Håkon Arnestad Bjærke Norwegian painter and scientist. (b.15 Oct. 1910 Kristiania (Oslo), d.24 July 1977 Larvik)  Arnestad Bjærke was born into a family with strong interests in art and music. Educated at the Norwegian Academy of Art,  Oslo 1928-32. Instrumental in pioneering abstract painting in Norway in the early 1930s. Participated in the Autumn  Exhibitions in Oslo 1932-36. Was rejected by a conservative jury in 1937 and soon after withdrew from Oslo’s art scene and  settled in Kaupang, Larvik, where he lived for the rest of his life. Planned first solo exhibition in 1940 was cancelled due to  the outbreak of World War II. The exhibition was opened at Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo, after the war in 1945. He had close ties  with the artists later forming the COBRA group and participated in exhibitions in Copenhagen 1945-47. Further solo  exhibitions in Larvik (1947), Bergen (1947), Oslo (1962), Odense (1962), Wiesbaden (1969), and Frankfurt (1969).  He took many of his motifs from the old Nordic poetry and sagas. In addition local scenery and people formed a figurative  basis for his abstract pictures. In Bjærkes paintings one can clearly detect influences from European avantgarde  movements, especially Cubism, Expressionism, and Abstract Surrealism. However, what makes his work distinctive and  original is his use of rhythmic organic line and shape, creating a framework for the application of his uniqe composition and  colour theories. He also made a number of excellent portraits (see bjaerkegalleri.com) He carried out local geological mapping and worked out a new theory on continental drift which was finished in 1970.  His talents in figurative drawing in combination with an analytical attitude resulted in the creation of a strongly personal style  that had no followers.  In spite of the obvious originality and quality of his production he never received any wide recognition.   Posthumous works and documents  Approximately 250 paintings. In addition a number of portraits, landscapes and other paintings in public and private  possession. Wall decorations and mosaic facade in Larvik. Approximately 800 sketches and drawings. Among them 105 “palette programs”, working sheets for his 82 opus with  variations, and drafts to illustration of Voluspá. Some of the illustrations are finished and signed. Manuscript presenting his geological theory approx. 400 pages, 227 maps. Background material to his geological studies  including an archive of 25000 fossils. Manuscript containing a parallel synopsis of  the four gospels of the New Testament based on a chronological study of the  life of Jesus. Planned as text for an oratorium.  Litterature Bjærke, Håkon 1974 Tjølling - formet av naturens krefter. Bygdebok for Tjølling bd.1, pp.13-14, 1 kart.  Bjærke, Håkon and Tor Bjærke 1997 The Earth’s moving continents. Continental movements from the Cambrian to the  present. 128 pp. 215 figs.  Rosén, Edvard 1998 Malerne. Vestfoldmalernes jubileumsutstilling LNM 30 år. Utstillingskatalog Fossekleiva / Porsgrunn 1998. Bjærke,Håkon Arnestad red. 2000 Det nye testamentes evangelier. Parallellsynopse. Sørensen, Gunnar og Astrid Mørland 2001 Håkon Arnestad Bjærke. Labyrinth Press 2001. (46 malerier, 2 tegninger)  Snorri Sturluson: Edda. Gudrun, København 2003 (English edition) (6 drawings, 2 paintings)  Bjærke, Knut 2010 Håkon Arnestad Bjærke: En biografisk skisse. Katalog til 100-års minneutstilling. (33 malerier, 2  tegninger, 3 fotografier)  Bjærke, Tor 2010 Håkon Arnestad Bjærke. Colour system and composition theory.    Unpubl. MS © Tor Bjærke 2011 Made with Xara Interactive 3D animation by Tor Bjærke