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Rita Kernn-Larsen

/Works and biography

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Self-Portrait (Know Thyself), 1937
Oil on canvas, 40 x 45 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice
Purchased with funds contributed by Penny Borda, Lewis and Laura Kruger, and the Guggenheim Circle, 2013
2013.41


Kernn-Larsen was a Danish Surrealist artist, to whom Peggy Guggenheim gave an exhibition at her Guggenheim Jeune gallery in London in 1938. This was Peggy’s first Surrealist show and this painting was included. This self-portrait, tellingly titled Know Thyself, develops its automatic line from the artist’s own features, and merges images arising from the unconscious, combining both memory and dream. It references the myth of the femme-arbre (woman-tree) by depicting metamorphic leaves of a tree branch transforming into female lips.

credits: Hangar Design Group