Researchers at ARKEN

Meet the people who carry out research at ARKEN.

Christian Gether, honorary professor, MA


Christian Gether (b. 1948) has been director of ARKEN since 1997. Through the years, he has curated and co-curated a string of exhibitions focusing on modern and contemporary art. He is co-editor of ARKEN’s catalogues and of the research journal ARKEN Bulletin.

Gether has contributed to ARKEN’s exhibition catalogues as well as to external journals and anthologies providing articles on Danish and international artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Lawrence Weiner, Damien Hirst, Andreas Golder, Edvard Munch, Per Kirkeby and Carl-Henning Pedersen. He has also written articles on the function of art museums in relation to the general public, cultural heritage and international perspectives.

Gether holds an MA in art history from the University of Copenhagen (1982), earning his degree with a dissertation on Kai Nielsen that was published as a book in 1986. He was director of Vestsjællands Kunstmuseum (now Sorø Kunstmuseum) from 1986 to 1995 and has been an honorary professor at the Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies at Roskilde University since 2007. In his research, Gether focuses on international and Danish contemporary art, museology and art theory; for example, he has studied Vitalism as it pertains to Kai Nielsen, Edvard Munch and Henry Heerup.

Gether holds seats on a wide range of boards and committees. Examples include the board of Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (2010-13), the advisory board at the Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies at Roskilde University and the steering committee of Danske Bank’s foundation Danske Initiativpuljer (2006–09).

You can read more about Gether’s research here and here

Researchers at ARKEN

Naja Rasmussen, MA

Chief Curator

Naja Rasmussen (b. 1980) is chief curator at ARKEN, where she has worked since 2006 (with a few years of absence). As a curator, Rasmussen has been responsible for organising and realising the exhibitions Beloved by Picasso. The Power of the Model (2019), Simon Fujiwara. Joanne (2019), J.F. Willumsen. Colours and Frames (2018), Ugo Rondinone. vocabulary of solitude (2017), Gosh! Is it Alive? (2017), Niki de Saint Phalle (2016), Naturally (2014), Frida Kahlo. A Life in Art (2013) and Treffpunkt. Berlin (2012).

Rasmussen has edited the exhibition catalogues Frida Kahlo. A Life in Art (2013) and Treffpunkt. Berlin (2012) as well as the publication The Dresing Donation (2011). Rasmussen has contributed articles to Danish and international art publications and exhibition catalogues writing about artists such as Louise Nevelson, Darren Almond, Erik Steffensen, Jeanette Hillig and Troels Sandegaard. At ARKEN, she has written on contemporary art from and about Berlin, hyperrealism, post-humanism and human copies in art, J.F. Willumsen’s oeuvre and its inspiration from mass and popular culture, as well as several articles on Niki de Saint Phalle, her feminism and her explorations of different materials. Rasmussen’s peer-reviewed research article on Pablo Picasso’s depictions of women is based on feminist theory focusing on gaze, gender, desire and the urge to see and be seen.

In her research, Naja Rasmussen is particularly interested in perception and reception theory, visual cultural theory and museology, including archival curation, phenomenology, materiality, conceptual art and aesthetic and feminist theory. Rasmussen also has extensive teaching experience, including from the Open University and is an experienced public speaker.

Naja Rasmussen holds an MA in visual culture from the University of Copenhagen specialising in the dissemination and reception of contemporary art at art festivals and biennials.

You can read more about Rasmussen’s research here

Researchers at ARKEN

Gry Hedin, MA and PhD


Gry Hedin (b. 1974) has been a curator at ARKEN since 2018 managing ARKEN’s research and catalogues. She also edits the research journal ARKEN Bulletin and curates exhibitions.

Hedin holds an MA in art history from the University of Copenhagen and in 2012 obtained a PhD from the Department of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen with the dissertation Skrig, Sult og Frugtbarhed (2012) about the reception of Darwin’s theories in Scandinavia. Her research focuses on the relationship between art, literature and science in Scandinavia from 1780 to the present day, and she also addresses various museological issues.

Hedin has written for and edited a range of research-based anthologies and exhibition catalogues, including Jordforbindelser. Dansk maleri 1780-1920 og det antropocæne landskab (2018), Artistic Visions of the Anthropocene North. Climate Change and Nature in Art (2018) and J.P. Jacobsen og kunsten (2016). In addition to this, she has contributed more than twenty peer-reviewed articles to journals and exhibition catalogues in Denmark and abroad. She regularly speaks at international conferences and to museum audiences, and she arranged the conference Art and Presence. A conference on art, atmosphere, museums and presence (2017) at the University of Southern Denmark.

Hedin has been the initiator and project manager of several interinstitutional research projects, including Golden Age Art and Science supported by The Carlsberg Foundation, The Artists’ Colony in Faaborg 1880–1925 supported by The New Carlsberg Foundation, Kunst og nærvær supported by The Velux Foundation’s museum initiative and J.P. Jacobsen og kunsten supported by The Danish Ministry of Culture’s research committee and The Novo Nordisk Foundation. She is an external examiner at University of Copenhagen, where she has also taught.

You can read more about Hedin’s research here

Researchers at ARKEN

Dorthe Juul Rugaard, MA

Senior Curator & Head of Collections

Dorthe Juul Rugaard (b. 1972) is Senior Curator & Head of Collections at ARKEN.

Rugaard has curated numerous exhibitions featuring Danish and international art, including Animals in Art (2020), Van Gogh (2018-19), Candice Breitz. Love Story (2018), My Music (2017-18), Art in Sunshine (2015 and 2016) and Palle Nielsen. The Model (2014).

Rugaard was part of the interinstitutional research network TAKE PART (2016-18), and she was part of ARKEN’s research project Deltagerisme. Dogme og mulighedsfelt (2014-16). In 2011–13, she was part of the interinstitutional exhibition and research project Museums and Cultural Institutions as Spaces for Citizenship. In that connection, Rugaard was co-editor of the anthology Rum for Medborgerskab (2014).

Rugaard has contributed to anthologies, journals and catalogues, writing pieces on art theory as well as articles on Danish and international artists such as Palle Nielsen, Karoline H. Larsen, Anselm Reyle and Peter Bonde.

Rugaard obtained her MA in art history from Aarhus University in 1999 with a dissertation on context-based and relational contemporary art in an aesthetic-theoretical and avant-garde historical perspective. In her research, Rugaard focuses on contemporary art, including various forms of participation, performativity and media.

You can read more about Rugaard’s research here

Researchers at ARKEN

Dea Antonsen, MA (Maternity leave)


Dea Antonsen (b. 1985) has been a curator at ARKEN since 2017 and has curated Young Danish Art. Forecasting the Future (2019), Patricia Piccinini. A World of Love (2019), Dear Planet (2018), Alphonse Mucha (2018) and Michael Kvium. Circus Europa (2017). Prior to this, Antonsen was assistant curator on the exhibitions Palle Nielsen. The Model (2014), Hotspot Cluj. New Romanian Art (2013) as well as India. Art now (2012) and India. Fashion Now (2012).

In her curatorial work, Antonsen focuses especially on feminism, posthumanism and ecological themes in contemporary art and philosophy, and she has broad academic insight into modern art and contemporary art.

Antonsen has edited several exhibition catalogues and contributed numerous articles. Antonsen’s teaching experience includes being a guest educator at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and she is an experienced public speaker.

Antonsen holds a BA in literature from the University of Copenhagen (2012) with supplementary subjects from Literaturwissenschaft at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin and an MA in modern culture and cultural dissemination from the University of Copenhagen (2014) with supplementary subjects from the Department of Culture at the JFK Institute at the Freie Universität in Berlin. Antonsen’s master’s thesis, Performancemani, examines the institutionalisation of performance art in the 21st century.

In 2014, Antonsen and Ida Bencke founded the curatorial platform Laboratory of Aesthetics and Ecology, which focuses on contemporary art’s interdisciplinary involvement with post-humanism and ecofeminism through exhibitions, publications and discursive and performative events. The laboratory experiments with new formats of knowledge and methodology, involving the realms of curating, art and science. In 2017, the lab received the literary award Schadeprisen.

You can read more about Antonsen’s research here

Researchers at ARKEN

Katrine K. Pedersen, MA

Head of Education

Katrine K. Pedersen (b. 1977) holds an MA in Danish and rhetoric. She has been Head of Education at ARKEN since October 2017. Her research focuses on the digital culture of children and young people. Her most recent project, Commercialisation of Media as a Condition for Young People’s Communities. A qualitative study of Danish youths’ local communities in relation to new commercial Technology, was done for The British Film Institute and The Danish Film Institute. She is a research partner on the GIFT project under the auspices of Horizon 2020, a collaboration between the IT University, the University of Nottingham, SF MOMA, the Munch Museum and others. The project investigates new technologies for use in museum education, communication and dissemination activities.

Pedersen is a writer with the Danish publishing house Gyldendal and the New York-based publishing house Pan & The Dream, which specialises in contemporary art. She has published five books: Modkultur (2011), Phono Sapiens (2016), The Emperor’s New Clothes. Art and Censorship in a Digital Era (2017), De digitalt udsatte (2018) and La Belle et la Bête (2018), all of which address the role of art and culture in a digital age.

Pedersen has been a part-time lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, written more than fifty articles – primarily journalism – for Danish and international journals and magazines and has held seat on the advisory board of SCENARIO Magazine. During the period 2012–17, she conducted her research from a base in Silicon Valley, advising Danish as well as international companies, organisations and cultural institutions on matters of communication, education and digital development. She has been responsible for development and research at The Danish Film Institute and the Media Council and holds seat on the advisory board of the charity Børns Vilkår advising the organisation on how to digitise counselling services for children and young people. She is the founder of the international blog The Human Situation 2.0, the publishing house Loopland Press, the think tank Digital Bæredygtighed (Digital Sustainability) and the Art & Tech Lab at ARKEN.

Read more about Pedersen’s research here

Researchers at ARKEN