Mie Olise Kjærgaard 

Tennis Elbow
Rookie Rioters
October 6 – 19  2023
Opening Reception  October 6  6 – 8 pm
Tuesday – Friday  10 am – 6 pm  Saturday  11 am – 5 pm

Rabble Rouse Riders, 220×195 cm, 2023


Often great art develops over years—developing a point of view, exploring and honing, drawing and erasing, growing and pruning.
But every so often great work bursts out like a dam exploding with water.
This was the case with Mie Olise Kjærgaard’s new body of painting. For years, the Danish painter had explored various conceptual interests in her painting, conveying the breaking points of social containment structures, like the boats and buildings that she grew up around as the daughter of a shipbuilder.

But in 2019, with Kjærgaard feeling increasingly frustrated as a woman artist and reading a raft of depressing reports about how women artists were valued in the market, something just exploded.
“It was like a roar from my gut,” says Kjærgaard. “My whole life suddenly fell into place and I really saw the role of women in the world and in art. I had thought all those years that if I painted my ass off and pushed myself and wasn’t afraid, that that would be enough. And I realized that would never be enough.”

So instead of delineating a breaking point, Kjærgaard broke through one deep within herself. Conceptuals be damned, she unlocked the bars to her unconscious and freed a wonderfully savage army of lost girls armed to the teeth and out for blood—or least red paint. They are gymnastic Amazons, dating back to Lascaux and unleashed into modernity. They’re racially ambiguous with slashes of makeup and spiky cocoa-brown dreadlocks. They come on horseback, on Viking ships, on leopards and mastodons and more incredible beasts.

 What makes the work so invigorating and unique isn’t merely its expression of rage and injustice. Kjærgaard mixes her conscious grown-up anger with inchoate rumblings of childhood make-believe, bringing visceral sensations of joy and anarchy to her visions (which are only amplified by her rough, energetic and spontaneous brushwork). These girls are not just warriors. They are tennis players and they are singers (who can use their racquets for air guitar). Their anger is alloyed with fun and channeled into creation. They make forts and treehouses in dresses and bikinis. And if that all sounds a stretch, that is actually how Kjærgaard planned it.

 “I have to have fun when I paint,” says Kjærgaard. “When I was in architecture school, I was interested in how to build a city and how to maintain balance. And with this work I am questioning the very idea of gravity and balance and really pushing these women to stay upright. So if they are standing on a boat, I want to stretch them as far as I can before they fall down.”

 Luckily, what is clear about Kjærgaard’s elastic gladiators is that if they fall down, they are bouncing right back up. Which is a wonderful manifestation of something that all anger needs to learn: how to stay on fire without getting burned out.

– David Colman

Sailing Akroyoga Battalion , 235×195 inches, 93×77 inches, 2023


Sunday Skate Suit 60×80 cm or 24×31 inches, 2023

Ready for the serv, 120×100 cm, 2023



Mie Olise Kjærgaard was born on the Island of Mors, Denmark, in 1974. She received a MFA from Central Saint Martins School of Art in London, United Kingdom, in 2007.

Kjærgaard’s recent solo and group exhibitions include “Rose Eken + Mie Olise Kjærgaard” at Gammelgaard Kunsthal in Herlev, Denmark (2023); “Holding Space” at the Karpidas Collection in Dallas, Texas (2023); “Towards Infinity and Beoynd” at Various Small Fires in Dallas, Texas (2023); “Sauna” at Haverkampf Leistenschneider in Berlin, Germany (2023); “Hope is the thing with Feathers” at Anna Zorina Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2022); “Sisters of Cassandra” at Roundtower in Copenhagen, Denmark (2022); “Disobedient Muses” at Tennis Elbow at The Journal Gallery in New York, New York (2022); “Hysteria” at Hans Alf Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark (2020); “Ambiguous Aggregations” at Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston, Texas (2019); “Absolute Beginners” at Hans Alf Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark (2019); “News from Nowhere” at Hans Alf Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark (2018); “Bastard Monuments” at Samuel Freeman Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2017); “Through The Portal of The Pineapple” at Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston, Texas (2017); “Exotic Maximum Croma” at Y Gallery in New York, New York (2017); “Discontinued Monuments” at Museo de Arte Acarigua-Araure in Venezuela (2016); and “Allusions on Place” at Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston, Texas (2015).

Mie Olise Kjærgaard lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.