03 Mar 2023 – 15 Apr 2023
Formation Gallery is pleased to present Birgitte Vad's solo exhibition Heart on my Sleeve, where she portrays powerful and sensitive women.
With references to pop art, gender politics, and the fashion industry, Vad is concerned with exploring and challenging representations of women, as well as contributing to new and faceted role models and mirror images.
Vad's women are both mysterious and melancholic, insistently absent, and present at the same time - as if floating between mind and body. Strong and fragile, they take shape to be dissolved again. Some generates associations to legendary artists such as Francis Bacon and his psychological portraits, where an inner and outer battle seems to play out in the brushstrokes. Other works sends tributes to Andy Warhol and his portraits of popular cultural icons in bright colors. They are complex and multifaceted, just like most of us.
From several years of working in the fashion industry, it is with equal parts love and criticism that Vad incorporates the fashion industry's own approaches and effects into her works. She works in the tension field between painting and textile design and adds materials such as simili stones, silk fabric, and colored mirrors to traditional painting. In relation to these surface effects, through painting Vad works with emotions and what lies beneath the surface. The subconscious, the hidden - what hides under the the layer of clothing - without it, one is naked and exposed.
Vad is interested in the gender debate in the world around her and in general how women have been portrayed throughout history and in fashion. By working with these subjects artistically, Vad gets the opportunity to be in a state of feeling and thoughts and visualize them. Vad portrays the inner life and moods of women, who are equally strong and vulnerable. As a paraphrase of passive and posing women, she gives them strength and stubbornness, sensuality, and wit.
Birgitte Vad (1980) graduated from the The Royal Danish Academy of Design in 2009. She is the founder of the exhibition space Building B at the Sugar Factory Møn (2022). In addition, she has exhibited in Format Artspace "I paint you - I love you" (2020), in Holly Golightly (portrait paintings of H. M. Queen Margrethe II) (2020) and at several group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Birgitte Vad was particularly noticed by the public when she created the cover for Eurowoman magazine with 2 portrait paintings of H. M. Queen Margrethe II in celebration of her majesty's 80th birthday (one of which was hereafter acquired by the royal house). The magazine is published in two editions with the two different portraits (2020). Birgitte Vad has also done a painting performance at Mads Nørgaard, which afterwards was exhibited at TAKT (2020). She has collaborated with Magasin Du Nord, the crisis center for children and young people Joannahuset where she did a decoration piece for Joannahuset (2021), as well as several charity initiatives in support of Joannahuset. Previously, she was a designer at Lolly's Laundry, InWear, Bruuns Bazar and responsible for collection, accessories, and print (2009-2014).