Ingeborg Prehn, Julie Nord, Roee Rosen
January 5 – march 31
Phantasms abounds with visions born of dreams and the imagination. At the crossroads of madness and fiction, three artists explore the burdens of normality and the liberating power of the image: Ingeborg Prehn, whose approximately 500 surviving works are now part of the Museum Ovartaci collection; Danish artist Julie Nord, known for her precise drawings that pierce middle class notions of idyll; and Israeli artist Roee Rosen, whose work has been recently exhibited at Centre Pompidou in Paris and Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens. The exhibition scrutinizes the mechanisms underlying our distinctions between normal and deviant, opening the door to the many voices, perspectives and issues associated with existence outside of normality – both in relation to outsider art (e.g. art created at a psychiatric hospital) and within contemporary art.
Only limited information exists about the life of Ingeborg Prehn (1895-1987), but it is known that she briefly attended a painting school in Aalborg, Denmark, she worked as a porcelain painter, and she spent 54 years of her life admitted to the Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov north of Aarhus. Prehn’s portraits depict an array of people who are oddly stereotypical – actors or pop archetypes taken from the pages of weekly magazines like “Family Journal” – yet with traits eluding convention. Prehn’s displaced portraits offer a stirring and liberating plea for new interpretations of idealized notions of normality – far from the inherently generalized nature of prevailing archetypes.
In Julie Nords (b. 1970) style and subtly disturbing motifs, she refers to folk mythologies, psychoanalysis, surrealism, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and pop cultural illustrations, while also drawing inspiration and vitality from outsider artists such as Henry Darger, Ovartaci and Ingeborg Prehn. The dissolution of reality has always been a central component of Julie Nord’s artistic practice – a realm where intimations of normality disintegrate, where the familiar, idyllic and naive capsize and re-emerge imbued with the grotesque. Some of the works by Nord featured in this exhibition share an affinity with Prehn’s universe, while the others are new works directly inspired by Prehn.
Roee Rosen (b. 1963) is an author, artist and filmmaker, and prominent critical voice in Israel. His works explore conceptions of desire, interlacing the contemporary reality of Israel and world politics with mystical and political references to European and Jewish history. The exhibition features works from his series about and by Justine Frank: a fictitious, Belgian-born, female, surrealist artist, whose experiences and life’s work are entwined with Roee Rosen’s own drawings and body – at the intersection of fiction and reality, man and woman.
Phantasms is curated by Mathias Kryger (b. 1977), an artist, curator and critic who writes for the Danish daily newspaper Politiken. The exhibition was originally shown at Fanø Art Museum in the spring of 2018 in a significantly smaller format. At Rønnebæksholm, Phantasms delves deeper into the reciprocity between the three artists with a much larger selection of works, accompanied by texts illuminating the currents underpinning and traversing the exhibition.
Thanks to Museum Ovartaci and Rosenfeld Gallery.
The exhibition has received generous support from the Danish Arts Agency, the Knud Højgaard Foundation and MTAB.