Harm van den Berg (1970) is an artist who lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He received his BA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 1996. As a sound artist he investigated for ten years the boundaries between image and language in different forms of representation like film, musical performances, installations and CD's. In recent years, his work gradually shifted from audio works to painting and video, from aural landscapes to visual landscapes. He has performed at different venues including museum The Paviljoens in Almere (NL), Zoo Gallery, Nantes (FR), Galeria Klovicevi, Zagreb (HR) and the Crossing Border Festival, Amsterdam (NL). His work has been exhibited at venues including Goethe Institute Amsterdam, Netherlands Media Art Institute, W139, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, De Voorkamer, Lier (B) and AC Institute, New York City (USA). He has received grants from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. Download full CV (pdf); Press (pdf)
In his work Harm van den Berg questions the experience of space and location, and the friction between nature and culture. He writes the following:
Space and location
For me art is connected with the experience of space and location. In my work I try to give the viewer a notion of a place. This can happen in the pictorial space of a painting or video work, but it can also relate to the place where the viewer actually is (mostly: the exhibition space). In a more abstract sense it is about a mental space. The experience of space is layered and often ambiguous. Bianca Stigter expressed this as follows:
"The visual idiom of Cubism was left behind in the early twentieth century, but its ideas are still with us. You could describe Harm van den Berg’s Garden Party as a cubist painting. Time and space can hide away in a painting; they can multiply, divide, dissolve. Stay." (From a Painter's Perspective, p. 80)
Nature and culture
Nature is an important motif in my work, which is closely related to the interest in space. Nature does not interest me so much in pure form, but where it meets and clashes with culture. Jurriaan Benschop wrote about this in the following passage:
"The work of Harm van den Berg normally relates in some respect to nature. It may be a landscape setting or a floral motif, both painted with aesthetic gusto. Yet a disruptive force intrudes, ruining the natural quality or undermining the romanticism. The experience of nature has a duality here: on the one hand it is admiring and aesthetic, but on the other quite the opposite. Playing a part in all this is the partly defined character of the scenes. As much remains out of the picture, still unstated or over painted, as is filled in or established as a subject. It is this indefiniteness that makes room for the friction which, to me, is the actual content of the work." (From a Painter's Perspective, p. 3).