Installation view GL STRAND, photo by Anders Sune Berg

House of the Ax


February 4 – April 15, 2012

Cathrine Raben Davidsen (b. 1972) is known for her painterly personifications where she balances minutely detailed line drawing with dissolved, blurred contours and intense patches of color. In her works she draws on a wide range of literary and art historical references, narratives and mythological material

In her new works, done specifically for the exhibition HOUSE OF THE AX, Raben Davidsen strikes more intense, dramatic note than hitherto. Rather than the earlier so characteristic pastels and bright neon shades, the colours are now saturated and the brush-strokes firmer. The choice of materials ranges wide, from monumental charcoal and ink draw­ings, ceramic jars, prints, and small oil paintings on linen to embroidered fur masks, and sounds.

Material from personal memory in the form of pictures from the artist’s journeys or of family members form part of the exhibition on an equal footing with the many references to art history and mythological narratives. The audio aspect, which consists of the mechanical whirring of her father’s sewing machine, has associations going back to the artist’s childhood and her father’s work as a fashion designer. The exhibition thus takes on the character of a sampling, where various impressions appear side by side across time and space.

In the exhibition Cathrine Raben Davidsen has found inspiration in among other things the labyrinth and the spiral; both motifs are ancient symbols of growth, spiritual development, the journey and transformation. Of the title of the exhibition, HOUSE OF THE AX, she says: “ The title involves a kind of foreboding, a sense that something is about to happen, or has just happened. At the same time it refers to the Labyrinth of King Minos, which was made so that once you were in, there was no way out again. The exhibition is built up as a tightly enclosed universe where the journey can go in many directions.”

Gl Strand 48, København K