VOLCANO WOMAN

20 Sep - 2 Nov 2019
Works
Overview

Ursula Reuter Christiansen was inspired to make the exhibition while traveling the lunar landscape of Lanzarote – a Spanish island of volcanic origin. Shaded in colours of ash grey and ochre, the island emerged about 15 million years ago through fiery eruptions and has solidified lava streams and dramatic rock formations. In Volcano Woman the artist imagines female characters to crack through Lanzarote’s dusty ground from another prehistoric state like erupting volcanoes.

Symbolically, the volcano represents anger, revenge, hidden emotions, destruction and new creation. Associated with power in the natural world, the volcano’s violent release of lava and gas can never entirely be predicted. A volcano that has been quiet for a thousand years can suddenly awake from its slumber and cause great damage and change. The women emerging from the volcanic eruptions in Ursula Reuter Christiansen’s exhibition all seem to wonder where they belong and if they belong in this world, casting light on female existence in society today. 

Ursula Reuter Christiansen’s continuous and significant impact on the development of feminist art in Denmark and internationally is conveyed by the image of the volcano. As feminism has erupted and ignited the political and ideological landscape throughout history, Volcano Woman stands for the artist as an image of potential explosion – be it of personal, cultural, or political nature. The creativity and vitality of women are like dormant volcanoes. It has not been extinguished but is gathering momentum to explode and will shake the entire land. 

Installation Views
Press release

Ursula Reuter Christiansen erupts in new solo show in Copenhagen

Inspired by a trip to Lanzarote, the leading feminist Danish artist Ursula Reuter Christiansen opens a new solo exhibition at SABSAY. Filling the gallery with an extensive installation of volcano ash and new oil paintings, she depicts female characters born out of erupting volcanoes, casting light on female existence in society today.

Ursula Reuter Christiansen was inspired to make the exhibition while traveling the lunar landscape of Lanzarotea Spanish island of volcanic origin. The island emerged about 15 million years ago through fiery eruptions and has solidified lava streams and dramatic rock formations. In the exhibition Volcano Woman, the artist imagines female characters to crack through Lanzarote’s dusty ground from another prehistoric state like erupting volcanoes.

I became deeply fascinated by the infernal volcano landscape of Lanzarote. There is only one bus, which, on a mega-narrow road, is allowed to drive in this apocalyptic scenery. Smoking craters, burning ground, colors of ash grey and ochre. Here I got the idea for Volcano Woman,Reuter Christiansen explains.

Feminism as an erupting volcano

Feminism has erupted and ignited the political and ideological landscape throughout history. With the exhibition, Ursula Reuter Christiansen continues to have a significant impact on the development of feminist art in Denmark and internationally:

The creativity and vitality of women are like dormant volcanoes. It has not been extinguished but is gathering momentum to explode and will shake the entire land,” Reuter Christiansen says.

Associated with power in the natural world, the volcano’s violent release of lava and gas can never entirely be predicted. A volcano that has been quiet for a thousand years can suddenly awake from its slumber and cause great damage and change.

According to Reuter Christiansen, the volcano represents anger, revenge, hidden emotions, destruction and new creation. The artist envisions her exhibition, as an image of potential explosionbe it of personal, cultural or political nature.

A long awaited exhibition for the gallery

Volcano Woman is the second solo exhibition by Ursula Reuter Christiansen at SABSAY. The exhibition comprises a new series of oil paintings depicting female characters born out of erupting volcanoes, and the gallery floor will be covered in silica stones.

We have planned this exhibition already more than a year ago. It’s been a long awaited moment for us to show her new body of works. The timing is also great considering her ongoing retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig. With the exhibition at SABSAY, European audiences can get an insight into her evolvement in recent years,says Masha Faurschou, founder of SABSAY.

This summer, Reuter Christiansen also opened a major solo exhibition in Germany at Museum der bildender Künste (MdbK) in Leipzig, which gives a retrospective view on her works from the 70’s and 80’s. The exhibitions marks the first time that Reuter Christiansen’s works have returned back to be exhibited in her homeland, Germany, since she moved to Denmark in 1969.

 

About Ursula Reuter Christiansen and SABSAY

Born in Trier, Germany, in 1943, Ursula Reuter Christiansen has lived and worked on the Danish island, Møn, since 1969. The same year she graduated from Akademie der Künste in Düsseldorf where she studied under professor Joseph Beuys. Reuter Christiansen worked as a professor at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg (HfBK) from 1992-96 and a professor of painting at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen from 1997-2006. She and her husband, Henning Christiansen represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2001. Reuter Christiansen has exhibited at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2016), MOCA, Los Angelses (2007-8), Kunsthal Brandts Klædefabrik, Odense (2000) among others. She was awarded the Eckersberg Medal in 2011.

 

 

SABSAY opened in May 2016 and is located in Central Copenhagen. According to SABSAY, the purpose of the exhibition space is to enrich the Danish art scene with new names and practices as well as to encourage joint projects between international and local artists and curators.

Ursula Reuter Christiansen Volcano Woman
20 September
2 November 2019