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Malene Landgreen

8th Sep 2014

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We have a new crush... We came across Danish artist Malene Landgreen a few months back and have been near-obsessed since. With her work featuring on the cover of the latest edition of Domus Life, we are beyond excited to introduce her to you.

Working within a nonfigurative picture universe, Malene experiments with compositions and colour while exploring surfaces too; all things being the main ingredients in her work. The volume of Malene's formal arrangements are often taken beyond painting, consisting of large-scale, in-situ works, where Malene paints on either walls and ceilings or works by installing physical objects. Abstract elements are incorporated in relation to a specific space or in a dialogue with a certain setting or artist. Landgreen has made a number of in-situ installations in public spaces and big private companies.

Without further ado...

Malene, what inspired you to be an artist?
Since my youth, I have always had an urge or need to express myself somehow creatively or via artistic medias. I never really articulated to myself or anyone else that I wanted to be an artist as I was foremost involved in music, theatre and performance. In 1984 I ended up at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and so decided to stick with painting. Simple as that!

Where else did you learn your talent?
Apart from studying at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, I also spent one year in the graphic department at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest.

How important is colour to you?
Colour is intrinsically my primary vocabulary. Personally, colour is like painting the most explicit and precise definition, to express one of my paintings.

What message do you aim to send with your art?
For me, working in art brings up a whole load of questions... One is where does architecture come to an end and where does art begin? Does life begin right where art draws to a close, or is it more of an extended natural movement; a kind of forking of the paths where the one presupposes the other. Rather than a message, I want my art to make people reconsider things and to find more space and time to think and be inside my painting.

What are you inspired by?
Colour and what happens when you put one next to the other given colour can completely change the way you previously perceive or look at them. The context and the proportions are crucial, whether the colours in our mind or the colours in our surroundings, and if visual or in our mental presence. Colour can establish harmonies and coherence, with thoughts and feelings as the component parts.

Which artists inspire you or perhaps prompted you to start a career in art?
Moholy Nagy and Joseph Alberts were both great inspiration to me in my very first years of academia. I was also hugely influenced by the early Avant-Garde and Bauhaus movements and still find them very inspiring. Le Corbusier was also important to me.

If you could live anywhere else for its art, where would you live?
The last eight-nine years of my personal and work life have been shared between Berlin and Copenhagen. Berlin is where I am naturally more curious to explore and to meet new people but for me Copenhagen makes a lot of sense - it's my home. My family are in Copenhagen too and I still live close to the place where I grew up. Copenhagen also plays host to most of my in-situ work and exhibitions.

Describe your work in three words
Light, movement and space.

What does the future have in store for Malene Landgreen?
At the moment I'm working on several bigger in-situ projects, including at a new psychriatic hospital, a new city hall and a new school. I also have my next solo exhibition in a Copenhagen-based Kunsthalle coming up in a while too!