About: The Blank Pages – feminist history in the making at Malmö Konsthall

About: Blank Pages - CultureNordic

“Can you name a female artist who has been published in the Taschen Basic Art-series? Is your answer Frida Kahlo? You are right; she is one out of five women who have been published in the series consisting of about 100 books.”

This is how Malmö Konsthall presents their new exhibition About: The Blank Pages, giving female artists their undivided attention, filling the gaps in our male dominated art history.

The artists Ditte Ejlerskov and EvaMarie Lindahl have taken a closer look at art history and the selection principles involved when choosing who gets to live forever and who is left to stay in the past. Unsurprisingly, women are underrepresented, especially in the popular Taschen Basic Art-series where only a fraction of their artist biographies are about a female artist. The About: The Blank Pages-project has taken four years to complete and has turned into an exhibition at Malmö Konsthall in Sweden.

Portrait Lindahl & Ejlerskov - CultureNordic
Portrait of Lindahl & Ejlerskov. Photo: Malmö Konsthall

In the exhibition space Ejlerskov and Lindahl presents the existing art books by the German publishers side by side with the missing once, leaving the pages blank in the books yet to be published on the missing female artists. The list of female artist who have been chosen as unjustly underrepresented consists of 92 names, reaching all the way back to the 16th century. See the whole list here.

Exhibition View - About: Blank Pages - CultureNordicExhibition View – About: The Blank Pages. Photo: Malmö Konsthall.

The blank pages reminds us of history that is yet to be written, but some of us might also think of Karen Blixen’s short story ‘The Blank Page’. In the story white bride sheets stained with blood from wedding nights are put into frames and put on display in a convent in Portugal. The last sheet hanging on the wall is blank, asking of us to think for our self. What is the story behind the blank sheet – or the blank page, for that matter?

The blank page is where good stories can grow, giving the reader or observer his or her imagination free range. If this is the point of the exhibition by Ejlerskov and Lindahl is uncertain, but it is certainly one way of looking at it.

Anyone who is interested in great art made by female artists should visit Malmö Konsthall, or why not Louisiana – Museum of Modern Art, where they have an exhibition with one of the women from Ejlerskov and Lindahls list: Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.

If you want to know more about the authorship of Karen Blixen, buy our book ‘The Creative Dialectic in Karen Blixen’s Essays’ by Marianne T. Stecher with Karen Blixen’s reflections on Feminism, Nazism and Colonialism.

The exhibition About: Blank Pages is on from April 24th – June 15th.