Sif Itona Westerberg

1985 · Denmark

Artist biography

Sif Itona Westerberg is a mid-career contemporary visual artist, who was born and brought up in Denmark, like other famous artists such as Peter Vrist Rønn, Saint Helena Pound, Walter Schaldemose, Jacob Juhl, and Mads Rafte Hein. Sif Itona Westerberg was born in 1985.

Historical Context of Denmark

As the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark has often been rather influenced by the Germanic culture of Northern Europe, that borders its southern frontiers. This sensibility is often combined with the Nordic attributes of restraint and melancholy in its arts. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, and in the earlier part of the twentieth, Denmark produced a key painter of Post-Impressionism, Vilhelm Hammershøi. Renowned for his melancholic and extremely sparse interiors, Hammershøi's reputation was founded on his ethereal representations of light and shadow in modest, elegant interiors, most often his own residence. In the later twentieth century, Denmark was a key country in the CoBrA movement of Expressionist painting, where the naming convention was derived from the cities of the founding members - the Co standing for Copenhagen on behalf of Danish artist Asger Jorn. Founded in 1949, CoBrA's bright colours and vibrant childlike figures became both a scandal and sensation. Other critically acclaimed modern and Danish artists include Per Kirkeby, Olafur Eliasson, Danh Vō, Sergej Jensen and Tal R.

Further Biographical Context for Sif Itona Westerberg

Sif Itona Westerberg was born in 1985 and was primarily inspired by the 1990s growing up. In the United Kingdom, a collective of artists known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, dominated the artistic culture of the decade. They were a loosely affiliated and diverse group, united generally by their age and nationality. Many of the members had attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by Charles Saatchi, the ‘super collector’ of art at the time. The most famous member of YBAs is arguably Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). Through their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, the YBAs gained a divisive public image which was further fuelled by their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an attitude that was at the same time rebellious and enterprising. The group dominated the British art scene in the 1990s and their group show ‘Sensation’ is now viewed as legendary.

The rise of consumerism and advertising that took place in the 1980s influenced a trend in Japan that developed into the art form of manga, which was visually inspired by trends in advertising and graphic design. Takashi Murakami arose as a key figure in the art world, coining the term ‘Superflat’ to describe a theory inspired by the aesthetic characteristics of manga and the nature of post-war Japanese culture. Murakami went on to found the influential Kaikai Kiki collective, which was inspired by his experiences living in New York City in the mid-1990s.

Relational Aesthetics, a term coined by curator Nicholas Bourriaud to describe the act of making art based on human relations and their social context, became a key idea in the 1990s. Works by artists like Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as significant artists who worked to this agenda.

German artists and ideas heavily influenced trends in conceptual photography during this period. German artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Wolfgang Tillmans gained international recognition, and inspired international artists such as the Canadian Jeff Wall, who created images with a cinematic expressiveness that were inspired by the themes represented in the German artists’ work. At the same time, Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger gained influential status in the field of painting.

The art world was influenced by a number of trends throughout the 1990s, the divisive, hyper-realistic sculptures of Maurizio Cattelan and the sensitive, conceptual work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres characterised the atmosphere of the era.

Sif Itona Westerberg