Carsten Krogstrup

Visual Artist

Artist Statement – Carsten Krogstrup

The painter Carsten Krogstrup is one of the very few contemporary artists in Denmark interested in realistic figure painting. He presents the figure, the light and the narration in classical clair obscur, as if it had been Vermeer in Holland (1632-1674) or Rembrandt himself (1606-1669), but in an up-to-date style with motifs in a contemporary context.

Throughout art history, the woman has been portrayed and interpreted.

The mother made sublime, glorified as the Madonna and Child, is a classic motif that Carsten Krogstrup’s Natasha paintings respond to.

The dolls are chosen with the psychological narrative of the woman and child in mind. Together with the nude model Natasha, a very strong effect is achieved when she holds out the lifeless dolls when they are placed on her lap or when they occupy the space around the woman on the bed in a mandorla form, as seen in the motif Natasha as Venus. It seems that the substitutes contain something secretive. See for example the motif The Light and the motif Childhood.

– What is happening or not happening in the relationship? Perhaps especially the latter?

Social heritage plays a role, we are on the fringes of society, in the backyard, but the motifs are not as such set in a social realist context. Carsten Krogstrup manages to portray a distance, an existential loneliness that eats into the bones.

Early in his career, Carsten Krogstrup was inspired by artists such as the American Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) and the Swedish Ola Billgren (1940-2001) to create realistic paintings. He has found motifs in the reflections of the metropolis and remote peripheral areas, in abandoned cars in the embrace of nature and marginalized subcultures. In decay and destruction, he finds the disturbing content that gives the paintings their edge.

There are references to Danish Michael Kvium (b. 1955) and his distinctive human figures, as well as input from his teacher at the Jutland Art Academy, Anders Kirkegaard, and his colleague Erik Mortensen, who along the way have been the artist’s partners in dialog developing the painter’s distinct language, such as the series The Place I Left Behind, Obsession, Submission and Dream. Other sources of inspiration are Lucien Freud (1922-2011) and Egon Schiele (1890-1918), who worked expressionistically in their portrayal of people and model studies, but with the same dystopian psychology. Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992) inspired the Racing series, the suite of beloved but diabolical-looking Greyhounds, from which the demonic touch is continued in the figure portrayals of Natasha.

Carsten Krogstrup’s motifs challenge the viewer with their ambiguity, his flair for demonic elements, combined with the excellent aesthetics that characterize the artist’s passionate work while exploring the layers of existence. Krogstrup pushes the viewer’s comfort with the simultaneously beautiful and heartfelt compositions, which prove alluring, surprising – and, on closer inspection, deeply melancholic. In addition, the model Natasha has a lot to offer with her interesting radiance under her beautiful long red hair. Natasha’s personal, individual characteristics have just that touch of demonism and melancholy that makes the images of the scantily dressed woman interesting and existentially relevant. As an experience of classical catharsis. What good and evil is at issue here?

Inge Schjødt



Carsten Krogstrup, født 1963.


1988-1993: Det Jyske Kunstakademi

2019-2020: Master, Portrætfotografi ved Helga Theilgaard


Selected solo exhibitions:

2023: Davis Gallery – Contemporary Art, København

2020: Galerie Platz, Fyn

2003, 2005, 2008, 2011: Galerie Gerly, København

2006: Roskilde Kunstforening Palæfløjen

2000: Torvegalleriet, Nykøbing F

1998: Galleri Catalpa, Nykøbing F

1994: Frederikssund Kunstforening


Selected group exhibitions:

2018, 2022, 2023: Stokrosebanden, Pakhuset, Nykøbing Sjælland

2021: “Den Vågne Drøm”, Bredgade Kunsthandel/Davis Gallery – Contemporary Art

2020: “Den Vågne Drøm”, Sophienholm

1998 – 2010, 2012, 2015 – 2019, 2021: Lys over Lolland,

2012 – 2019, 2021, 2023: Kunstudstilling LF

2017: “Nordic Noir Art”, Rundetårn,

1997 – 2007, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016: Sommerudstilling, Masnedøfortet,

2007, 2009, 2015: Skovhuset, “Realism and Beyond”

2014: Kulturarkaden, Vordingborg, “Stemninger i dansk kunst”

2012: Erotikkens Kunst, Docken, København

2011: Dansk Svenska Kompaniet, Ystad, Sverige

2010: Galleri Clifford, Vejle

2005: Frederikssund Kunstforening 60 år – “En kunstnerkavalkade”

2004: Galerie Beeldentuin, Haag, Holland, gruppeudstilling med Dansk Figuration

2004: Mortensen & Markman, “Photorealistisk”, (Søren Hagen, Dennis Møgelgaard, Roelof de Roo og Carsten Krogstrup)

2003: Næstved Museum, “Det ligner – nyrealismen i dansk kunst”

2003: Mortensen & Markman, “Bybilleder”

2001 – 2006: Art Herning

2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2006, 2007: Art Copenhagen,

2000: Skive Kunstmuseum, “Aspekter af Nyrealismen”

2000: Gallerihusets sommerudstilling, København

2000: Csongrad Galeria, Ungarn,

1994: Galleri Rum 46, Århus

1991: Sommerudstilling, Galleri Ringsted

1989: Anden Biennale for kunstskoler i Europa, Antwerpen

1989: Det Jyske Kunstakademis Jubilæumsudstilling, Kunstbygningen, Århus


Censored exhibitions:

2013, 2019: “Portræt NU”, Det Nationalhistoriske Museum, Frederiksborg Slot

1989, 1992, 1993, 1996: Kunstnernes Påskeudstilling

1993: Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling

1989: Kunstnernes Sommerudstilling

1994: Galleri 12, en censureret udstilling for DR tv

1984, 1986, 1987, 1988: Den Censurerede Limfjordsudstilling



2007: Grundtvig og Marie, et portræt til Næstved Kommune

Portrætter for Storstrøms Amt:

1997: Amtsportrætter for amtsborgmester Poul Christensen

2004: og amtsborgmester Ivan Olsen



Statens Kunstfond

Retten i Nykøbing Falster


Storstrøms Amt

Psykiatrisk Hospital Århus

Kunstforeningen af 1848 Århus

Nykøbing F. Sygehus

Private samlinger Danmark, Sverige, Holland, Frankrig, USA


Selected bibliography:

2023: Natasha – Dæmoner & Passioner, Davis Gallery – Contemporary Art, tekst af Inge Schjødt

2021: Om at være menneske, Kunstavisen, sept./okt. tekst af Inge Schjødt

2020: Mod det uendelige univers, katalog til Den Vågne Drøm, tekst af Inge Schjødt

2017: On the Road Again med de grå ulve,, nov. tekst af Inge Schjødt

2017: Nordiske stills – Nordic Noir, Rundetaarn, Kunstavisen, okt./nov. forsidehistorie, tekst af Inge Schjødt

2010: 101 Kunstnere – Tom Jørgensen (red.)

2009: Smagen af kunst – på Lolland & Falster, Nethe Plenge

Udfoldet i tid, anmeldelse i Politiken 22. maj 2005 af Peter Michael Horning

2001-2005: Et udvalg af billeder, tekst af Phillip Shiels

2005: Dansk Kunst, tekst af Bent Petersen

2003: Dansk Kunst, tekst af Torben Weirup

2003: Billedkunstnere i Storstrøms Amt

2000: Et udvalg af billeder, tekst af Anders Kirkegaard

Weilbachs Kunstnerleksikon, 9.bind

1998: Rundt om Carsten Krogstrup, Kunstavisen, aug./sep. tekst af Bjarne Malmberg

1997: Billedkunstnere i Storstrøms Amt



2016: Billedkunstrådet i Guldborgsund Kommunes Hæderslegat

2006: Jyllandspostens Legatbolig i Berlin

2001, 2006: Georg Harms Fond

2001: Skandinavisk Forenings Kunstnerkollegium i Rom


Member of:

Billedkunstnernes Forbund

Kunstnersammenslutningen Stokrosebanden