Opening Saturday, October 15
from 5-8 pm
Maria Wæhrens, Untitled #4, 2022. Egg tempera and oil on canvas, 62.9 x 47.2 in (160 x 120 cm). Courtesy the artist and Chris Sharp Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jacob Friis-Holm Nielsen
Chris Sharp Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the Danish, Copenhagen- based painter, Maria Wæhrens.
The recent work of Maria Wæhrens, a longtime, if idiosyncratic fixture of the Danish art scene, could be considered a form of contemporary religious or spiritual painting. Where her earlier work revolved much more around issues of lesbian identity and representations thereof, the last few years have seen Wæhrens turn more toward attempts at describing a personal spiritual experience in the form of quasi-figurative and decidedly ethereal abstraction. Characterized by strident, gestural maelstroms of hot color from which figures occasionally emerge, the resultant paintings can be situated in a trajectory that looks back to Cobra, Asger Jorn and Marisa Merz, not to mention European expressionism and symbolism, which includes everyone from Edvard Munch to Odilon Redon. It is as if she is inserting herself into a tradition of painting, which not only is arguably dead or inadmissible (spiritual abstraction), but which also has been, at least historically, foreclosed to the likes of her. In doing so, she carries out a series of transgressions and revives this tradition from an entirely different perspective, looking at how contemporary abstraction can exist on the threshold of the sensuous material world and the aspirational metaphysical plane with which it was once so closely associated.
Maria Wæhrens (b. 1976, Hjoerring, DK) lives and works in Copenhagen. A selection of recent solo and group exhibitions includes: (2022) tradition #1 (solo exhibition), Gas9 gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; The Child, OTP Copenhagen (solo exhibition), CPH, DK; Vera Icon, Museum of Religious Art, Lemvig, DK; Hvad kan jeg hjaelpe dig med? (solo exhibition), Charlotte Fogh Gallery, Arhus, DK; Landschaftsverbot, Møllerwitt, CPH, DK; Gas9gallery, 8.Marts pop-up exhibition, CPH, DK; (2021) Overgange/Transitions, Rundetaarn, CPH, DK; Psychopathia Sexualis, O-Overdaen, CPH, DK; Sammenstød, Rigsted Galleriet, Ringsted, DK; Koloristerne, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, CPH, DK; (2020/2021) Retrospective solo exhibition, Vejen Art Museum, DK; (2020) Stå Op, Tag Din Seng Og Gå (solo/retrospective), Udstillingsstedet, Sorø, DK (2020) Fadervor (solo) Jir Sandel, CPH, DK.