west coast exhibitions
10 June 2023 - 12 August 2023
We are delighted to open our doors with an exhibition by Danish artist Trine Søndergaard (*1972) entitled Blind Side.
The title Blind Side could be programmatic for what Trine Søndergaard does: Her photographs refer to the side that is opposite to the side everyone is looking at.
Trine Søndergaard photographs the overlooked, the disappearing, the vulnerable.
In our exhibition the artist, who is also internationally appreciated for her quiet and timeless portraits and interiors, will show a selection of new photographs taken during her recent working stay on the island of Bornholm.
In the textile collection of Bornholm's Gudhjem Museum, Trine Søndergaard photographed traditional silk bows from the late 19th century that were used to finish embroidered neck hats. By taking the silk bows, isolating them from the collection and re-contextualising them, the artist succeeds in revitalising the museum-altered pieces in a simple and convincing way. Trine Søndergaard brings it to light again.
It’s soft, rounded shapes and shades from pale pink to purple refer to traditional notions of femininity. By showing it greatly enlarged and floating freely from the ceiling in the exhibition, Trine Søndergaard’s depictions of forgotten objects from women’s history becomes central to exhibition.
Also in the Gudhjem Museum, the artist has included so-called hat holders, which were used to store the very neck hats that were decorated by the silk bows. Trine Søndergaard turns it into dark, mask-like, graphic motifs that are hardly recognisable for their original purpose as well as their connection to the silk bows. In Trine Søndergaard's work, the hat holders become motionless figures, timeless sublime masks.
With a third series of black and white portraits shown in our exhibition, the artist continues her previous photographic work. The neck portraits or - one almost wants to call them hair portraits - show the human face from the averted side.
It's shown by being hidden. Hidden by the long hair of the portrayed older women, which in different shades and degrees of gray enshrouds their faces and necks. The women’s hair has multiple layers of meaning, appearing simultaneously dead and alive as well as it has traditionally been a symbol of female beauty and sexual allure. In this way, Trine Søndergaard makes visible the aging process that gradually transform the female body.
And again, it is the delicate tones and undulating forms that insist on feminine beauty and vulnerability and yet unfold a quiet power that might be unparalleled in contemporary art.
Trine Søndergaard, Silkesloejfer (Backview and Frontview), 2023, Courtesy the artist and Martin Asbæk Gallery Copenhagen
Trine Søndergaard, Blind Side, 2023, Courtesy the artist and Martin Asbæk Gallery Copenhagen
Trine Søndergaard, Untitled, 2023, Courtesy the artist and Martin Asbæk Gallery Copenhagen