So yesterday I was back in wonderful Denmark …. another day trip. This time to Ishøj, about 20 min train journey from Copenhagen. From Landskrona to Ishøj it took in total 2 hrs. From Ishøj back to Landskrona is a totally different matter with identity control both at Kastrup Airport and Malmoe. What a carry on it’s, so going back to Landskrona took me nearly 3,5 hours. All because of the refugee problem in Europe.
Anyhow my friend Iris and I went to visit Arken Museum of Modern Art that is situated just by Öresund’s edge in Ishøj.
We wanted to meet the Danish girl Gerda Wegener and her art. And what a meeting we had.
Iris loved the film “The Danish Girl” and I must be the only one that didn’t find it that exciting. The acting is marvelous, but it was dragging on. There were some really great highlights and the true story behind the film is fantastic, but .. still we didn’t click.But there are quite a few film critics that agree with me.
Arken has timed their exhibition very well with the movie premier and Oscars nominations and all the attention that got. I must admit that I never heard about either Gerda or her husband Einar Wegener, that later transformed into Lili Elbe before everybody started talking about the movie.
The museum was very busy because they also had a great show with Niki de Saint Phalle’s mad and wonderful art, but that will be another story to be told very soon.
Must say that the Danish girl and her art took me with a pleasant surprise, her works I think is far better and interesting than her husbands. She was a fantastic painter and illustrator.
Gerda Marie Fredrikke Gottlieb (15 March 1886 – 28 July 1940) was a Danish fine-artist, illustrator and painter best known for erotica. Her artwork largely contains images of fashionable women in the style of art nouveau and later art deco.
She met Einar (1882–1931) at art school. They married in 1904 when Gerda was 18 and Einar was 22. They traveled through Italy and France, eventually settling in Paris in 1912. The couple immersed themselves in the Bohemian lifestyle of the time, befriending many artists, dancers and other figures from the artistic world.
Einar posed for Gerda in women’s clothes one day, filling in for an absentee model. She asked him to wear stockings and soon he adopted the persona of “Lili Elbe”, after finding he felt surprisingly comfortable in the clothing.
In 1913, the art world was shocked when they learned that the model who had inspired Gerda’s depictions of petite femmes fatales was, in fact, her husband Einar.
Einar eventually identified as a male-to-female transgender woman. She had the first publicly known sex reassignment surgery in history in 1930 after years of living life solely as Lili Elbe. When out in public Gottlieb introduced Elbe as Einar Wegener’s sister when she was dressed in female attire.
Since they were no longer man and wife, the Wegeners’ marriage were declared null and void in October 1930 the King of Denmark at that time. Lili died in 1931 from complications of surgery.
It was a big exhibition with most of her art was on display. I fell in love with with her painting “The Ballerina Ulla Poulsen in the Ballet Chopiniana, Paris” from 1927. To be able to finish the painting in time .. she asked Einar to put a stocking and ballet shoe on one of his legs and hold the ballerina dress in front of him. A powerful scene in the movie.
I really love her art. Even her erotic work. Greda illustrated many erotic de luxe editions of erotic literature.
Of course, there was weather involved and a great lunch. It rained from the early morning until about 2pm and when we walked to the bus stop the sun was kissing our backsides.
I had an absolute superb day … with fabulous art, great food … fantastic company, temperamental weather and seemly endless home journey, but the adventurewas worth every minute I spent on the trains.
During my journey home, I could enjoy a very dramatic sunset from the train.
“I love you.
Because you are the only person who made sense of me.
You made me…posible. ”
Quote from the movie The Danish Girl.