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30 January 2015 @ 00:00

The Pirra Art Gallery is pleased to present, for the first time in Italy, the Danish painter Birgitte Lykke Madsen. Born in 1960 in Odense, where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts from 1981 to 1986 and where she currently lives and works, Lykke Madsen has directed her pictorial research towards specific interests, even technical, that took shape into a very particular theme: the relationship between man and water. The artist, in fact, is fascinated by the differences between the cold and the warm colors, by the different suggestions that they evoke in our minds, she loves to study the influence of space on bodies, and she found in the aquatic environment the perfect way to communicate with the spectator. Lykke Madsen is not interested in normal subjects generically related to water, such as seascapes, harbors, beaches, but in the investigation of the physical and mental perception of water. The artist herself sums up her original point of view: “Painting water sets me free of any limitation concerning room and reality, both in the use of colors as in the depiction.” In this sense, the most significant works are those in which the subject, usually a woman, is represented under water: her body has just “broken” the surface and the column of foam is still white, or she is swimming towards the light. The color of the water, the tension between the body and what surrounds it, as well as the symbolic connotations of the subject are combined into a powerful sensory and intellectual experience. These subjects require large spaces, so they are made on large canvases, which exceed even the meter and sixty cm. In addition to the works that explore the “secret life” under the surface, there are those that depict the “public” dimension of water: the swimmers in the sea represent peace, a particular moment in the life of different people, strangers to each other suddenly “connected” through the water. Another subject of enormous charm is the geothermal area of Gunnuhver, in the southwest of Iceland, where Lykke Madsen has created a series of paintings depicting bathing in the hot springs. In this context, the steam becomes, if not the main character, a fundamental element of the painting. While forming a rare and convivial world apart, Madsen’s works also summon now longed-for physical sensations of the landscape experienced under the blue sky, in the heat and the cool of the seaside. Indistinct, half-glimpsed, a mist of memory – these are paintings for unlimited reverie.

Some of the paintings on display


30 January 2015