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2016

 
Olivia Holm-Møller: The Furious Painter, Mexico (Orozco). 1950 Olivia Holm-Møller: The Furious Painter, Mexico (Orozco). 1950

Until May 28, 2017 OLIVIA'S WORLD – Olivia Holm-Møller


She had a mind of her own, was unimpressed and unruly. It has been 40 years since Olivia Holm-Møller passed away, but her works of art are stil standing tall. 
 
Headstrong, unimpressed and unruly – are all words that describe Olivia Holm-Møller (1875-1970). The artist was full of opposing feelings. She longed for the common as well as the universal. And today – 40 years after her death – her art owns a vitality and energy that can be linked directly to currents of contemporary art.

Olivia Holm-Møller didn't worry about what other people thought about her art, what was written in the media, or what was going on in the art institutions. She focused on what was going on in her own mind, and the world in which she lived. On her own quest as a painter, on the stories, the visons and the spiritual. And on the colours.

The bright, expressive colours yellow and blue are painted with tempera which makes them particularly luminous and places them balancing on the edge of a knife in a grandiose imagery. Also, her fierce way of painting gives vibrancy and an almost 'flaming' look to the paintings. Not unlike the fire – which Olivia Holm-Møller describes in one of her poems – burning from within her. A fire that burns up everything and creates. Like the volcanos that were the motif in several of her paintings. 
 
She was a woman and an artist in a time when men dominated the profession. And perhaps she survived as an artist by doing things, one did not expect of a woman at that time. It's for sure - she did not paint bouquets like the majority of her female colleagues. She paints flowers. Untamed. Dramatically. In a way that was like no other – man or woman at that time. She sought 'her own', and thereby also loneliness. The good kind of loneliness. The loneliness of the hunter. The challenges. Both the artistic challenges as well as the personal. Brave as a tomboy that in spite and without a safety net jumps from the highest of cliffs.

All of Olivia Holm-Møller's images are in a sense self-images. Images that are a travel out in the world, but also a travel into the mind. Not something you can turn into a formula. Impossible to fit into one certain category or style. But at the same time pictures of the mind that reach towards the highest. A spirituality rooted in her grundtvigian view of life. But at the same time a spirituality and mysticism which she rediscovers throughout the world on her journeys to Greece, Africa, Mexico, the Himalayas and China. These destinations attracts mass tourism today, but at the time before and after the Second World War they were considered remote and exotic. The extreme sports of that time.

Olivia Holm-Møller lived through two world wars and the protests of '68. Countless artistic movements came and went without contesting her. Perhaps that is the reason why her art today still is standing  vital and shining. It is not for the faint hearted – it is complex and uncompromising, powerfull and unruly. Just as the life Olivia Holm-Møller led.
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