15.03 – 26.04.2019


Galerie Mikael Andersen would like to welcome you to the opening of Værktøjet (The Tool) with new paintings, works on paper and animations by Kathrine Ærtebjerg, on Friday 15 March 2019, 5-7 pm.

Kathrine Ærtebjerg’s experiments with spray paint and elements from both nature and the domestic tool box have resulted in a series of large evocative paintings. Here, airy human figures emerge in the center of saturated, dense backgrounds with hints of landscapes. The characters in Ærtebjerg’s paintings float in a secluded dreamlike sphere; their eyes are often cast down and the spray-painted contours of their bodies appear to be captured during a flickering rite of passage; somewhere in between becoming and dissolving.

As the exhibition title suggests, everyday tools – hair pins, clothespins, nails, safety pins, wrenches, pincers and garden tools – come together and form, along with organic plants, the characters’ strange collage-like skeletons. The glowing bodies become surreal X-ray images revealing their inner processes. These motives are unpretentious, yet subtly ambiguous – they are poetic, humorous and sinister, all at once.

Where spray paint dominates the paintings, the sensibility of the free hand is dominant in the grey tones and thin lines of the pencil drawings. The works on paper speak a language of suggestion and subtle curiosities which echoes that of the paintings, although the technique is quite different.

In a stereoscope-like box in the second room of the exhibition the viewer can glance through the peepholes on each side and watch the two animations produced by Ærtebjerg for the exhibition. Here, the poetic motives of the artist are brought to life and can evolve over time accompanied by a soundtrack composed by the artist herself. The playful and stylized stop-motion technique forms a natural extension of Ærtebjerg’s artistic world and emphasizes its ambiguousness, its characteristic intertwinement of simplicity and complexity.

In the exhibition Værktøjet, substantial existential themes, fine-grained poetry and emotional intensity co-exists with an insidious violence and a curious humor. In Ærtebjerg’s work, the viewer enters a vibrant transformational space where separate layers of experience merge in new complex unities.

Kathrine Ærtebjerg (b. 1969) is educated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, 1995-2002. She lives and works in Copenhagen, has received several honorary grants and is represented at a number of Denmark’s most prominent museums such as Statens Museum for Kunst, Aros, Arken and in the collection of Ny Carlsberg Fondet.

For more information on the exhibition and for press photos please contact the gallery on tel. 33 33 05 12 or email: The exhibition ends 20 April 2019. Daily opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 12-18, Saturday 11-15.

Photos: Jan Søndergaard