The harsh realities of country life, Zealand landscapes and melancholic atmospheres – that is how we know the Danish realist and symbolist L.A. Ring. However, the exhibition L.A. Ring. Between Light and Darkness explores another side of Ring and seeks to accentuate the work of Ring’s wife, Sigrid Kähler. In this way the exhibition is an extension of the museum’s series of exhibitions on artist couples and artist’s homes from the last century.
A Turning Point
The marriage to the young Sigrid Kähler (1874-1923 ) in 1896, marked a new and happier chapter for the then 42 -year-old Ring – and a new phase in his art practice. During the following years his works were influenced by a newfound warmth, intimacy and optimism. Ring’s motifs revolve around Sigrid, domestic interiors and the couple’s three children. Additionally, his landscape paintings became accredited with a new clarity and lightness where autumn and winter were replaced with spring and summer. The exhibition presents works by Ring from about 1896 onwards showing how Sigrid Kähler, the couple’s home and creative interaction influenced Ring’s work.
An Artist Couple
Sigrid Kähler was an artist herself. She and L.A. Ring met through her father, the ceramic artist Herman A. Kähler. Sigrid worked as a “decorater” in Kähler’s workshop where she painted ceramics. Since the work of the decoraters of that time was anonymous only few examples of her work are preserved. Sigrid loved to paint and draw but the marriage to Ring meant that she had to put the brushes on the shelf. Nevertheless, the couple’s artistic interaction flourished and shaped the their mutual life and home.
L.A. Ring was introduced to Herman A. Kähler’s studio in 1885. During the following years Ring often spent his time in the studio where he explored his artistic skills with experiments in ceramics. The simplified and decorative shapes of the ceramics influenced Ring’s painting, particularly in the 1890’s. The exhibition presents a selection of Ring’s works in ceramics along with examples of Kähler’s ceramics from the same period.
The Artists’ Home
Although the happy marriage to Sigrid muted Ring’s restlessness, a fundamental feeling of inner turmoil and melancholy never left him completely. It had its influence on his family life. Consequently, they lived in four different places on Zealand. Apart from Skt. Jørgensbjerg in Roskilde, where the family settled in 1914, they lived in small villages that reminded Ring of his hometown. In Roskilde the family moved into an artist home, which they decorated along with the style of the time. The exhibition presents Ring’s depictions of the changing homes, homely interiors with the family and local village people as well as representations of the nearby surroundings of their home.
L.A. Ring, Forår. Ebba og Sigrid Kähler, 1895. Den Hirschsprungske Samling