press release

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is organizing the first major exhibition in Scandinavia of the German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907). The exhibition comprises about 100 paintings and 40 drawings.

The exhibition presents the highly distinctive production of Paula Modersohn-Becker, an artist with the status of one of the radical innovators of German modernism. She is known as one of the first to introduce the modern French impulses into German painting – that is, inspirations from painters like Cézanne and Gauguin, whom she studied in Paris. But she is also known for her new view of the female figure in particular, and for an oeuvre that creates a special combination of the non-idyllizing and the archaic. This applies to both landscape and figure paintings, and not least to her representations of women and children, of the mother figure and herself.

Paula Modersohn-Becker put down roots in the artists’ colony in Worpswede outside Bremen, but spent several periods in Paris. Several of her works were included in the Nazis’ exhibition of Entartete Kunst in 1937. She is also known for her close Friendship with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, whose Requiem für eine Freundin was written for her. Paula Modersohn-Becker died just 31 years old after having borne her first child, and her artistic career is thus a brief but intense and quite unique achievement.