Since 2020, Danish painter Mie Olise Kjærgaard has gone from strength to strength, with a series of high-profile exhibitions in the US and acquisitions by some of the world's most important art collections. Her exhibition Blind Spots adds another chapter to Kjærgaard's ongoing exploration of the role of women in society.
Some of the new works explore the theme of the 'male gaze', first articulated in 1975 by feminist scholar Laura Mulvey, who showed how Hollywood movies of the time tended to view women from a male perspective, portraying them as sexual objects rather than subjects with actual agency. Other works in the exhibition depict women who seem to have moved beyond the discussion of the gaze: Free, uninhibited women who do not care about being looked at.
For Kjærgaard, however, the medium of painting is as important as what is depicted. Finding the essence of a painting, as she describes it, is the driving force behind her practice. This requires particular attention to detail: The individual brushstrokes, the construction of layers, the interplay between large surfaces and intricate lines. The contrast between wild, apparently accidental drips and tightly composed compositions; the way colours meet on the picture plane to create overlap and transparency.
For Kjærgaard, painting is a lifelong process, and although she has wrestled the canvas for more than 25 years, she still feels like there is much more to explore. In Kjærgaard's practice, painting is more than a frozen visual narrative: It is corporeal and performative. It transcends the tangible and becomes metaphysical. It is lived life and life philosophy in one sweeping movement.