Maria Rubinke Walking Shadow

Martin Asbæk Gallery is proud to present “Walking Shadow” by Maria Rubinke, the artist’s largest and most ambitious show to date. The exhibition, which has been two years in the making, revolves, much like the artist’s previous work, around existentialism and an on-going exploration of darkness. However, a glimmer of hope is present in Maria Rubinke’s recent work.
Author Patricia Breinholm Bertram

A round park bench takes center stage in what seems like an abandoned park. Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the frail bench is held together by the serpentine roots of the tree that it once enclosed, but which has been cut down to a stump, suggesting life underneath the surface as well as hope for the future. Like the bench, all elements of a park seem present, yet with a surrealist or even fairytale-like twist. The soothing sound of flowing water adds to the tranquil atmosphere of the exhibition, yet the sprinkling does not stem from the fountain itself, but from a number of fish, clasped in the arms of a young, dollish girl.

Each character, from the watchful owl to the red deer at the exhibition’s entrance, seems frozen in a moment as if a spell has been cast. The large-scale deer spirals around a central vortex as it looks over its shoulder, creating movement as well as multiple ideal points of view. The antlers, which dramatically branch out, are home to several small birds – that also previously have taken up residence in the artist’s work.

Another bird is found nesting on the head of a brown bear, a piece in which Rubinke experiments with the technique of combining different types of marble. In this case, white Carrara with black Nero Marquina marble. Marble has been favored by artists throughout history due to its ability to absorb light, resulting in its soft appearance, and Rubinke is keenly aware of the legacy of her artistic medium. Her oeuvre, which once revolved around pure white porcelain, now primarily consists of pieces cast in bronze or carved in marble. Both costly and weighty materials, which, as they also represent most surviving ancient art works and therefore much of our cultural legacy in the West, require an artistic pledge as they’ll remain long after we are gone.

Maria Rubinke (b. 1985, Haarby, Denmark) is a Danish sculptor. She is educated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Department of Ceramics (2008). Prominent solo exhibitions include Kastrupgaardsamlingen, Bornholms Kunstmuseum and Vejle Kunstmuseum. She has also been a part of exhibitions all over Europe and in North America. Her work can be found in collections including EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland; Haugar Vestfold Museum, Norway; Vejle Kunstmuseum, Denmark; CLAY – Museum of Ceramic Art, Denmark, and Bornholm Museum of Art, Denmark.