From 25 February to 26 June 2017, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents the exhibition Rita Kernn-Larsen. Surrealist Paintings, curated by Gražina Subelytė, Curatorial Assistant of the Collection.
The exhibition highlights how Kernn-Larsen (Hillerød, 1904–Copenhagen, 1998) was one of several women who played a noteworthy part in the Surrealist movement, both in Denmark and internationally. She trained with Fernand Léger in Paris in the early 1930s, distinguishing herself as a star pupil. In 1934 a critic referred to her as a “female Danish Picasso”. That year she made contact with the Danish Surrealist group, with which she began exhibiting the following year. She immediately established her prominence within the group and participated in the 1930s in key exhibitions in Europe, in cities such as Copenhagen, Oslo, Lund, London and Paris. These included the renowned Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1938, soon after which she held her one-woman exhibition in Peggy’s gallery.
Rita Kernn-Larsen, whom Peggy Guggenheim met in Paris in 1937, was invited to exhibit her paintings at Guggenheim Jeune (Peggy’s London gallery) by Peggy in 1938. The show inaugurated Peggy’s career with Surrealist art.
This new exhibition brings together exquisite Surrealist paintings by Kernn-Larsen, to this day too little known outside Denmark, inaugurating two new exhibition rooms at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. This will be the first important presentation of Kernn-Larsen’s Surrealist period outside of her native Scandinavia since her one-woman exhibition at Guggenheim Jeune. More than half of the paintings selected for the show were also exhibited in Peggy’s 1938 exhibition.
The exhibition brings together Surrealist paintings by Kernn-Larsen from public and private collections in Denmark, including the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen, Kunstmuseet i Tønder, and the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg. Photographs and other ephemeral material related to Kernn-Larsen’s exhibition at the Guggenheim Jeune gallery will also be on display.
A photo gallery about Gražina Subelytė and the Rita Kernn-Larsen exhibition @GuggenheimPGC