About the artist

Astrid Brodtkorb was born in Tinn, Telemark. She resides in Oslo, after having spent several years abroad, living in Brussels, Helsinki, and New York. Astrid is a graduate of Helsinki’s Aalto University; School of Art and Design. She has also got an academic background within art history and pedagogics from the University of Oslo.

Brodtkorb’s work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions, several of which were held in Brussels. During the last couple of years, her work has been showcased in domestic galleries such as the Telemark Art Galleri and Oslo’s Galleri Boa. Brodtkorb has also participated in several group exhibitions, both at home and abroad. These days, she is working on a new exhibition, which is to be made up of acrylic paintings, engravings and pastel paintings.


Brodtkorb’s etchings is made using the Hayter-technique. Stanley William Hayter was a British artist who in 1926 founded the Atelier 17 in Paris. Shortly after, influenced by contemporary developments in chemistry and new theoretic framework concerning the influence of color and shape on a work’s sense of space, he developed a particular copper engraving technique, which would later come to bear his own name.

Artists such as Chagall, Picasso, Joan Mirò and Max Ernst all frequented Hayter’s workshop, as did a host of Norwegian artists living in Paris at the time, such as Inger Sitter, Carl Nesjar, Gunvor Advocaat and Anne Breivik. After finishing her apprenticeship at Atelier 17 in 1956, the latter went on to establish Atelier Nord in Oslo, a Norwegian version of the renowned studio. This is where Astrid Brodtkorb got to study and experiment with Hayter’s unique graphic technique, during her period as one of the studio’s affiliated artists. In the following passage, the artist herself elaborates on her chosen technique.

About the technique

– The paintings are made by applying acid-proof lacquer to zinc plates, and then soaking the plates in nitric acid, Brodtkorb says. She explains that the acid etches the naked metal, which subsequently makes the painted motive appear in relief. Once the etching is completed, she washes the acid off and the zinc plate is ready to be coated in paint.

– I use large rubber rolls to apply thin layers of paint on the prepared zinc plate. After applying all the colors I wish to use, I cover the painted plate in clean, moist paper and run it through a press, she says.

– It’s only at this point that the print is truly done and I can observe the result, on paper, for the very first time, she adds.

– If I am satisfied with the result and want to make additional prints using the same colors, the plate itself has to be cleaned and all colors applied once more, Brodtkorb says, and states that the process is repeated, from A- to Z, for every print that is made. This means that out of a set of twenty prints made with the same coloring process and motive, none of them will ever be identical.

– Variations will, and must, always occur, as the technique itself is not meant to be a reproductive mechanism. Rather, I see it as an artistic auxiliary that allows me to bring forward/channel the image I seek to convey.