Kathrine Ærtebjerg




Taking her cue from a comic book and fairytale universe, Kathrine Ærtebjerg paints stories that are both outlandish and completely ordinary. At first glance the pictures seem naïve and carefree, yet odd – and even disturbing – scenes play out between the bright colours and the cute, strange creatures.

Concentration/Distraction, 2003

     Concentration/Distraction, 2003




A hazel, feminine creature with large, pointy ears, closed eyes and a serene expression lies with its arms wrapped around a huge red and poisonous looking toadstool. The otherwise barren landscape features a number of smaller red fungi. A froglike creature sporting a sharp object sneaks up from behind. Like the hazel creature this one too has a humanoid face.

The painting is simple with pronounced outlines – only the fungi’s caps spill colour in long threadlike streams down the canvas, trapping the seemingly sleeping creature.

What is the work about
Ærtebjerg’s pictures are like fantastic fairytales where anything is possible. There is a cute, childish and dreamlike quality to the universes her paintings conjure up yet adult and serious thoughts are also present. Ambiguity is a key element of her pictures – as is the case in ARKEN’s painting Concentration/Distraction.
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Kathrine Ærtebjerg's art in general
Like many Danish and international artists of her generation, Ærtebjerg explores figurative painting’s potential for storytelling. The number of young figurative painters today is so great that it is being described in several places as a marked trend in contemporary art. Spotting a number of kinships between these artists may be difficult but they certainly all possess a pronounced interest in storytelling, in more or less obvious narratives and in figurations in various forms.
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Kathrine Ærtebjerg


Kathrine Ærtebjerg portræt teaser


Kathrine Ærtebjerg studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art 1995-2002. In recent years she has exhibited in a number of national shows and in 2006 had her first solo exhibition abroad, at the Rokeby Gallery in London.....

The Heart House, 2002


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