the collections of Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Nordiska Akvarellmuseet in Skärhamn, Sweden, Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Reykjavik Art Museum in Reykjavik, Iceland and ARoS in Aarhus, Denmark.

Photo credits: Jan Søndergaard