Political Art: Introduction to a story and a concept

Laesoe Art Hall made a strong claim to new fame when the exhibition “The political art” opened in June 2019. The exhibition was already under massive attack, much due to the fact that it opened only 72 hours after the general elections that year. Thus the exhibition was used as a tool of communication among political actors in the elecation campaigns. This possibly fueled the massive attention it gained.

Much of the content of the exhibition was guided by the organisation Passion For Freedom in London.

In 2021 a new version of the same concept was made into an exhibition in a collaboration between Laesoe Art Hall and The Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art (CSW) in Warsaw, and again with Passion For Freedom. All three partners contributed with lists of artists to present.


The Warsaw edition of Political Art was seen by roughly 25.000 guests, and reviewed or condemned in more than 100 articles around the world. Add to that TV and radio debates in Poland, Denmark and Sweden. The opening of the exhibition was announced in Norwegian afternoon radio, and a feature about it was printed in a newspaper in Guatemala.

In 2023 the Danish publisher Alinea introduced an educational online platform called “Political Art” for 10th-graders in the public school. The content was written by Yours Truly. Also in 2023 Laesoe Art Hall was contacted by a media corporation doing research on Political Art.

Also in 2023 work is being done to create a third version of the exhibition in a major Western city. 

“Political Art” belong to the Critical Art tradition and is often blended with or misinterpreted as ‘political communication’. We use the term to designate art arising from a suffering consciousness over issues occuring in the political domain. ‘Political communication’, on the other hand, consists of clear messages from a sender to a number of receivers.

“Political art is a form of artistic expression that intertwines with politics, social issues, and activism. It serves as a powerful tool for artists to convey their perspectives, critique societal norms, and provoke thought and dialogue about the pressing matters that shape our world. Rooted in history and continuing to evolve, political art has played a significant role in inspiring social change, challenging power structures, and amplifying marginalized voices.

Since ancient times, art has been used to communicate political messages, often reflecting the prevailing ideologies and power dynamics of the era. From ancient civilizations’ depictions of rulers and conquests to the revolutionary propaganda of the 20th century, artists have embraced their ability to shape public opinion and challenge the status quo through their creations.

Political art takes various forms, encompassing paintings, sculptures, photography, street art, performance art, and more. Artists engage with political themes by addressing issues such as human rights, social injustice, war, inequality, gender and racial discrimination, environmental concerns, and government policies. They confront viewers with thought-provoking imagery, symbolism, and narratives, aiming to evoke emotions, raise awareness, and foster critical thinking.

One of the distinctive qualities of political art is its ability to transcend boundaries and reach a diverse audience. It often employs visual metaphors, satire, or provocative aesthetics to subvert established norms and challenge the dominant narratives. By doing so, political art encourages viewers to question their assumptions, reflect on their own beliefs, and engage in broader conversations about the complex realities of our world.

In an era of global connectivity and social media, political art has gained even greater visibility and impact. Artists can now reach a wider audience instantaneously, creating art that transcends borders and resonates with people across cultures and geographies. The digital realm has also enabled new forms of artistic expression, including online activism, digital art, and interactive installations that engage viewers in immersive experiences.

Political art serves as a testament to the power of creativity, offering a unique lens through which we can examine and challenge the world around us. It invites us to question authority, imagine alternative futures, and actively participate in shaping a more just and equitable society. By blending artistry with social consciousness, political art stands as a potent force that illuminates the intersections between aesthetics, politics, and the human experience.”

Jon Eirik Lundberg and Chatgtp



Årets hovedudstilling: Idéen om et landskab

Maleri af Martin Askholm

Sommeren 2023 viser vi tre eminente malere der fra vidt forskellige udgangspunkter forbinder landskaber og erindring i deres værker. De følelser man var hensat i på det sted, eller som opstod i én lige dér, eller som nu kommer til udtryk i billedets udsnit af verden.

Martin Askholms “formelle landskabsmaleri” er udstillingens afsæt, og titlen stammer fra hans egen beskrivelse af hans værker. “Mit maleriske ærinde er ikke at gengive et landskab med nøjagtig fotografisk præcision. Det kan fotografiet gøre meget bedre. Udgangspunktet er at gengive en følelse som stedet gav mig da jeg selv var der.”

I snart 200 år har kunstnere fra P. C. Skovgaard over Johannes Hofmeister til Per Kirkeby fortolket Læsøs natur og terræn. Nogle af Asger Jorns akvareller kan se ud som landkort, og hos Kirkeby kan man finde farver fra Sønder Nylands lavvandede havbund.

Udstillingen tager denne tradition et helt nyt sted.

Hvor Martin Askholms malerier begynder med hans egne feriefotografier, maler Tommy Johansson frem øjeblikke af en natur som i et og alt er en metaforer for følelsesmæssige erfaringer; men hans værker er udført i samme format som et almindeligt fotografi, monteret på den type karton man bruger til fotoalbums.

Jeppe Kruses billeder er udført i løbet af få øjeblikke; med blæk på ubehandlet lærred fremkalder han “abstrakte erindringer”, hvor man ser spor og konturer af byer, maskiner, mennesker; en indre verden som en strøm af fragmenter fra den man bevæger sig rundt i.
Maleri af Jeppe Kruse

Vi glæder os til at åbne udstillingen den 5. juli kl. 17:00.
This summer’s main exhibition, “The idea of a landscape”, presents three eminent Scandinavian painters dealing with time, space and recollection. The “formal landscape paintings” of Martin Askholm (DK) is the exhibition’s point of departure. Rooted in strict pop-art and strong-colored graphical prints, Askholm embarked on landscape painting almost by accident. His pictures begin as a holliday photography which is the interpreted into his particular style. “My task is not to depict the landscape itself”, he says, “but to articulate my emotional experiences of it”.
Maleri af Martin Askholm
The Norwegian painter Tommy Johansson is working in different media and practices, possibly mostly known in Norwegian public life as a rebellious artist testing the limits of freedom of expression. Less known is his deeply poetic and contemplative oil paintings, which are made in the size of ordinary photographical prints, mounted on carton used for family albums. Even though they are completely abstract, envisioned solely in Johansson’s own working process, one quickly recognizes the “places” they depict.
Maleri af Tommy Johansson
Jeppe Kruse (DK) has developed a very characteristic styl designated “abstract memories”. With rapid, intuitive movements ink is brushed upon unpreparated canvases within only a few seconds. The result is an ever-expanding serie of imagery with fragments of buildings, city scapes, industry and people. As if memories are finding their way to visibility through a certain mediative state of mind.
Painting by Jeppe Kruse


The exhibition opens on July 5th at 5 am
We look forward to welcome you


Den politiske kunst – nu som undervisning

Udstillingen Den politiske kunst har haft et righoldigt liv siden 2019, og efter flere års arbejde har den nu resulteret i et 16 lektioners undervisningsforløb for 10. klasse i den danske Folkeskole. Det er forlaget Alinea der har skabt en undervisningsportal baseret på Jon Eirik Lundbergs tekster om konkrete kunstnere og kunstværker, der har været omdrejningspunkt for politiske begivenheder i nyere tid. Lektionerne behandler også politiske og økonomiske forhold, og fungerer som et supplement til undervisning i historie og samfundsfag. Ideen er, ligesom i udstillingerne af samme navn, at se verden med kunsten som prisme.

Opslag i Læsø Posten 8. marts 2023

Fem stjerner til Beauty Will Save The World

Nordjyske Stiftstidende har set udstillingen Beauty Will Save The World i Frederikshavn Kunstmuseum, og kvitterer med en indfølt læsning og en stærk bedømmelse. Udstillingen er kurateret af Tamara Paliienko og skabt i samarbejde mellem Læsø Kunsthal og Frederikshavn Kunstmuseum.


Anmeldelse af udstillingen Beauty Will Save The World


Udstilling i Frederikshavn Kunstmuseum: “Beauty Will Save The World”


Poster for the exhibition "Beauty Will Save The World", 2023



Læsø Kunsthal vil i 2023 og 2024 arrangere udstillinger i samarbejde med Frederikshavn Kunstmuseum. Det første projekt er fotoudstillingen “Beauty Will Save The World”, som er kurateret af Tamara Paliienko. Tamara kom til Læsø som flygtning i marts 2022, og udstillingen viser et landskab i Ukraine som hun har et helt specielt forhold til. Halvøen Kinburn ligger i Aszovhavet øst for Mariupol, og minder på flere måder om Læsø. Ikke kun det flade landskab, der minder om havbund der er steget op over havets overflade, men også saltproduktion, den store himmel og vilde natur. Værkerne er skabt af nogle af Ukraines mest betydningsfulde fotografer.


Fernisering: torsdag 23/2 kl. 17:00 i Frederikshavn Kunstmuseum

Udstillingsperiode: 23/2 – 18/3 2023


Yevgen Samuchenko
Helen Saponova
Yevgen Monta
Annette Sagal
Igor Moiseev
Sergio Adventure



Laesoe Art Hall and Frederikshavn Art Museum will collaborate on a number of exhibitions in 2023 og 2024. The first joint project is the exhibition “Beauty Will Save The World”, curated by Tamara Paliienko, who came to Laesoe as a refugee in March 2022. The exhibition is dedicated to the Kinburn Peninsula in the Azov Sea, a mystical landscape with several similarities with Laesoe, portrayed by some of the most important Ukrainian photografers:


Yevgen Samuchenko
Helen Saponova
Yevgen Monta
Annette Sagal
Igor Moiseev
Sergio Adventure


Opening day: 23/2 at 5 pm, Frederikshavn Art Museum

Exhibition period: 23/2 – 18/3 2023


Ny udgivelse: “Kulturmiddelklassens hævn”

I de senere år er begrebet “cancel culture” blevet en indarbejdet del af ordskiftet i Vesten. I 2019 og 2021 var Læsø Kunsthal engageret i debatten i form af to udstillinger med kunst som institutionerne i stigende omfang sorterer fra. Den indsats har medført talrige reaktioner, første gang beskrevet i bogen “Balladen om den politiske kunst” i 2020.

Knap tre år senere udkommer opfølgeren, “Kulturmiddelklassens hævn; ytringsfrihed, censur og klassehad”. Denne bog viser hvordan grænserne mellem aktivisme, fagforbund, kunstkritik og embedsværk kan blive udvisket. Når det sker står institutionerne overfor en uovervindelig modstander.

En udemokratisk indretning af kunstlivet er den dybere strømning under “aflysningerne”; risikoen ved at arbejde med noget “kontroversielt” er for stor. Samtidigt kan aktivisterne ikke opfange den kritik. Som de ser det følger de uimodsigelige moralske kendsgerninger. Det der aflyses er jo “det onde”.

Det moralske skema de følger hører med til en bestemt klasse. Således kan konflikterne i kunstlivet læses som sammenstød mellem klasser. Arbejderklassens og “parallelsamfundet”s kunstnere er den tabende part i det spil.

Bogen kan bestilles her

Anmeldelse: Fire stjerner i Nordjyske

Nordjyske Stiftstidendes kunstkritiker, Troels Laursen, giver Læsø Kunsthals jubilæumsbog “At skabe virkelighed” fire stjerner og en hel side med ros.


Anmeldelse i Nordjyske Stiftstidende

Ny bog: Ti år med Læsø Kunsthal


Sommerens katalog er en bog på 128 sider, righoldigt illustreret med billeder fra kunsthallens spæde begyndelse. Bogen fortæller historien om, hvordan kunsthallen i sin tid opstod ud af en forladt skibssmedie, og om hvordan den udviklede sig til en aktør på kunstscenen. Hvert år er dækket med detaljerig information, ligesom bogen også fortæller historierne om de litteraturfestivaler kunsthallen har arrangeret i perioden. Kunstneren og forfatteren Erik Steffensen bidrager med et essay om kunsthallens historiske udstillinger. Alle kunstnere og forfattere der har bidraget i de enkelte sæsoner er med, ligesom bogen inddrager alle andre partnere og medhjælpere der har sat deres præg på et projekt. I sidste ende er der tale om et lille stykke Danmarkshistorie.

Bogen kan foreløbig bestilles fra Læsø Kunsthal og koster 199,- plus porto. Fra medio august kan den bestilles i alle boghandlere.


Kontakt: jel ( at ) laesoekunsthal . com

Telefon: 30 14 22 21


God fornøjelse!



Event om kunstnerisk frihed

Bannerbillede til eventen "Kunstens frihed" i Læsø Kunsthal

F.v. Jørn Mortensen, Tommy Johansson, Vebjørn Pedersen og Iris Andreasen


Lørdag 9. juli får Læsø Kunsthal  besøg af tidligere rektor ved Kunsthøjskolen i Oslo, Jørn Mortensen, og medlemmer af kunstprojektet “Not Today, Satan!”, også fra Oslo, til en talk om woke, “cancel culture” og andre stærke strømninger i kunstlivet.

Arrangementet starter kl. 12 og der sælges almindelige entrébilletter. Arrangementet er skabt i samarbejde med Læsø Gamle Skole Aps.



Christian Vind om sin kunst

Kunstneren Christian Vind besøgte udstillingen “At skabe virkelighed” og reflekterede over sin egen kunst. Det kom der tre små udsendelser af. Her er den første.

The artist Christian Vind came by our exhibition and gave an improvised talk about his art and works. We made three small movies out of that and this is the first.

Anbefaling af udstillingen “At skabe virkelighed”

Tidsskriftet kunsten.nu, som dækker den danske kunstscene med månedligt opdaterede guides online og på papir, anbefaler Læsø Kunsthals udstilling “At skabe virkelighed” som en udstilling man ikke må gå glip af.

The Danish art magazine kunsten.nu recommends our current exhibition, “To Create Reality”, in their current edition.