Per Berntsen

Per Berntsen (b. 1953) is a veteran of camera-based art in Norway and an important advocate for the medium’s rise and acceptance on the local art scene. Berntsen was educated at Trent Polytechnic / Derby College of Art, England, during the second half of the 1970’s and has exhibited actively since his debut in 1980 at Fotogalleriet in Oslo. Important projects include the 2008 publication and exhibition Generator at Galleri Riis, which featured 100 generator halls from hydroelectric power plants in southern Norway, and ‘Down Under Up North’ in 2010, a documentation and art project about the mining industry in Kirkenes. From 2013-2015, Berntsen undertook an artistic documentation of the Taiga, the landscape connecting the northern parts of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. This project resulted in the publication and exhibition tour Metsä in 2018. In 2019, a new development in Berntsen’s work was introduced, with a series of landscapes from the Veståsen area in Telemark. Resulting from field work in 2018 and 2019, these large archival inkjet prints on baryta paper represented a recognizable theme in Berntsen’s oeuvre – the unpopulated landscape – but they also marked a significant new departure as they were the first color images that he had exhibited to date. Per Berntsen’s works can be found in the collections of MoMa, New York, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Kode, Bergen, The City of Oslo Art Collections, Oslo.

Per Berntsen lives and works in Atrå (Tinn Municipality), Norway.

Selected works


Portrett per berntsen (c)bente geving 2009
Photo: Bente Geving

Born 1953 in Modum, Norway
Lives and works in Tinn, Telemark, Norway

Artist’s homepage


1975 – 1978 Diploma in Creative Photography, Trent Polytechnic/Derby College of Art, UK


2023 Skol, Galleri Riis, Oslo
2020 May 1985. Landscapes from Eggedal, Galleri Riis, Oslo
2019 Veståsen. New works & Vintage prints from the 1980’s and 90’s, Galleri Riis, Oslo
2017 Metsä, Murmansk Art Museum, Murmansk, Russia
2013 Down Under Up North, Northern Norway Art Museum, Tromsø (with Bente Geving)
2013 Metsä – New Landscapes, Galleri Riis, Oslo, Norway
2008 Generator, Galleri Riis, Oslo
2006 Power Stations, Galerie Kai Hilgemann, Berlin, Germany
2005 Changes, Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum, Rjukan, Norway
2002 Industrial Landscape Grenland, Galleri Riis, Oslo
1995 Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo
1991 RAM Galleri, Oslo
1983 Rjukan Library, Norway
1980 Fotogalleriet, Oslo


2018 Det Felles Eide (The Common Eye), Kunstnernes Hus in collaboration with Oslo Municipality
2014 Crossroads, Lillehammer Kunstmuseum, Norway
2013 Fotografica Bogotá, Colombia
2012 Galleri Gann, Sandnes, Norway
2008 The Mountains in Art, Henie-Onstad Art Center, Oslo
2007 Norwegian Art Photography, Stensersen Museum, Oslo
1998 Farms and Waterways, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo
1997 22 artists from Oslo, Gothenburg Art Museum, Sweden
1987 Norwegian Landscape, Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark


Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway
Preus Museum, Horten, Norway
Henie Onstad Art Center, Oslo, Norway
Bergen Art Museum, Norway
Norwegian Arts Council, Oslo, Norway
Stavanger Kunstmuseum (Jan Groth Collection), Stavanger, Norway
AKO Art Foundation / Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway
KORO, Norway