GL Strand: The art of discovery
By Karen Gilmour Kristensen
In the heart of Copenhagen’s historical district, right by the canalside, lies GL Strand, an art institution focusing on modern and contemporary art. As well as inviting its visitors to enjoy a break in the charming Italian courtyard, GL Strand also offers exhibitions that might just change your perspective on art history.
GL Strand was founded in 1825, and since 1954, the art institution has resided in an 18th-century listed building with a courtyard, café and art shop in the Gammel Strand street, hence the name. “Due to the old-fashioned architecture of the building, the rooms at GL Strand aren’t traditional exhibition rooms,” explains Line Juul Greisen, head of communications. “The ceiling has stuccoes and it’s a bit like walking around in an old luxury flat with a modern twist.”
GL Strand showcases six to eight exhibitions annually, focusing on new Danish talent, the international contemporary art scene and, for the past couple of years, also some overlooked artists from the modernist period. “There have been a lot of incredibly talented artists throughout time who have been forgotten, for various reasons,” Greisen says. “We hope that by exhibiting these lesser-known artists, we will provide our visitors with a new perspective on art history.”
One previously lesser-known artist is Konrad Mägi (1878-1925), an Estonian painter whose works are on display at GL Strand in the recently opened exhibition Konrad Mägi – The Enigma of Painting. Mägi, one of Estonia’s greatest modern artists, has been quite unknown on the international art scene – until now. “His 20-year-long career demonstrates an artist who adopted many of his contemporaries’ international artistic tendencies and styles in his lifetime,” Greisen explains. “The exhibition focuses on this remarkable colourist, bringing an unknown modernist artist out of the peri¬phe¬ry and into the spotlight.”
Another current exhibition is Walking Debt by young and upcoming Danish artist, Anna Stahn. Through the materials of ceramics, textile, paper and drawings, she tells a story of different women’s lives in both past and present Copenhagen.
This summer, GL Strand will open an exhibition by the internationally renowned South African contemporary artist, Zanele Muholi. Through photographs, the artist highlights the topics of gender and identity.
Current exhibitions: Anette Harboe Flensburg – In Arcadia Too You Can Die 7 May 2021 to 24 April 2022 Konrad Mägi – The Enigma of Painting 12 March to 29 May 2022 Anna Stahn – Walking Debt 12 March to 29 May 2022 Upcoming exhibitions: Zanele Muholi 18 June to 4 September 2022 Lee Lozano 16 September to 13 November 2022 Web: www.glstrand.dk Facebook: Kunstforeningen GL Strand Instagram: @kunstglstrand
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