Museum September 10 to
November 10 2016
Within the past
years, Mie Olise Kjærgaard has made herself noticed on the hectic and
fast-growing scene of contemporary art as an expressionistic painter with an
original iconography. She operates with painting in an expanded field that the
audience has been able to witness on several of her exhibitions in Denmark as
well as abroad, where she has created installational constructions that engage
with the painted motives on the surfaces.
She is inspired
by ships and buildings, particularly abandoned, free-floating houses and huts
that have lost their original function and are now left as partial ruins. When
she paints she sort of acts like an architect that has permitted herself to
experiment with utopian types of buildings. Either the constructions close to
collapse or new improvised ones are arising.
Like only few
other female artists, Mie Olise Kjærgaard does not hesitate to bring up
monumental formats. Over and over again she aims really high, but whether the
expresses herself in the huge scale or in the smaller one, her work is always
thorough. Her unmistakable signature is a characteristic, broken palette -
meaning that she mixes grey, white and black in a way that makes them appear
somewhat dry and muted. She has a love for pinkish, light blue and brown
nuances - and occasionally a very potent blue. Compositionally
the motives loom upwards and create new, wild structures. In these oftentimes
civilization critical works chaos rules. In her three dimensional art - the
installations in particular - she uses building materials directly and create
pieces in the exhibition rooms, as demonstrated with her impressive show ‘The
Silent Station’ in Nikolaj Kunsthal in 2012.
In may 2015 Mie
Olise Kjærgaard cleared her calendar and gave herself permission to experiment
with her art and plunged into deep waters in order to develop her painting.
There she remained until the new year of 15/16. In her recent work she
distances herself from the architectural motives and zooms in on smaller
details with a pictogram-like imagery. Here she plays through a range of
previous motives - pineapples, anchors, oars, palm trees, boats, coconuts and
so on - to combine them for different meanings and associations to emerge. This
new ‘dictionary’ is partially inspired by a visit to Venezuela prior to her
solo exhibition there in 2016. Here she witnessed hammocks and laundry and
notable houses built in layers. In Venezuela the ruins are brand new. For
instance, banks and shopping malls that have never been completed. They’re made
of glass, steel and concrete but only the skeleton of the buildings stand
alongside facades of the lower floors. Because of the huge amount of homeless
people in the poor country, they move into these unfinished domiciles and build
upon the skeletons with bricks, wood and fabrics on the following floors.
Hereby, an utterly different and bricolage-like architectural aesthetics
appears. At the very top laundry is flapping in the wind. This architecture is
a sign of a regime that has gone bankrupt and left its citizens hanging. The
architecture of the buildings, that reflect the divided society, have wandered
straight into Mie Olise Kjærgaard’s new works.
When Mie Olise Kjærgaard war studying architecture she was taught,
that a construction has to be honest, meaning aesthetically consistent all the
way through. In Venezuela the buildings are dishonest all the way through.Therefore, Mie Olise finds them to be very
special and deeply interesting, visually and as sociological objects of study,
partially because of these layered structures with horizontal dividing lines,
that she’s worked into her paintings. Furthermore, compositionally her new work
can be compared to exquisite corpse drawings or folded drawings, that
are also built in layers. Her new pieces are more ‘dirty’ than previously.
Visually they are stimulating - filled with ‘noise’ and playful, pictogram-like
figurations, that are rhythmically embedded in the surface.
Mie Olise Kjærgaard has had some pretty busy years exhibition wise,
as well as tremendous sales - all paintings were snatched away on the
exhibition opening in her American gallery, Barbara Davis in Houston. On
commending a line of new shows, Mie first thought that she could reuse her
paintings, but her vanity quickly kept her from that. However, new ideas kept
emerging just like the exhibition architecture is utterly different from the
Politiken Vestibule, the Morsoe Art Union, Museo de Arte Acarigua in Venezuela
and now the Himmerland Art Museum in Aars. Therefore she’s had to make new
paintings for every exhibition. Each room has individual possibilities that can
foster fabulous solutions, if you seize it the right way, she thinks. 80
percent of the works in the Himmerland Art Museum are consequently brand new.
The large room is available for Mie Olise Kjærgaard in this
significant museum building, drawn by Per Kirkeby in collaboration with the
architect Jens Bertelsen. She has invited the painters Ditte Ejlerskov and
Johan Furåker to exhibit in the smaller room right next door. Mie Olise’s
exhibition consists of a series of very large paintings and a series of very
small ones, all hanging across each other on each their long wall. On the two
end walls she has chosen two oblong paintings that are installed on
furniture-like constructions. Hereby she sustains the installational approach that turns the paintings into object of the room.
Bonde, art critic, MA
and chairman of AICA Denmark. August 2016
Mie Olise Kjærgaard
is raised on Mors. She was born in 1974. After having trained as an architect
in 2001 on the Aarhus School of Architecture she took and MFA on Central St.
Martin School of Art in London in 2007. For many years she has resided in New
York, but now lives and works in Copenhagen.