The exhibition features several new paintings by Ursula Reuter Christiansen, exploring the concept of process and time in relation to the artist’s oeuvre. Taking up the image as narrative and as a way of depicting the woman’s universe, the paintings expressively unfold the perpetual story of death, renewal, and life in a new context.
The motif of the poppy has been a consistent theme in Reuter Christiansen’s body of work since her 1970’s paintings and the film The Executioner (1971), in which the artist depicts the execution of a woman, using her own experience as a woman, a wife, and a mother to break with women’s roles in history. A significant work in early Danish feminist art, the film approaches the symbolism of the poppy, representing loss of innocence and loss of life, the violence of the sacrifice before the renewal of the life of a woman can take place.
In New Works, the poppies reoccur, finding new modes of expression. Now circular death machines, their deep melancholy dawns anew. Opening by dawn and closing by dusk, these blossoms of beauty grow from abysmal despair. Flowers of life, the first to grow in the earth of soldiers’ graves. Blood red blooms, their brittle petals will fall off once picked from the fields of battle.
Impermanence and annihilation pave the way for new life like lights blazing in the dusking sky. The dusk, this moment between light and darkness, life and death, holds the key to change. As the current and much-heated women’s rights debate continues to prove itself relevant, Reuter Christiansen’s new works seem as influential as ever, showing the essence of a lifework in a process of constant development.