Bente Braad Klausen’s universe of paintings
Sometimes you have to make reference to an artist’s basic personality instead of emphasising the characteristics in terms of style. Bente Braad Klausen has an unsentimental and strong feeling of the coherence of everything whether the compositions are figurative or more abstract.
Let’s exemplify. In a relative big painting (120x100 cm), you see a grid created by black, white and grey brushstrokes. The ‘figure’ is compact and pricking and at first, it seems threatening or at least you get a feeling of closedness. In the middle of this compact closedness, a form with warm red colours arise with a drop of clear blue and a yellow stalk above. The figure makes you think of a heart or some other muscle and, it seems clear that we witness some kind of miracle, where bloodfilled life suddenly blossoms in the middle of the freezing Fimbul winter.
It might seem like unnecessary big words for an artist, who is clearly not into idyllic quarrels over trifles. On the other side, it describes very well the energy contained in all of Bente Braad Klausen’s compositions. They are all absolutely down-to-earth, inspired by the form and movements of nature: the early signs of spring, the clear and frosty winter, the ecstatic explosion of colours in the summer.
At the same time, the dominant colour is just ecstatic. The nature, well the world as such, is not experienced as a piece of scenery for sofa-paintings but as a tribute to the cool, stubborn and pulsating life.
Colours and figures spring to you from the canvas in arabesque-like curves and with a powerful ornamental, aggregate effect, which is characteristic of the Cobra-painting.
In this way, Bente Braad Klausen respects the spirit behind the Cobra-movement more than all the artists who make do with copying the outward style with imaginary creatures etc. Her versatility and the way she keeps experimenting are rooted in the same enthusiasm for the diversity of life as the old artists seeked and, her paintings also have the touch of something dangerous, which is found in their paintings. The nature as such is portrayed with both clenched fists and muscles. Often it shows its teeth, snarls at us and threatens us but if we admit that we are an inextricable part of it, deeper satisfaction and comfort are achieved.
In each circumstance, Bente Braad Klausen is an artist who combines vigorousness with poetry, sober-mindedness with enthusiasm and lyric love of colours with masculine brute strength. Therefore, her paintings appeal to everybody who appreciates unsentimental, energetic and dynamic interpretations of the nature that we are a part of and of the life we live.
Tom Jørgensen, Editor of Kunstavisen, Bachelor in History of Art