Visual Arts

Standing Woman

Astrid Noack (1888-1954)
1937-1943 Se tidslinje
Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Göteborg, Sverige Se kort

By Trine Møller Madsen, art and culture writer, 2006

A naked woman 

She is straight and stands on strong legs. One leg placed in front of the other. She looks ahead. The hair is short. Standing Woman is a strong woman. She does not show herself off to the spec¬tator. It’s rather she who observes the world - with watchful eyes. It is obvious although we cannot see them. She has dignity and is in balance with herself. Her beauty comes from within. Is it surprising that Standing Woman is created by a female artist? 

Courage and strength 

Astrid Noack is unique in the Danish history of art. She was one of the first women to qualify as a sculptor in Denmark, and in the 1920s she left for Paris to gain further education and gather inspiration. Like her male colleagues. She was herself a “standing woman” who took issue with conventional gender roles. 

Without noise 

Noack created sculptures of people. Mostly women and children. Her figures do not tell stories. She is more preoccupied with the forms and lines of the sculpture and worked with very few instruments. In Standing Woman the only sign of movement is the foot position and the folded hands that are staggered from the axis of the body and therefore create a small twist of the upper body. Otherwise everything is calm. Even the surface of the body is in balance. No variations or nuances. Not even in the transition between skin and hair. 
Seen with modern eyes the sculpture appears completely immovable. Maybe even boring. We are used to flickering and high speed. But perhaps that is exactly the strength of the sculpture - its tranquillity and stability. Can you feel it? 

Astrid Noack: Standing woman, 1937-43. Teak. 147 cm. Photo: Hossein Sehatlou/ Göteborgs konstmuseum.
Astrid Noack in her studio in Rådmandsgade at Nørrebro. Photo: Skandinavisk Presse Foto. Det Kongelige Bibliotek.
Visual Arts

Did you know?

Kilde: Holstebro Kunstmuseum.

In her work with Standing Woman, Astrid Noack madea number of sketches of a young woman named Marianne Sørensen. Noack drew her several times and from different angles. Marianne Sørensen was employed in the canteen at a factory near Rådmandsgade, Nørrebro, where the artist had a studio.

The committee's justification

By the Committee for Visuel Art, 2006

The upright human.
The great civilisations, Egypt, early Greece and the Goths were fascinated by being upright, and they knew that the most upright column meant more life. It is often this way at the beginning of civilisations. Whereas Danish culture believes that greater movement and greater speed equals more life.

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