Coming up: Eva Steen Christensen

Eva Steen Christensen probes the boundaries of sculpture in solo show this May.

6 May to 10 September 2023

Coming up: Eva Steen Christensen

Eva Steen Christensen, Source, 2020. Photo: Anders Sune Berg

In early summer, ARKEN presents a solo show featuring Eva Steen Christensen (b. 1969), one of Denmark’s pre-eminent contemporary sculptors. Showcasing an array of the artist’s key works, the exhibition also incorporates two entirely new sculptures created especially for ARKEN.

Eva Steen Christensen, Fencing, 2006. KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art Aalborg. Photo: Erling Lykke Jeppesen

Soft monuments and the power of materials

The abstract sculpture has donned a pink tutu in Spheric Pink. In Female Nude, shaped as a female body executed on a large scale, the monumental becomes soft, open and welcoming. And in Venus, the heavy bronze so familiar from traditional equestrian statues assumes the form of a light, organic structure. When creating her sculptures, Eva Steen Christensen takes her starting point in everyday objects, elements from architecture and subjects from art history. In her works, familiar forms, materials and ideas are turned upside down, processed and put together anew. The sculptures challenge our perception of reality, offering alternatives to the established narratives and imagery of the Western world.

Eva Steen Christensen investigates the qualities of different materials and the stories they contain. She is keenly interested in physical materials such as textiles, paper, bronze and concrete, and she investigates how the materials used in art have manifested in the images and traditions that shape us as people. For example, how has art’s cultivation of the naked female body, ‘the female nude’, impacted our view of women and gender? Steen Christensen wants to take ownership of such issues, displacing traditional masculine values to imbue the feminine with genuine power.

Interwoven connections

Produced especially for this exhibition, Female Nude consists of fabric strips made out of collected clothes and textiles, all woven onto a metal frame shaped like a large torso. By virtue of its material alone, the work contains a multitude of stories, pointing to all the connections that exist between us – between the home and the body, between people, and between us and the outside world. The work contains traces of lived life in the intimate spaces of domesticity – and clothes that have covered a wealth of different bodies become incorporated into a new body.

Eva Steen Christensen has created parts of this work as well as another brand-new work in collaboration with local citizens in the museum’s satellite branch ARKEN Lab. Located in Ishøj By Center, ARKEN Lab was transformed into a temporary sewing room in November and December 2022. Through their combined efforts, Female Nude becomes a communal body, executed on such a large scale that you can move through it. Inside the work, you might be able to spot your own old sweater or your aunt’s embroidered tablecloth if you’ve been involved in the project. Or you can wonder where the strips of fabric come from and who might have sewn them together.

Coming up: Eva Steen Christensen

Eva Steen Christensen, Spheric pink, 2019. Photo: Ole Madsen

The exhibition is supported by The Danish Arts Foundation 

Coming up: Eva Steen Christensen

ARKEN’s exhibitions in 2023 are supported by The Augustinus Foundation 

Coming up: Eva Steen Christensen