An oak can grow to be one thousand years old. A tree thus becomes a witness of time and evolutions: unfavourable weather, natural disasters, and human intervention make themselves part of it and alter its
aspect. With Timberline, Bente Skjøttgaard allows the millennial tree to speak: she imagined a fossilised, eternal, mysterious, and aethereal forest, where enormous trees materialise history — and stories. Her new sculptures, be they straight or curved, shoot up to the sky or run alongside the ground. They convey these quiet forces with great dynamism. Her surfaces, dense or openwork, evoke the thin structures of the microscopic fabric of a tree. Some of them, with their irregular mosaics, seem to outline the bark structure. Gradations of white prevail, in contrast with delicate shades of green, deep shades of blue, or even a delicious pink. A silvery sparkle is brought here and there by some knot, some appendix, some parasite growth in pewter casting. Timberline represents a border beyond which some forms of life cannot survive, thus extending a symbolic invitation to treasure life and value its importance. Here Bente Skjøttgaard pays tribute to trees, to their slow growth, to their resilient nature and their ability to absorb waste, to the precious shelter they become for many animals and tiny life forms. By naming her works Family Tree, she suggests a parallel with the human family, with its succession of generations and its young shoots growing both under the protection of the older trees and in their shadow.


Feeding the human imagination from times immemorial, trees and what they might be hiding inspired countless stories and tales. Similarly, the sculptures in Timberline tell tales of temporality, of resilience, of family, and of environmental issues. These works also tell us a story of inspiration between generations of artists and of the links between the French and Danish art avant-gardes of the late 19th century, which are once again renewed by the experiments and the embodied poetry so characteristic of Bente Skjøttgaard.

In pictures




Thursday, January 1st5pm > 8:30pm

Galerie Maria Lund, Paris


Back to basics - Ceramic Brussels

25. 01 > 28. 01. 2024

Tour&Taxis, Brussels


Sunday, March 3rd2pm > 6pm

Galerie Maria Lund, Paris


Bente Skjøttgaard is part of

Alkymistisk træf (Alchemic encounter)

> 05. 05. 2024

Vejen Kunstmuseum, Danemark


Publications and texts