Curated by Gražina Subelytė

“The Surrealist period was splendid... it truly was the best time for me as an artist.”

- Rita Kernn-Larsen

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents the exhibition Rita Kernn-Larsen. Surrealist Paintings, curated by Gražina Subelytė, Curatorial Assistant of the Collection, inaugurating its “Project Rooms”: two new exhibition rooms at the museum dedicated to focused exhibitions.

Rita Kernn-Larsen (Hillerød, 1904–Copenhagen, 1998), a prominent Danish Surrealist artist, whom Peggy Guggenheim met in Paris in 1937, was invited by Peggy the following year to exhibit her paintings at Guggenheim Jeune, Peggy’s London gallery, a show which inaugurated Peggy’s career with Surrealist art. This new exhibition brings together exquisite Surrealist paintings by Kernn-Larsen, to this day too little known outside Denmark. This will be the first important presentation of Kernn-Larsen’s Surrealist period outside of her native Scandinavia since her one-woman exhibition at Guggenheim Jeune. More than half of the paintings selected for the show were also exhibited in Peggy’s 1938 exhibition.

The exhibition brings together Surrealist paintings by Kernn-Larsen from public and private collections in Denmark, including the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen, Kunstmuseet i Tønder, and the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg. Photographs and other ephemeral material related to Kernn-Larsen’s exhibition at the Guggenheim Jeune gallery will also be on display. Last but not least, a film-interview with Kernn-Larsen recorded on the occasion of her participation in the 1986 Venice Biennale will be on view in the museum’s veranda. Daily 3 p.m. free presentations of the exhibition.


Rita Kernn-Larsen. Surrealist Paintings will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, in English and Italian, with essays by Gražina Subelytė and the Danish art historian Johan Zimsen.



Rita Kernn-Larsen. Surrealist Paintings is supported by Guggenheim Intrapresae and by the museum’s Institutional Patrons, BSI, Lavazza, and the Regione del Veneto. With the support of Corriere della Sera, Hangar Design Group has coordinated the communications image. Education programs surrounding the exhibition are funded by the Fondazione Araldi Guinetti, Vaduz. The exhibition is under the auspices of the Embassy of Denmark to Italy. Funding for the exhibition was generously provided also by the following Danish foundations: Ny Carlsbergfondet, Konsul George Jorck og Hustru Emma Jorck’s Fond, Beckett Fonden and Drost Fonden.