Den Frie Udstilling is the oldest artists’ association in Denmark and holds a significant place in Danish art history and cultural life. Founded in 1891, Den Frie Udstilling started as a protest against Charlottenborg’s censored Spring Exhibition. The aim was to create an alternative to the established artistic conventions and empower free and independent expression – a trend that spread throughout Europe at the time. Unconstrained by the traditional institutional framework, Den Frie Udstilling has presented new and experimental art since its inception, and the sum of the annual exhibitions traces the changing currents in Danish art over more than a century.
In keeping with tradition, this year’s exhibition is curated by artists from the association. The 2023 exhibition committee members are artists Svend Danielsen, Torben Ebbesen and Lis Nogel. Working under the title Free Hands, the association’s members and guest exhibitors have been invited to make their mark on the iconic building and consider overlooked places such as its corners, passages and elevated areas.
The total installation Gulliver Ravels by Nina Maria Kleivan and Niels Plenge is on display in the Minus 2 exhibition space. Taking inspiration from the first chapter of Jonathan Swift’s classic social satire from 1727, Gulliver’s Travels, Kleivan and Plenge use the figure of Gulliver to compose an amalgamation of expansionism, neglect and power relations in flux.
Exhibiting artists: Anders Kirkegaard, Bjørn Nørgaard, Camilla Berner, Ebbe Stub Wittrup & Ulrik Heltoft, Elle Klarskov Jørgensen, Elsebeth Jørgensen, Finn Reinbothe, FOS, Freddie A. Lerche, Glenn Sorensen, Hein Heinsen, Henriette Heise, Henrik B. Andersen, Henrik Plenge Jacobsen, Jan S. Hansen (guest), Jens Axel Beck (guest), Jytte Høy, Jørgen Michaelsen, Kasper Akhøj, Kirsten Ortwed, Leif Kath, Lis Nogel, Lone Arendal (guest), Margrete Sørensen, Maria Finn, Martin Erik Andersen, Mette Winckelmann, Mikkel Carl, Milena Bonifacini, Molly Haslund, Morten Stræde, Niels Andersen, Niels Plenge & Nina Maria Kleivan (guests), Pernille With Madsen, Peter Holst Henckel, Pia Rönicke, Simon Starling & Emil Rønn Andersen, Svend Danielsen, Søren Elgaard, Søren Jensen, Tamar Guimarães, Thorbjørn Lausten, Torben Ebbesen, Torben Ribe, Yvette Brackman
The exhibition is generously supported by Statens Kunstfond, Det Obelske Familiefond, Augustinus Fonden, Dansk Tennis Fond, William Demant Fonden, and Randers Reb