Idun Baltzersen


“They had a printmaking studio in the basement where I could really concentrate and work, and that was the moment when I realized getting serious and applying to art schools was the only thing I could do”

AT: Where are you from and how/why you start engaging to art?

IB: I was born in Trondheim (Norway) where I lived until I was 21. I have always been painting and drawing, my mom is an artist and my parents often took me to art exhibitions from when I was quite young. So the path was pretty clear for me from a young age.


AT: When did it become serious?

IB: I have always played with the idea, but the breaking point was when started a preparational art school after high school. They had a printmaking studio in the basement where I could really concentrate and work, and that was the moment when I realized getting serious and applying to art schools was the only thing I could do.


AT: Are there any person that have been significant in your progression as an artist?

IB: My former teachers, my mother and hanging around her artist friends.


AT: What’s your first approach to the work? Could you describe your practice?

IB: I often start with collecting images and pictures of human figures that have an interesting body language. I have them in a folder with reference images on my computer. When there are maybe 10 images I start to transform them into simple drawings, that I then project onto large pieces of wood. I then carve and cut images in the wood, ink it up and print it on a piece of textile. I process the images further by cutting up both the wood and the textile, so that the end result is a collage.

Mathias – Ph. Susann Jamtøy (2019)

AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?

IB: I’m a huge power tool enthusiast, and I like to visit hardware/diy shops to buy materials and to get inspiration. I like to learn new things and alternative ways to use a tool. I recently bought a plot cutter, and replaced the knife with a scratching tool, that I use to engrave in plastic. Then I use a drypoint to process the plate further, and print it like a classic drypoint. That kind of old media and new media together really appeals to me.


AT: Do you leave your work open to interpretation? Or do you think the viewer should engage with your work in a specific way?

IB: I don’t want to force a specific interpretation on anyone.I think the viewers own interpretations are the most important and that is also how I prefer to look at art myself.


AT: How do you feel while you are working? You think of the final result?

IB: I have a tendency to focus more on the process than the finished work actually.


AT: How do you understand when a work is finished?

IB: I have a problem with that. I have a hard time extracting single works, everything I produce is just a big mass until something outside interferes, like for example when I have an exhibition or a studio visit and I have to choose works. I stop changing and accept that they are finished.

“Face”, 2018 | Exhibition view at Nevven Gallery (ph. David Eng)
“Face”, 2018 (detail) | Exhibition view at Nevven Gallery (ph. David Eng)

AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from? Do you find inspiration outside or it’s all inside you?

IB: I get a lot of inspiration from popular culture actually and I love to watch high school movies and tv shows. Sometimes I make drawings based on the characters. Moreover the inspiration comes from things I see in my everyday life, such as the architecture in the suburb Bredäng outside of Stockholm, where I live.


AT: There are any artists who influenced your works? Why?

IB: A lot of artists, such as Käthe Köllwitz, Anselm Kiefer, Edvard Munch, Hannah Ryggen. Looking at art and different ways of doing things can be a huge inspiration for me. For example, after seeing an exhibition with Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg in Moderna Museet last fall, I have been thinking a lot about using different textures.


AT: How important is for you the role of social media?

IB: I think social media can be a little stressful actually. I love discovering new things on Instagram for example, but scrolling and refreshing and the haunt for likes can be daunting.


AT: What’s your opinion about the contemporary art system nowadays from your point of view as an artist?

IB: I’m really worried about the future actually. Not just my future, but the future generations of artists after me. Neo liberal ideology has started sipping in to how people think of artists. For example, the norwegian kulturrådet has started to give artists courses in how to become good entrepeneurs, using entrepeneur-lingo with trendy corporate words such as «startup». I think it is only a matter of time before this type of thinking moves its way in to art education. Being an artist has nothing to do with being a businessman. Relevant art does not have to be commercially sustainable, despite what most hyper capitalist right wing governments today seem to think. That’s why grants, preferably with public funding, is essential to a functioning art system. Art should be for the people, not just the rich people.

“Stranger II”, 2018 | Exhibition view at Nevven Gallery (ph. David Eng)
“Stranger II”, 2018 (detail) | Exhibition view at Nevven Gallery (ph. David Eng)

AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?

IB: I think the financial instability is terrifying. But it’s almost equally rewarding when it actually works.


AT: What do you do outside of art?

IB: I have a pretty normal life. I like to watch movies, read books, I go to the gym even though I don’t like it, I listen to music. I also have a pet turtle, Simone.


AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?

IB: If I can continue the way I do now with having shows and being able to pay rent in the future I will be very happy.

Exhibition view

2012-2014 Master of fine arts, Konstfack, Stockholm
2009-2012 Bachelor of printmaking, Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen

Solo exhibitions

2018  Mask, Nevven Gallery, Sweden The transformation, Teckningsmuseet, Laholm, SwedenDomestication, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, Sweden
2017  Rites of passage, Konstakademien, Stockholm, Sweden          Girls and horses, Trykkeriet center for contemporary printmaking, Bergen, Norway          Panorama,Körsbärsgården, Gotland, Sweden          Market art fair, with Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, Sweden
2015 Anger Management,RAM Galleri,Oslo, Norway2014 Playing Nature, Galleri Thomassen, Gothenburg, Sweden         Don’t look now, Galerie Artists Unlimited, Bielefeld, Germany2013 A story, Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden

Group exhibitions

2019 OpenArt, Örebro, Sweden Swedish style, project 88, Mumbai, India Never even, 3e våningen, curated by Nevven Gallery, Sweden  Mathias, with Anna Ihle, Trøndelag senter for samtidskunst, Norway
2018  Uvilje, vi vil svette,Buskerud Kunstsenter, Norway          Detour,Artipelag, Sweden          Uvilje, Vestfold Kunstsenter, Nils Aas Kunstverksted, Norway          The eagle has landed, SIC, Finland          Høytrykk, Hå gamle prestegård,Norway Our winter show, Gallery Steinsland Berliner, Sweden
2017  Nordiske relasjoner, Bomuldsfabriken kunsthall, Arendal, Norway          Frieze New York, with Galleri Magnus Karlsson, USA          Om materialer og muligheter, Akershus Kunstsenter, Norway          Dialog i teckning, Idun Baltzersen & Peter Tillberg, Uppsala Konstmuseum, Sweden
2016  Spotlight #2, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, Sweden          Skissen, Tegnebiennalen, Galleri LNM, Oslo, Norway          I see a darkness, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Hellvi Kännungs, Gotland, Sweden         When darkness comes, it´s all good, Varbergs Konsthall, Sweden          Passive aggressive, with Anna Ihle Kunstgarasjen, Bergen, Norway          Neråt, with Anna-Karin Rasmusson, Konstakademien, Stockholm, Sweden          Getfotsfondens stipendiat, Grafiska sällskapet, Stockholm, Sweden
2015 Orka, Husby Konsthall, Sweden         Fredrik Roos Stipendium,Moderna museet, Malmö, Sweden         Figurstudie, Baltzersen og Guttormsgaard,Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo, Norway         Illusions and reproductions,with Kristie MacDonald, Galleri Babel, Trondheim, Norway
2014 Stiftelsen Anna Lisa Thompson till minne, Uppsala Konstmuseum, Sweden         Passive Agressive,Kunstschlager, Reykjavik, Iceland         Grafiktriennal XV, Uppsala konstmuseum, Sweden         Stipendieutstilling, Kunstmuseet Nord-Trøndelag, Namsos, Norway         Spring exhibition, Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden
2012 Our Winter Show, Gallery Steinsland Berliner, Stockholm, Sweden         Trøndelagsutstillingen,Trøndelag centre for contemporary art, Norway         Indeterminate form, Trykk 17, Stavanger, Norway         A heap of trust, Norske Grafikere, Oslo, Norway         Bachelor exhibition, Gamle Bergen fengsel, Norway         New members, Norske Grafikere, Oslo, Norway
2011 Høstutstillingen,Kunstnernes hus, Oslo, Norway         Trøndelagsutstillingen, Trøndelag senter for samtidskunst, Ørland          Kultursenter, Levanger kunstforening, Norway


2015 Nordic artists’ centre Dale, Norway         Lademoen kunstnerverksteder, Trondheim, Norway
2014 Sim, Reykjavik, Iceland        Artists Unlimited, Bielefeld, Germany

Public commissions and collections

Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Sweden
Uppsala Konstmuseum, Sweden
Västerås Konstmuseum, Sweden
Statens konstråd, Sweden
Stockholms läns lansting, Sweden
Jonköpings läns lansting, Sweden
Region Kronoberg, Sweden
Trondheim Kommune, Norway
St. Olavs Hospital , Norway