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Jury Statement

The Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition 2020 is a generous and broadly-based exhibition, reflecting the diversity which is a particular hallmark and strength of the exhibition. The jury has selected 70 artists with a total of 130 works within all categories.

The Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition format is loved by many and attracts a diverse audience to experience art. Historically, the exhibition is an important institution in its own right, now in a revitalised format, tempting professional artists and artists showing for the first time to apply.

Our point of departure as a jury has been to receive all applications with great openness and love – with no fixed criteria or a strict curatorial framework. We wanted to intercept the great energy and artistic nerve with an embracing, encouraging, and positive gaze and with the utmost respect for the work vested in the art works by each candidate. It was with great pleasure and excitement, therefore, that we began the big task of reviewing this year’s 736 applicants from around the world. The material received came mostly from Denmark and Scandinavia, but artists from other countries have also applied in the hope of showing to a Scandinavian audience at a long-established prestigious exhibition venue held in high esteem in Europe.

We, the jury, have discussed the nature of a Spring Exhibition and its inherent potential. Seen in a historical light as a unique format and as a present-day framework for an exhibition, capable of doing the unexpected and defining new directions. Is it artists in the making who should be nudged forward along with new expressions and trends, or should former experienced candidates receive support? Should established artists with distinct international careers be included in the exhibition, or should emphasis be on giving new and unfinished expressions, budding artists, a pat on the back? Questions that we would not, or could not, provide unambiguous answers to, but considered important in our attempt at making a selection which seemed new and not too much of a repetition.

With curiosity and a kaleidoscopic gaze, we saw entries brimming with talent, energy, quality, and edge. We yielded to curiosity and acquainted ourselves with the individual projects with an open mind. Our assessment of each entry is based on the guiding principles that the works should touch us directly and readily strike everyone, or that one or more of us have argued in favour of the unique potential of the work/works. The jury has applied its wide range of competences within visual art, photography, design, craftmanship, and architecture to put a perspective on each other’s perceptions and to enter into inestimable discussions on experiment, trends, method, narrative, innovative thinking, and form.

The entries we have chosen embrace a host of trends. A general feature of this year’s works is the huge effort put into each expression and that the emphasis is on physical, organic, personal elements as well as presence and intimacy, exploring inner worlds, sensory qualities, and form. Distinct introvert and poetic aspects as well as material examinations resulting in a high level of tactility are prevalent in this year’s entries. Very few works pursue a hard-hitting political agenda or are direct comments on the state of the world. Similarly, only very few entries have a provocative edge or a comprehensive narrative.

This year’s nominated artists for the Solo Award cover a broad spectrum in terms of practice and media. They are Andreas Brunner, Rebecka Larsdotter, Niels Østergaard Munk, Anton Lind, and Signe Emdal. The Solo Award goes to Niels Østergaard Munk for his innovative conceptual expression. The newly established Talent Award goes to AnneMette Elmelund for her courageous and inquisitive photographic practice.

On behalf of this year’s jury
Kirse Junge-Stevnsborg
Director, Malmö Art Museum