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Rita Kernn-Larsen's Surrealism is presented at the Peggy Guggenheim museum

Peers of Rita Kernn-Larsen called her "female Danish Picasso"; she was a student of Fernand Léger. The Art Project dedicated to a surrealist period in the artist’s oeuvre is under presentation at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice. Who is Rita Kernn-Larsen and what connects the artist with the niece of businessman Solomon R. Guggenheim? We are ready to disclose.
Rather small, only 12 artworks, though, saturated with senses and history, the exposition of the artworks by Rita Kernn-Larsen (1904 — 1998) is housed in two cozy showrooms at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. The artist’s name became well-known for the first time in 1938, when Peggy Guggenheim held an exhibition of Rita Kernn-Larsen's artworks at her London Gallery entitled Guggenheim Jeune.
Rita Kernn-Larsen was not the only woman painter, who in 1930 s fought for her recognition as a painter and her own place in the modern art. The artworks by Eileen Agar, Leonora Carrington, Leonor Fini, Frida Kahlo, Méret Oppenheim and Dorothea Tanning were on display along with her paintings; each of them revealed their own view of freedom of mind and artistic expression as a part of the surrealistic revolution.
Rita Kernn-Larsen. The Apple, 1934
According to Rita Kernn-Larsen's daughter, her mother made up her mind to be a painter when she was very young. The view from the windows of the house, where she spent her childhood she depicted in her first painting; it was the Frederiksborg Castle of the early 17th century, which she always called "my castle". Rita came of a rather prosperous bourgeois family from a provincial town Hillerød to the north of Copenhagen. Her father was a grocer and then became the director of the first bank in the town. Since her childhood Rita was fond of sewing, first she did some sewing for her dolls and then she tailored for herself and her relatives.
Rita Kernn-Larsen. The Behind the Mirror. 1937
Rita Kernn-Larsen was not attached to Denmark a lot. When she moved to Paris, Rita found herself in the center of a turbulent creative and intellectual clubbish set and befriended with the artists like Fernand Léger (who became her teacher), Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and filmmaker Luis Buñuel. In Paris Rita met a journalist and art dealer Isaac Grünberg, who had connections in the artistic world and whom she would marry. Paris, London, New York… All important and stunning Surrealist exhibitions became part and parcel of her life.

Rita Kernn-Larsen in Copenhagen. 1934. The photo is provided by the Danielle Grünberg Collection.

In 1934 Kernn-Larsen joined a group of Danish surrealist artists and in a year she launched an intensive exhibition activities. That very time one of the art critics called the artist the female Danish Picasso.

The Danish artists actively participated in the exhibitions held in Europe; Copenhagen and Oslo, Lund and London and also Paris enjoyed their oeuvre; in 1938 Kernn-Larsen among other artists presented her artworks at the famous International Surrealist Exhibition at the Des Beaux-Arts Gallery in Paris, then followed the invitation for a personal showcase at the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery. The same year the artworks by Kernn-Larsen were twice on display at Peggy Guggenheim Collection, one of which was dedicated to the modern painting and sculpture and the other one demonstrated the art of collages.
Rita Kernn-Larsen. The phantoms
The phantoms
1934, 120×75.5 cm
Peggy Guggenheim’s friend, the art historian Herbert Read, wrote of Kernn-Larsen's Surrealist work: "The imagination is a focus introduced into the vague field of the unconscious.. .. These images are trolls, ghosts from the dark northern fastnesses which exist in our minds.. .. They reveal some of the terror and all the fascination of their mythical ancestors."
The current showcase at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in Venice has become the first personal exhibition of the surrealistic paintings by Kernn-Larsen since her exhibition at the Guggenheim Jeune gallery in London in 1938, the year of establishment of the Gallery.

More than a half of the currently exhibited artworks were presented at that exhibition in London. Peggy Guggenheim was a person, who enthusiastically and with admiration promoted abstract art, Surrealism
Surrealism (Fr. surréalisme) is an avant-garde art movement of the first half of the twentieth century characterized by the fusion of reality with something else, but not oppositional. Surrealism is a dream which is neither real, nor surreal. The style is characterized by allusions and a paradoxical combination of forms, visual deception. In the paintings of the Surrealists hard objects and rocks often melt, and the water, on the contrary, hardens. Read more
and other innovative movements of the XX century. She bought artworks by young artists including Kernn-Larsen's relying on her own intuition. This strategy appeared to be more profitable, than investments in the artworks by top artists: first, the price of emerging artists' pieces of art were much lower, second, each of them could make it to the top and the prices would skyrocket.

7 facts of life and creative work of Rita Kernn-Larsen

1. In 1930 Rita Kernn-Larsen studied painting in Paris, her teacher was Fernand Léger and she was one of his favorite pupils.

2. The Dance and Counter-dance (1936) is included in the current exhibition in Venice. "I consider it to be one of my most successful pictures," - according to Kernn-Larsen's words about this work.

3. One of the iconic images of the artist’s oeuvre is femme-arbres, women as arboreal figures. According to art historians, Rita Kernn-Larsen was inspired by Paul Delvaux’s artworks.
Rita Kernn-Larsen. The Women’s Uprising. 1940
4. Some art critics considered the artworks by Rita Kernn-Larsen as pornographic ones. That was the reason why the artist’s mother refused to visit the opening of Kernn-Larsen's personal showcase in 1934.

5. The artworks by Rita Kernn-Larsen in 1930s were presented at all most important surrealist exhibitions alongside with the artworks by such masters like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and René Magritte. The artist was invited to the Rothschilds' Extravagant Surrealist Party with Dali and many famous people as guests.

6. In 2013 Kernn-Larsen's Self-Portrait (1937, the illustration is above) was purchased by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

7. After World War II the style of Rita Kernn-Larsen artworks has been changed, she was more focused on abstract painting, nature and landscapes. However in the words of the artist: "The Surrealist period was splendid… it truly was the best time for me as an artist."
The exhibition of the artworks by Rita Kernn-Larsen from state-owned and private collections

at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice will run till June 26, 2017.

The title illustration: Rita Kernn-Larsen, the Party. 1937 (this well-known painting is for information purposes only and could not be on display at the exhibition).
According to the information offered by the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Illustrations: the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
 Comments  1
Polina Borzova
, June 14, 2019 06:06 AM 0
Original   Auto-Translated
Спасибо за знакомство с новым для меня именем !
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