Bruce Silverstein Gallery is pleased to present Trine Søndergaard’s Strude, the Danish artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
The strude is the name of the mask-like garment that was worn by women on the Danish island of Fanø to cover their faces from the wind, sun and sand. This style of dress, now considered a traditional costume, is worn only for an annual fête day. For three years, Søndergaard visited the island for this celebration and photographed the women by a window in a small attic as they dressed for the festivities, focusing on the strude headdress. While the work is not a direct study of either the place or the women’s clothing, the series expresses the artist’s fascination with the culture on the island and with the folk costume as the bearer of meaning and specific codes.
The women in Søndergaard’s photographs appear to exist in an old world, their method of dress points to a lost era. These photographs of contemporary women, classically posed, seated in a room where chronological signifiers have been eliminated, reflect the artist’s interest in the viewer’s perception of images. It becomes evident that these straightforward images are in fact loaded---the current polemic of veiling, the incongruity between the clothing and the time period, and the inward gaze of the sitter, provoke the viewer to pause, to contemplate these photographs and their meaning. Søndergaard’s approach to this series is not as an ethnographic nor typographical study, but rather reveals an attention to almost imperceptible moods and elements—how much is visible, what is said and what is unsaid, what is exposed and what is unexposed.
Søndergaard was awarded the 2000 Albert Renger Patzch Award and the Paris Photo BMW Special Jury Award in 2006. Her work is represented in major public and private collections, including Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain; Museum of Fine Arts Houston USA; Hasselblad Foundation, Sweden and The Danish Arts Foundation, Denmark. Trine Søndergaard's photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her first monograph, NOW THAT YOU ARE MINE was published by Steidl in 2002. In 2009 Monochrome Portraits was published by Hatje Cantz.
Since 2005 she has also worked on the collaborative project HOW TO HUNT together with her husband, Danish artist Nicolai Howalt.