House Art: Exploring Danish art at Soho House Copenhagen
A definitive list of the artists that reflect the local culture of our first Nordic House in Denmark’s capital
Thursday 29 September 2022 By Anastasiia Fedorova
Soho House’s global art collection is one of the biggest privately owned assemblages in the world. The House Art series invites you to take a peek inside them, offering a closer look at individual works and collections, and revealing why they’re such an integral part of Soho House. Next up, Soho House Copenhagen.
Soho House Copenhagen may have only opened its doors in this summer, but we’re already in love with the Danish way of life: from wild swimming and traditional smørrebrød lunches to lounging on the House terrace with a glass of House Tonic. Located in a former Danish customs house and ferry terminal built in 1937, this is our first outpost in Scandinavia (to be followed by Soho House Stockholm opening this winter) merging Danish design with Soho House signatures.The overall colour scheme is inspired by the iconic townhouses on Nyhavn – with a great number of Danish designers and makers who have contributed to the aesthetic inside, so that it truly reflects the city and its creative community.
The most integral feature at the House, however, is the art collection. Exploring Danish art is one of the best ways to understand the country’s culture. So, to help you get started, Sara Terzi, Senior Art Collections Manager at Soho House, picks her five highlights from the collection comprised of 38 artists born, based or trained in Denmark.
‘Ganymede (Jockstrap)’, 2021
This work is part of Elmgreen & Dragset’s latest series centred around the sculptural practice of Danish neo-classicist artist Bertel Thorvaldsen, in which the artistic duo brings to life iconic sculptures by dressing them in various articles of clothing – and in doing so accentuate their nudity rather than concealing it. In ‘Ganymede (Jockstrap)’, the jockstrap, often associated with sportsmen or ballet dancers as well as gay culture, brings the classical and the contemporary into sharp juxtaposition. This artistic intervention addresses both sexuality and identity, while also paying heed to the influence of Thorvaldsen in Elmgreen & Dragset’s oeuvre.
‘Hybrid Rituals# 3: Gynophobia’, 2020
At the heart of Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen’s practice are performative moments, which once executed are transformed and presented again through different media such as video, photography, sculpture, and installation. Gynophobia – defined as a phobia of women – is part of a series that explores gender issues and the perceived figure of womanhood in society. In the artist’s words: ‘I want to show an image of a strong woman with attitude, and who serves her point of view in a direct way. […]. I am not concerned of using my femininity and sensuality in my works.
My character is dual and contains male and female values. Feminism is simply a fair play, that concerns both genders. It isn’t about competition, excluding or battling, but something that has advantages for both sexes.’
‘Infinity Intimacy (Window Kiss) (Stretched Structure)’, 2019-2020
Kristian Touborg’s practice is characterised by the use of reproduction and reconstruction to create tactile two- and three-dimensional painted works that defy categorisation into a specific medium. Digitally painted fabrics and industrially treated materials are cut up and assembled again into atypically shaped frames where the coarse stitching and see-through material expose the artistic process. ‘Infinity Intimacy (Window Kiss) (Stretched Structure)’ takes inspiration from the celebrated ‘Love and Pain’ painting by Edvard Munch, presenting a tender moment between the artist and his wife.
‘Spectacle and Spectators’, 2021
Martha Hviid works across a variety of media including drawings, paintings, sculpture, and installation. Her practice relies upon crafting site-specific and responsive environments focusing on exploring how humans sense, feel, interpret and interact with the world around them. Through curved lines and oblique shapes, Hviid surveys our psychological, neurological, physiological and relational preconditions, and why they shape the we perceive art and each other.
‘Peel, Even Slice, #qtiplip 1, #nakedpineapple’, 2021
Fryd Frydendahl sees photography as ‘reality with an added layer of imagination’ and conveys this message through a personal and intimate take of subjects in often surreal settings. These four works are part of her study of the internet ‘Oddly Satisfying’ concept. In this series, the artist presents her interpretation of the images that social media algorithms present to her on a regular basis. In contrast to the digital source of the concept, the images are taken analogously on a 4x5in camera and presented under partially obscured glass, which focuses the viewer’s attention on the centre of the image.
Explore Soho House Copenhagen here.
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