Ursula Reuter Christiansen (born in Trier, DE, in 1943) is an artist whose work oscillates between symbolism and mythology, desire and hatred, beauty and abysses. Throughout her practice, she incorporates various media, from painting, filmmaking and performance to ceramics and sculpture.
Reuter Christiansen graduated from the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts in 1969, where she studied under Professor Joseph Beuys and became active in the emerging women’s movement.
Following a great urge to leave her native Germany, together with her husband, the composer Henning Christiansen (1932-2008) she settled in a farmhouse on the Danish island Møn. From 1992 to 1996, Reuter Christiansen worked as a professor at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, DE, and as the first female professor of painting at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen from 1997 to 2006.
She is considered one of Denmark’s most influential artists in the post-war period. Her work has been exhibited at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, DK; National Gallery of Denmark; Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA; PS.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island, New York, USA; Vancouver Art Gallery, CAN; Kunstverein Wolfsburg, DE, among other institutions.
“In my collaboration with Mads I was given free rein to let my dresses fight! My poppies wanted to go out into the world and spread the message. The result is stronger than I could have imagined from the beginning. Poetry on the body and a greeting to everyone believing in a future of equality.” – Ursula Reuter Christiansen.
Poppies have been a recurring motif in Reuter Christiansen’s work since her film “Skarpretteren” (The Executioner) from 1971. In the film the poppy refers to the violent aspects of the patriarchal society, but also becomes a symbol of resistance, resurrection, and lust. The film ends with ”Fat Mod. Det næste store øjeblik i historien tilhører os!” (“Courage! The next great moment in history is ours!”). This quote is printed onto every style in the collection. Watch the movie Skarpretteren here.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Wednesday 8 March, artist Ursula Reuter Christiansen, graphic designer Rasmus Koch, and fashion designer Mads Nørgaard launch a new collaboration. They present poppy-flowered dresses, jerseys, and t-shirts and invite everyone for an all-day event in Nørgaard paa Strøget of conversations and spoken words by a strong line-up of female writers.
Join the conversation between artist Ursula Reuter Christiansen, curator Birgitte Anderberg, gender sociologist Cecilie Nørgaard and curator Mai Dengsøe. Moderated by art critic Maria Kjær Themsen the 8th of March 2023 at Nørgaard Paa Strøget. Read more here.