Love is not visible to the eyes but to the soul - Shakespeare

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Kathrine Ærtebjerg

One of the most interesting and poetic Danish artists is Kathrine Ærtebjerg. She has an eerie style which at first impression seems very delicate and feminine but then suddenly turns very dark and with humorous characters and titles.
Her techinal skills are incredible. Large size paintings looking as delicate and fragile as a small water colour. You can see where her fingers ran through the wet paint to make the subtle nuances, and her choice of imagery shows her sense of humour. Large animals along with fairy tale girls and enchanted forests are just some of the alluring aspects of her work.
All of these images are taken from the book about her work, She is Ready. Please, also check out her website for more information about her and her work. Kathrine Ærtebjerg
The cover to the book of selected works of Kathrine Ærtebjerg.
 Surrender, devotion
 The Sacrifice and The Community. I really love the work on the right, the colours, the imagery, everything. It is very rare that she portrays men in her work so that gives this a certain appeal too because its a surprice to see a man where mostly women have been. 
 The Animals always came to her when she needed it the most. An example of the supricing eerieness of the fairy tale-like settings but with a dark and twisted edge. Is the monkey planting something in her or is he taken something from her?
 Move, change. Here you can see the water colour effect which I like to call it in search of a better word. The grass and branches started as one lump of paint and she then ran her finger through it to give it the slowly fading away in the directions she wanted. I like at the same time the polished and finished look this gives the painting and yet there's still room for more interpretation and what you bring to the painting. The canvas is not completely filled out with paint but you know its done.
Happy Mr Hansen. This is a part of the collection of comtemporary art at Aros Aarhus Art Museum.
The Dreams (Saturday). I don't know why but I think of Frida Khalo whenever I see this painting. I always think of Khalo's painting of the woman in bed with the featus floating in the air arround her. I don't think this is a more optimistic painting but perhaps a more poetic style that gives you the first impression that its beautiful and dreamy (pun unintended!) but then when you look closer you get a more uncertain feel about it whereas with Khalo you sense immendiately the sorrow and horror of the event she portrays.  
 External/Internal. I really adore her animals in the paintings. Here you can see again how she uses the water colour effect with the grass, the girl's braids and the animals' fur.
 Hunting, mural. This is perhaps the work that made her a household name when she was invited by the Crown Prince couple of Denmark to decorate their representatory rooms at Frederik VIII's palace together with a dozen other contemporary artists. Among those were also Olafur Elliasson whom you may have heard about. Especially his Waterfalls around the world.
Kathrine Ærtebjerg was assigned the kitchen/pantry. Note, this doesn't function as an ordinary kitchen but where the last preparations are made before the food is served in the mirror room which is the dining and reception room. She has stated that she choosed hunting as the theme as a hommage to the royal family's traditions in this area and as to where some of the food derives. Originally, the background colour was light purple but she changed it to yellow so it would go with the surrounding rooms. And when you look at it now it would look completely wrong with purple. Strange what a colour can do..  
Kathrine Ærtebjerg.

1 comment:

MrMan said...

Katherine your art Is amazing! Wow


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