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Inge Lise Westman

Inge Lise Westman's (b. 1945) parents were both artists, and in her childhood home she met many of the leading painters and sculptors of the day. In 1967, she was admitted to Kunstakademiet (the Royal School of Fine Arts), where she studied painting with Søren Hjorth Nielsen and graphic arts with Palle Nielsen. In the same year, she made her debut at Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling.
 
It is visible, even in Inge Lise Westman's early works, that nature is her most essential source of inspiration, in the first years often interplaying with an explicit political message. She is not a landscape painter in the traditional sense. She depicts her motifs at close range and in her early works with a wealth of details, which bears resemblance to tradition-bound naturalism.
 
Over the years, Inge Lise Westman's way of depicting nature has changed. In recent years, she has united micro- and macrocosmos, thereby allowing the motifs to be seen at the same time as representations of tissue and molecule structures, as close-up views of the sea, or as a space telescope's images of remote myriads of stars and galaxies. She depicts the greatness of little things - and the banalities of great things.
 
Whether it be molecules, the waves of the sea or myriads of stars, elements of nature form overall structures. Similarly, Inge Lise Westman's paintings begin with a basic idea of a structure, which is created by brush strokes and splashes of colour. She also uses this approach in her lithographs, but their expression is more abstract.
 
Inge Lise Westman's sculptures are more palpable. They usually consist of a single element, repeated in large numbers, which are put together into sequences and structures. In contrast to her paintings and lithographs, textural effect is not important in her sculptures. The motifs are stylised.
 
Inge Lise Westman's works are more than just a description of nature. She shows the diversity of nature, and how all things and phenomena hold a kind of beauty which can be both random and gruesome, as when the tsunami hit the coasts of Asia in 2004, or vulnerable and threatened by the use and misuse of modern, industrial society.
 
At first sight, Inge Lise Westman's paintings and sculptures appeal to pure aesthetic pleasure. Yet, at the same time their strong preoccupation with the basic relationships and the beauty in nature challenges the viewer to absorption and reflection.
Inge Lise Westman, foto Ole Hertz