Profile: Karl Hedeager Madsen

See Karl Hedeager Madsens artwork here

Born in 1950, trained carpenter, building technician and academic architect.

I have always drawn and illustrated in my professional work as an architect.

Since my study time at the Aarhus School of Architecture, where I received  teaching by, among others, the artist Valdemar Foersom Hegndal at the department of Visual Communication, I have wanted to paint.

Only when I went to retirement, I've painted seriously.

I paint with great pleasure and enthusiasm, primarily abstract with acrylic paints in many layers, on big canvases in my small studio, in my residence in Risskov.

My pictures probably reflect my architectural background, where the decorative is highly prioritized.


Art reviewer at Jyllands Posten, editor of Kunstavisen, proprietor of Eikon Art Communication Tom Jørgensen writes about Karl Hedeager Madsen:

There is something fundamentally attractive about Karl Hedeager Madsen's paintings.

Abstract as they are, they do not refer to anything special, but nonetheless arouse some strong emotions.

The structure of the images is bone-solid but is made alive by a myriad of dynamic twists across the canvas. It is as if the composition in each picture is tinged with excitement with sudden flashes of lightning force.

And then there is the color. Karl Hedeager Madsen does not revel in pleasant and happy colors, but often lets cold tones or earth colors dominate the image surface. Brown and black-blue hues make you think of Arctic winter nights with icy cold, glaciers and deep gullies. Purple and dark red colors mimic blazing Nordic sunsets, while coin-green and turquoise tones bring back memories of explosively flowing streams as spring's spring storm sets in. It is not the quiet and lyrical summer day that has Karl Hedeager Madsen's interest. It is the noise and the noise, the geological and meteorological drama that fascinates him.

If you look more closely, you will find that the paintings are based on fixed principles, which in turn are infinitely varied. One, two or sometimes more vertical or slightly sloping structures are surrounded by fields in a strong elliptical orbit like a whirlwind. Into these, diagonal wedge forms shoot like lightning that sweeps the sky or like spring floods flooding the landscape. Karl Hedeager Madsen makes sure that the composition as such is kept in balance, but it is a balance that is charged with energy like a tense spring. A concentrated and vibrating balance with built-in latent drama.

Artists are different, as is taste and pleasure. However, I do not think I exaggerate when I say that in Denmark there is an overweight of neat and beautiful abstract paintings in complete calm and balance. Paintings that are so harmonious and conflict-free that you sometimes think it can get too Disney-like, too holistic and too sweet. Good art must contain elements of resistance and excitement so as not to become tame and thus unloved.

Karl Hedeager Madsen, on the other hand, shows us explosively charged compositions and color combinations that really should not be possible. In short: he shows us the immense forces, inherent conflicts and dramas that exist in nature as well as in the human soul. It adds that extra dimension that not only makes his paintings interesting to look at. It hits something inside of us that is bigger than ourselves and that we cannot always control.

Tom Jørgensen

Karl Hedeager Madsen is represented in the book "101 ARTISTS 2020/21"



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