A long life in the service of Art
Amy Berg was a Norwegian artist and world citizen whose career spanned more than six decades. Already at an early age she knew that she wanted to be an artist, and in 1937 she presented her first exibition in her hometown Ålesund, Sunnmøre on the west coast of Norway. She was then only 20 years old.
Amy began studies at the National Arts and Crafts School in Oslo under Karl Høgberg and Per Krogh, but went on to train as a painter at the National Academy of Fine Art. Her professors were Axel Revold and Jean Heiberg. In 1949 she left for Paris where she was invited to attend l’Académie André Lhote by the famous French painter and art theorist. She also studied at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17 where she learned printmaking. Her main medium was oil paintings, as well as watercolours, but she also created many graphic artworks; lithographs and etchings
In Paris she met her husband, the American writer and journalist Robert Rigby, and she moved with him around the world. Amy and Robert had two sons, Leif Christian and Michael Frederick, who now reside in the US.
In 1960, Amy Berg moved with her family to Menton on the French Côte d’Azur. The intense colours of Mediterranean became more evident in her oil paintings after her many visits and life in the south of France and subsequent moves to Spain (Madrid and Mallorca). The family also stayed for longer periods in Italy, Switzerland and New York, and in between Amy completed a Masters Degree in Fine Arts – Applied Arts Eductaion at the University of Minnesota. In the early 1960’s, Amy ran an art school in her hometown Ålesund for a few years, the most prominent student being the well-known Norwegian artist Ørnulf Opdahl.
In 1979, Amy moved back to her hometown for good, but continued to travel the world. In the late 1970s and 1980s she had some very productive stays in Mexico, a country she visited for the first time in 1939. She lived and worked in San Miguel de Allende and Guanajato, the latter being the residence for many years of the artists Diego Rivera and his wife, Frida Kahlo.
Among Amy Berg’s strong stylistic influences, one may cite that of Paul Cézanne and other Post-Impressionist painters. One of her influencial teacher, André Lhote, was also deeply inspired by Cézanne as well as Georges Braque, the founders of Cubism. Lhote developed a more colourful and figurative form of Cubism, often called French Cubism evident in his works in the Musée d’Art in Bordeaux. These link with the works of Amy Berg. She was also profoundly influenced by Henri Matisse and other Fauvist artists, especially their light and vivid, and sometime arbitrary colours. In Amy’s later years, the Sunnmøre region’s rapidly changing weather with its effect on light and colour became a recurrent theme in much of her work.
Amy Berg was an important and respected member of the Ålesund art scene. She had many solo exhibitions in town, and was represented at the annual exhibitions Vestlandsutstillinga and Høstutstillingen. Her work can be found at the Coffman Galleries and the Tweed Museum in Minnesota, Grupo de Arte Grafico and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, as well as the Rolf Stranger collection in Oslo, the Söderholm Galleries in Sweden and the Arts Council Norway. She received several stipends, and was one of the first artists to be awarded The Norwegian Government Grant for Artists.
Amy kept busy creating new works and teaching art to her friends even in her later years – a 20th century woman and dedicated artist whose works are still vibrant and full of life.
- See the page ARBEIDER for works that are presently for sale. We can also provide other motifs, such as her Mexican series. The works are priced at 11 – 16,000 Norwegian kroner. Additionally; watercolours, drawings and lithographs are available, ranging from 2,500 to 5,000 kroner.
- The book Med øye for Ålesund og Sunnmøre gives a wonderful presentation of Amy and her art.
- Leave a message below or contact Christian in New York or Elise in Ålesund if you would like more information. See footer for contact details.