Meet the galleries

Meet Maria Lund, Director, Galerie Maria Lund

We asked a few questions to Maria Lund, Director of Galerie Maria Lund in Paris, and first time exhibitor exhibitor of the Main Section in 2021: professional background, gallery programming, participation in the fair and flagship work exhibited this year are in the spotlight in this interview.

The gallery and its programme

Like many gallerists, I have a slightly atypical background. I graduated in law in Denmark, my native country and intended to study copyright law in Paris. But instead I began to work for a gallery and later for a school in the field of visual communication. I launched the gallery in 1999 with a Danish gallerist as my associate – since 2004, I’ve been running the gallery on my own. I’ve always been passionate about art and ‘making’. I couldn’t imagine a life without them. Art makes life larger by challenging you in your visions and thus makes you travel emotionally and intellectually… Art gives you insight into all aspects of human life and points of views; it connects you to other people, time periods, cultures – to put it shorty - to being.

The program of my gallery is very varied in terms of what types of art we show. I don’t want to be locked up or limited, and I love variation. Depth, quality and originality in terms of thoughts and ideas and the way they materialize are essential criteria. My gallery presents figurative, abstract and conceptual art – it can be rather minimal or more baroque. I expect the artists with whom I collaborate to evolve, question and “research”. I don’t wish to work with artists that end up reproducing themselves or who stop taking risks. Artists are driven by a kind of desire, and desire also nourishes the work of the gallerist – that is the desire created by the artworks…

I sometimes compare the selection of artists to the way we make friends. There is no rule. It may be a work I come across, a work that somebody mentions to me, a visit to an art academy or a school. I aim at long-lasting collaborations. It is extremely interesting and rewarding to see an artist grow and evolve. In a way, a good gallerist can be compared to a gardener with a feeling for business.

Your participation in the fair

This is my gallery’s first participation in LAW. We look forward to meeting our Luxembourg collectors in their country and hope that a new audience will appreciate the selection of artists that we show. We were also attracted by LAW’s good reputation.

Artists shown at the fair
We’ve chosen to show five artists who are very representative of the variety in the gallery’s artistic profile. Peter Martensen with whom we’ve been collaborating since 2000, is an estimated figurative mid-career artist whose work can be characterized as ‘mental realism’. Marlon Wobst is a young figurative artist with an exquisite feeling for colour, whose felt tapestries and paintings reflect his capacity to observe contemporary human life with humor, poetry and exactitude all at once. Farida Le Suavé’s very sensual works – sculpture and drawing – tell intimate tales of the human body and establish links between cultures and eras as carried by various ornamental traditions. The vibrant and jubilatory collage and textile works of Lyndi Sales express her desire to go beyond and her quest for new and enlarged visions. Morten Søndergaard is a major poet researching how words, meaning, sound and materiality can mingle and trigger new forms of understanding. One example is his ‘Word pharmacy’, and another the marble sculpture ‘Rose is, Stein stela’ – inspired by Gertrude Stein’s famous sentence – ‘Rose is a rose is a rose’.

Flagship work on your booth
The Prayer is a monumental painting by Peter Martensen. The colour and the motif transmit a feeling of eternal beauty and melancholy – that of sunset and the end of a winter day, where green grass is visible under the snow. Between naked tree trunks men in white gowns linger or wander about; one man is lying on the ground. In the foreground, a tree trunk is broken, maybe struck by lightning. Time seems suspended, the men in white gowns – Peter Martensen refers to them as ‘specialists’ – seem to be in deep thoughts, none of them is communicating with the others… At first this scene may appear to be a romantic landscape with a subtle palette of pastels hues. But by taking a closer look, it is more likely the expression of fears, hopes and doubts inherent to the relation between Mankind and Nature, each individual trapped in his own thoughts and winter symbolizing the end of a cycle.

Peter Martensen, The Prayer, oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm, 2021