Monochrome portraits

TRINE SØNDERGAARD
 
Monochrome Portraits
 
17 April – 16 May 2009

 
 
Photographic portraits are not usually monochrome. They can be in black and white or in colour. But with Trine
Søndergaard's Monochrome Portraits each portrait is focused on one single colour. The portrait and frame is a
finely balanced object, where a minimalist expression mixes with the different appearance of every human
being.  
 
None of the monochrome works are identical in colour. Each person has his or her own colour - an uncertain
shade of turquoise, brown, violet, etc., that continues in the surrounding frame, which is coloured by hand. The
colours are not included in any colour scheme and have no default names.  
 
In Søndergaard's portraits the space that is entirely our own is being explored; when we do not interact or try
to control our expressions. The individual is put at the centre of a search into visual spaces turned away, silent
and evasive. The colour layer enhances the motifs’ introspectiveness, because the portrayed virtually disappear
into their respective colour.  
 
Trine Søndergaard creates images of a mood rather than conventional portraits. She avoids direct
confrontation and observes what happens visually when a person looks down and the face is barely visible. In
this way she works with portraits as a kind of mental space. She contemplates on subtle things expressed in a
person's appearance, exploring the borders of the genre – moving between individuality and the universal.  
 
In the history of photography the portrait genre has mainly served private or representative purposes - the
portrayed being a family member or a public figure. In her project, on the opposite, Trine Søndergaard
examines the portrait's potential in a deliberately anonymous space, which maybe says more about being
human than a traditional outward-looking portrait.  
 
Trine Søndergaard (born 1972) received in 2000 the prestigious German book prize Albert Renger-Patzsch for
the series NOW THAT YOU ARE MINE, published at Steidl Verlag. In recent years she has especially been
noticed for the series How to Hunt made together with Nicolai Howalt and this project will be shown at a major
solo exhibition at ARoS – Aarhus Kunstmuseum (DK) late 2009. In 2010, Trine Søndergaard exhibits the portrait
project Strude at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen.