1960 · Denmark
Sofia Kalkau in private collections
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 responsiveness is often mixed with the Nordic traits of restraint and melancholy in its arts. At the end of the nineteenth century, and in the earlier part of the twentieth, Denmark originated a key painter of Post-Impressionism, Vilhelm Hammershøi. Noted for his melancholic and extremely sparse interiors, Hammershøi's reputation was founded on his exquisite representations of light and shadow in modest, elegant interiors, most often his own residence. In the later twentieth century, Denmark was a significant 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 Sofia Kalkau
Sofia Kalkau was born in 1960 and was largely inspired creatively by the 1970s growing up. Conceptualism is often perceived as a response to Minimalism, and the dominant art movement of the 1970s, challenging the boundaries of art with its revolutionary features. The movements that succeeded were all characteristic of a strong desire to evolve and consolidate the art world, in response to the tensions of the previous 1960s. Process art branched out from Conceptualism, highlighting some of its most essential aspects, but going further in creating mysterious and experimental artistic journeys, while Land Art brought creation to the outsides, initiating early philosophies of environmentalism. In Germany, Expressive figure painting was given another chance for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism almost twenty years ago, the genre regained its distinction through the brushstrokes of Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The majority of the critically acclaimed artists from the 1960s, who had gained success and popularity, kept their status in the 1970s. Andy Warhol was a key figure of those two decades, and in the 1970s started to experiment with film and magazine publishing, thus engaging in a cross-cultural activity that no other visual artist OF his standard had previously undertaken. By doing so, he secured his status as a celebrity. Street art started to appear as a true and accepted form of art towards the end of the 1970s. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring were pioneers in proving that their artworks could subsist at the same time in art galleries and in urban settings. Driven by graffiti art, street art from its earliest days showed that it could endure in a perpetual flux of self-transformation, endlessly shifting the limits of modern art, becoming a truly ground-breaking artistic genre.