artnet Asks: Anne Aarsland

The non-objective artist is now painting "everyday life".

Anne Aarsland Photo: courtesy of

Pulling inspiration from the emotional quality of 1940s action painting and the order and structure in mosaic, Danish artist Anne Aarsland’s paintings strive to find a balance between these two media. Working mainly on canvas and paper, Aarsland’s painted compositions are polychromatic and balanced with grids and rows dispersed throughout. Aarsland has exhibited throughout Denmark and internationally, including at the Esbjerg Museum and at Art Copenhagen. artnet News caught up with the artist to hear about her inspirations and new work.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Actually, I have painted since I was a kid, so it feels like I more or less have always known that I wanted to be an artist, or at least work with art. I have a master’s in art history.

Annne Aarsland, Collections (2008) 59.1 x 66.9 in. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Annne Aarsland, Collections (2008)
Oil on canvas 59.1 x 66.9 in.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

What inspires you?
I get inspired by everything around me—the city, fashion, art, a pattern in a building, or maybe the colors of the sidewalk.

Anne Aarsland, Time Taken (2008) oil on canvas 59.1 x 59.1 in. Photo: courtesy of artnet Auctions.

Anne Aarsland, Time Taken (2008)
Oil on canvas 59.1 x 59.1 in.
Photo courtesy of artnet Auctions.

If you could own any work of modern or contemporary art, what would it be?
I wouldn’t mind having Picasso’s Guernica in my living room.

Anne Aarsland, Crosswind (2009) 70.9 x 78.7 in. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Anne Aarsland, Crosswind (2009)
Oil on canvas 70.9 x 78.7 in.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a new project where I paint everyday life—for example, driving, picking up kids from kindergarten, reading, cooking, etc. I combine figurative painting with a pattern-like expression.

When not making art, what do you like to do?
When not making art, I like to hang out with my family and friends, travel, and read. But even if making art wasn’t my job, I would still be making art.

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