Nature is natural, led by the growing of itself, unpredictable and beyond compare.
A raw onyx block from Mexico – a raw onyx block from Turkey.
I listen to past gusts of wind while facing the future.
I challenge myself and that which drives me towards the unknown and unforeseeable,
the raw stone, which only just about reveals the mystic potential, hidden at
the core, articulating the stone along the way towards magic, while uncovering
the color tracks of time.
As if I could explain the impossible!
Every “result” is not only an answer to a practical task, set for oneself.
Rather, it is an intuitive concentrated condition in the universe of the instant
which makes it a “piece”.
Kirsten Ortwed, 2020
Organic forms and flowing lines characterize the sculptures of the Danish sculptor Kirsten Ortwed presented in the exhibition "Head Turned". Although the work groups "Possible Result of a Crafty Noise" and "Turning Time" are made of solid onyx, the works suggest movement and transformation, which is reflected both in the color changes of the stone and in the artistic act itself. Processes of creation and becoming are an important part of Ortwed's work.
The artist experiments with various materials that define the formal language of the sculptures according to their characteristics. Bronze, wood, steel, or stone are used as well as wax, glass, or aluminum. Although Ortwed uses the principle of chance, her sculptures are carefully conceived and executed. Furthermore, the work is highly self-referential: Ortwed not only uses elements of earlier sculptures for new ones and repeatedly employs procedures of composition and dismantling, but also reverses the relationship between negative and positive form.
In "Possible Result of a Crafty Noise", for example, she uses moulds that she produced – in reference to a meteorite rain over the Norwegian city of Moss – for a large sculpture project (“14-7-2006”) in public space. New contexts and meanings emerge, which are also determined by the relationship between sculpture and its surroundings. Materiality, form, space, and time are central parameters in Ortwed's artistic cosmos. Similarly, the sculptor attaches great importance to ambiguous titles, which – like "Turning Time" – provide further impetus for the work without, however, limiting the openness of interpretation.
Kirsten Ortwed (born in Copenhagen, since 1982 in Cologne and later in Pietrasanta, Italy) represented Denmark at the 1997 Venice Biennale and realized numerous projects in public space, including “Til Raoul Wallenberg” (1998-2001) in Nybroviken/ Stockholm, “The Gate” (2017) for the University of Copenhagen, and “Reflector” (2019-2020) for the National Hospital Copenhagen (Riget). The artist has been awarded several prizes, including the Thorvaldsen Medal (2002) and the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Award (1998), one of the highest awards for contemporary Danish artists. Her work can be found in important collections, such as the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Statens Museum for Kunst Moderna Museet and Magasin 3, Stockholm, Centre Georges Pompidou/Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, and the Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen. Ortwed's first solo exhibition with Fred Jahn took place in 1982. Since then her work has been shown several times in the gallery.