Bjarne Melgaard (b. 1967 / Sydney, Australia), is a contemporary Norwegian artist working in sculptural assemblage. In installations that include paintings, videos, and mixed-media works, the artist explores themes of substance addiction, sexuality, and self-destruction. Often employing controversial and provocative imagery, he is perhaps best known for his notorious fiberglass sculpture Chair (2014), which depicts a black woman on her back while a white woman sits on the cushion of her thighs. When the work first appeared online, it ignited an outcry and drew accusations of racism, and the image was ultimately withdrawn.
In 1992, he graduated from the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts and went on to study at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht from 1992 to 1993. He has since had exhibitions at institutions around the world, including the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2006, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York in 2013, and the Whitney Biennial in 2014. He currently lives and works in New York, NY. Today, Melgaard’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, among others.