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Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.

Since I was in my early twenties, I have been selling art. Now, I'm soon turning 60! Today, I have my own gallery in Copenhagen, alongside Clausens Kunsthandel (which has existed since 1953). I have been running galleries since 2009, first in Paris, and then in the Museum Building on Østerbro, and subsequently in Studiestræde in Copenhagen.

I have an education in art history from the Ecole du Louvre in Paris and an apprentice at Bruun Rasmussen art auctions, whom I later represented in France. I also spent 3 years as an apprentice at the French auction house in Paris when I was quite young.

Since I started running galleries, I have had changing exhibitions focusing on contemporary artists every 5 weeks for 10 years now. I have also specialized in photography because not many galleries here at home paid much attention to it. Here, we specialize in art on paper in general, but we sell all kinds of art as long as it is of high quality, whether it's painting, photography, sculpture, installation, or ceramics.

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Banja is wearing KRAMBI shirt.
Painting by Albert Merts.


Art by Annette harboe flensburg

Can you name some other female (artist or gallery owner) that inspires you and explain why they do so?

There have been some very prominent women, but very few who have inspired me, because most in our industry were men. It has been important for me to know a lot to gain respect. It's clear that I have been inspired by both men AND women. Especially Denise Rene inspired me in Paris. I knew her and talked to her several times, and I passed by her gallery almost every day. Her place was quite special. I saw how she promoted Danish artists in Paris, including Richard Mortensen, Robert Jacobsen, and Gun Gordillo. "I can do that too," I thought, and started a Nordic photo gallery in the 9th arrondissement right next to Drouot, the French auction house, where I had worked as quite young, and where I knew so many people, all dealing with art. Female artists, photographers like Tove Kurtzweil, Kirsten Klein, Nanna Bisp-Büchert, and Marianne Engberg, have inspired me a lot. Painters like Kirsten Christensen, Oda Knudsen, Jytte Rex, and Sys Hindsbo have also left deep marks on me. They depict the world from a female perspective, and you can easily sense that. Marianne Engberg, who lived most of her life in New York, has taught me a lot about photo galleries, of which there are many in the USA. She has been a great inspiration, and so has her relationship with photography as an art form.

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Banja is wearing KASEIA silk shirt.
Vase made by Peder Rasmussen


Painting by Kirsten Christensen. Bought by Ny Carlsbergfondet

Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?

I have chosen to have many children. I have given birth to 5 and raised 7, and it's clear that it affects one's career if, like me, you want to spend a lot of time with your children. But I have also always had a foot in the art world. So it's clear that being self-employed has given me great freedom. I have worked when they slept and when they were in school. At one point, I closed the gallery at 4 p.m. even though all the other galleries were open until 5 or 6. It meant that I could pick up the children because my husband worked far away and always came home late. The commercial art scene from 1986 until today has been male-dominated. Men dealing with men. Or dealing with couples where the man was the driving force. Fortunately, this is starting to change now. But really, it's only in the last 8-10 years that I have noticed.

It has been difficult to sell works by female artists for many years, even though I have held them dear. As mentioned, historically, most art collectors and artists have been men. So there is a reason why female artists are underrepresented in museums and private collections, and why their works have been cheaper. In our industry, it's about supply and demand. Slightly more than half of the artists are women, but if the demand is not there and the supply is high, it affects the price. Women's art does not cost as much as it should compared to men's. Fortunately, there have been quite a few female gallery owners in the last 5-8 years, so that image is changing now too. However, it has been really slow, and it takes time to establish oneself, so it's important to persevere.


Sculpture by Niels Guttormsen and Kasper Heiberg

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a woman in the arts?

In my previous company, where I worked for 17 years before becoming self-employed, I could see that women never quite reached the top. It was said that they didn't want to, but I don't think that was true. You really had to fight to be appreciated for what you did if you were a woman. I don't think men had it like that. Some of them became partners along the way, but not women. The woman who came after me as a representative in Paris is fortunately fully employed with a fixed salary, and women are starting to assert themselves now. I hope that I have helped pave the way for the next generation of women in our industry.


Art by Knud Odde "Marcel Proust i korkrummet, i sengen".

What would you like people to notice in your gallery and in the way you display art?

I want a gallery where people dare to walk through the door. I want new art buyers to feel that there is something for them too. Not everything should cost 1 million. There should be something for every taste and budget. We want to help nurture the next generation of art collectors. It shouldn't be too fancy, but of good quality. You can always talk to us, and we're happy to help you save. The habit of always going home and asking your husband for advice must stop. After all, we don't have the same taste in books and movies. It's very personal what you like. You can each have your own corner in the house.

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Photo taken by Stuart McIntyre.