Bertil Petersson’s work can be summarized as the 40 year progression of fundamental ideas that deal with gravity, balance and the visual contradiction of dynamics in space.  He chose stone and steel as the most basic elements to use for the search into the mystery of our perception of fundamental existential.  The contradiction of the rigidity of the material, while the shapes and forms express a constantly moving force of energy, remains the issues of his journey of discovery.

Bertil Petersson was born in Sweden where he was first started wood carving at the age of 10. He came to New York at 19 where he had his first one-man show at 21. He moved to LA and went to Otis Art Institute where he received his BFA with a major in sculpting. He had the first one-man show at the Student Gallery at Otis 1974. A workshop accident resulted in a near fatal infection that became the subject of his graduation piece.  He started experimenting with sound structures and produced a number if works for KPFK, KPFA and Radio Hilversum in Holland, the most well known being “Symphony for Water”.  

 His MFA studies were cut short when he left for Europe to  pursue the development of installation works and new video works. He was invited to the First International Video Conference in 1975 held at Espace Cardin in Paris along with Nam Jun Paik, Kit Galloway and others. He produced an interview with Joseph Buys and did 2 video works at Torpeden, the video workshop at Modern Museet in Stockholm. He had a one-man show in Paris in 1976 dealing with Zen influenced works on paper and video. Returning to New York, he started studies in Zen flute music (shakuhachi) which took him to Japan in 1980 where he spent 10 years. 2 international tours of the USA and Europe representing Japan, followed with concerts at the Bergen Festival, the Boston Fine Art Museum, and the Japan Society I New York. This culminated in a solo CD recording made in Stockholm, Sweden 1987. 

 A return to sculpting led him to set up a studio in Vancouver in 1992 where he spent 10 years in the investigation of what has become his present subject of study: the perceived contradiction of gravity and motion. This period culminated in a commission from the City of Richmond, British Columbia and a one-man show at in Vancouver. He returned New York in 2005 and switched from stone to steel, dealing with the same issues as in the stone works. The issues that emerged from the material change are visible in the sense of dynamic movements as well as gravitational illusions. The latest work was exhibited at a group show of 25 artists from Berlin and Los Angeles in LA in January 2009.   His work is in various collections including those of Grace Knowlton, The Bergman Foundation, The Grounds for Sculptures Foundation,  and the institutions mentioned above.

For more information contact: Delia Cabral – — 310 770 2525

Artist website: Bertil Petersson