Reflections of the picture universe of Hanne Galschiøt
Hanne Galschiøt represents a naturalistic art in touch with reality. Before she is designated as a documentary painter of reality, it is, however, important to mention, that her paintings, besides traditional paintings of acryl, very often consist of sewed gouaches. In these pictures, which reveals the past of Hanne Galschiøt as a textile artists, literally spoken, a relief-like effect is achieved, which gives them both a textural and an object like dimension. The pluri levels in these pictures express in any case something nearly physical, which not only has an effect on the vision, but also gives so great tactile feelings that you get envied to touch them.
In the paintings with motives from Africa this textural dimension cause that the naturalistic bullocks of the animals of the savannah get something magic look. So to speak, the paintings vibrate in tones of colours, which range from the yellow brown and ochre red nuances of the savannah to the colourful clothes of the dancing masaies. The animals, which are pictured in the paintings, all lions, cheetahs, leopards, zebras, wildebeests and elephants, are not cute cloth animals, but creations in a world, where death is constant present.
Therefore all are tense and watchful, and Hanne Galschiøt is a master in catching the panic escape of the target animals and the concentration of the big cats during the hunting. In this world of instinct behaviour the Masaies fit perfect into what is a tribute to the original unsentimental nature.
The same thing might be said about the paintings of Hanne Galschiøt from China and Cuba, in which she catches the daily life situations in a both hitting and identifying way: The old districts of Beijing with rickshaws, market places, tai chi practitioners and the lively and varicoloured dealings, and the dusty streets of Havana with very old American cars, Salsa dancers, curious children and flower dealers.
In the same way as the Africa paintings this is all motives from a world, which still exists, but which is in danger of disappearing. In China due to the huge expansion, which by no harm removes the old districts, we as western people perceive as picturesque, in Cuba, because the economic growth, which shall be revealed as soon as the Castros have gone, will transform the island to a further mainstream Caribbean tourist trap.
On Danish soil Hanne Galschiøt has in characteristic way selected her motives in one of the most distinctive and isolated island societies, Christiansø. On this isolated spot of Denmark, where the time, except from a couple of months in July and August, seems to be stopped, she shows us both the “natives” and the ever returning guests as the response of Christiansø to the lions of Africa: The huge, ever crying and ever hungry seagulls.
With her unsentimental and close depictions of reality, her unsentimental combination of painting and textile art and with her regard for the dynamic and visual stimulating composition, Hanne Galschiøt is an utmost exiting, interested and concerned artist. There are vitality and a catching appetite of life in her world of paintings.