Maria Wæhrens | The Child
Maria Wæhrens is an artist whose innovative and experimental approach towards abstract painting demonstrates a commitment towards eye-expanding complexity and full-body participation. For the artist’s debut solo exhibition with the gallery, OTP Copenhagen is proud to present a series of new works on canvas and paper that mark an important development in Wæhrens’ exploration of faith, memory, psychological growth, generational inheritance, religious icon painting and queer sexuality.
In Maria Wæhrens’ practice, faith is inextricably tied to painting and the creation of images. Having first experienced the medium at the hands of her grandmother, who would often produce devotional pictures and speak about painting as something carried out in service of God, the young Wæhrens would hold painting in such high esteem that she was unwilling to participate in it with the other children at school.
This changed when, aged thirteen, Maria Wæhrens had a dream where she was told she would become an artist. Permission had been granted in the form of a calling, and Maria Wæhrens embraced the alchemistic tradition of painting with the appropriate intensity for a person who had now been brought into direct dialogue with something greater than themselves.
Grounded in the artist’s personal history just as much as it is in the history of their artistic practice, this exhibition concerns itself with the symbol of the child, naïve perspective in general and the psychology of the developing mind.