Trine Søndergaard is contributing to the exhibition DEJAVU
21 contemporary Danish artists present contemporary works inspired by the same questions as the Skagen painters in the past. Women with flattering dresses at sunset, southwest and roaring seas are some of the pictures we connect with Skagen. The well-known motives today appear as kitsch on everything from postcards to boarders, and films have been made about them. In other words, they have become iconic for Skagen and the time when Skagen was the central gathering point for artists from all over Scandinavia.
Skagen painters’ art was especially natural pictures, ie. pictures of nature and everyday chores, but also life and death, and not least the hard and dangerous lives of the fishermen. Skagen painters described the ordinary life as they experienced it and were an important part of the modern breakthrough in the late 1800s, which put the social order into debate with a new freedom in relation to sexuality, marriage, religion and natural sciences.
The fact that Skagen painters were debate-making may not be the first thing you think of today, when you look at the paintings of the atmospheric scenarios. One mainly thinks about the virtuoso brush strokes, the fascination of Skagen’s special light and the beautiful colors. But the painters were part of the international avant-garde and set the agenda for contemporary art not only in Denmark but throughout the Nordic region. Skagen painters have so far left behind a legacy that has made its mark through Danish art history, which is also current today. The position of the painters as essential in Danish art makes them interesting to reinterpret, transfer or break into contemporary art.
The exhibition DEJAVU shows 21 Danish artists who, in line with the painters, work on the classic motives like nature and everyday life in their art. But where the painters were primarily painters, we will at DEJAVU retrieve the motives in brand new and sometimes surprising media and expressions. Classic paintings such as the “light”, “interior”, “sea”, “the raw nature” or “human nature” and “portrait” are interpreted by the artists of the exhibition in addition to paintings, installation art, video, sculpture, drawing, photography and ceramics . Thus, Krøyer’s classic painting of a lunch table is refound in Rose Eken’s bodega edition with high-plattered sandwiches is surrounded by capsules and cigarette cod – all made in 1: 1 ceramics. Or Anchers raw nature in Eske Kath’s paintings of a stranded whale and storm detached roofs and building fragments.
Eske Kath, Christian Schmidt Rasmussen, Benny Dröscher, Anette Harboe Flensburg, Ulrik Møller, Knud Odde, Elin Engelsen, Peter Carlsen, Christina Malbek, Trine Søndergård, Katja Bjørn, Morten Schelde, Søren Behncke, Tina Maria Nielsen, Kasper Bonnén, Søren Martinsen, Mie Mørkeberg, Rose Eken, Lars Tygesen, Andreas Schulenburg, Cathrine Raben Davidsen