A strange masquerade: Michael Kvium shows the abysses of man and western culture
1st edition, 2020
304 pages, 278 color and 10 b/w illustrations
24 x 30 cm
Michael Kvium is a Danish contemporary artist who creates paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, performance art, and stage designs. His works call to mind the reference languages of these disciplines, as well as comic strip art and seventeenth-century Baroque paintings, often depicting the negative aspects of Western culture. The subjects of Kvium’s works feel foreign yet strangely familiar, grotesque monsters that nonetheless approach selfportrait, causing viewers to feel by turns beguiled and disgusted. Venturing to realms left unexplored by other artists, Kvium defines and expresses his personal and unflinching understanding of human presence. This first comprehensive survey Kvium’s entire career to date, this book takes readers from his earliest years as an artist in the 1980s to the present day and reveals fascinating throughlines, such as early experiments in the world of bikers and outspoken critiques of current Western society and culture.
Gitte Ørskou is a Danish art historian and director of the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, since September 2019. She has published widely about contemporary art and directed creation of the Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.