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Reclining woman looking towards the light

Title and year
Reclining woman looking towards the light, 1955


Gottfred Eickhoff, 1902-1982

In front of the cultural venue Sønderjyllandshallen, Aabenraa


The title of this work and the inscription on its base – 4. maj (“the fourth of May”) – both refer to the sculpture’s origins: It was designed to commemorate Denmark’s liberation from German occupation during World War II. The reclining woman gazes serenely into the distance, as though envisioning better days to come, and in a conciliatory gesture she turns her face towards Germany. In all her monumentality she is, first and foremost, gracious and calm: Now it is time to look ahead.

Reclining woman looking towards the light eminently exemplifies Gottfred Eickhoff’s simple, unornamented, harmonious style. In an age when abstract art was all the rage, Eickhoff held on to figurative art, and his works typically represent natural, down-to-earth people. This work is one of several monumental sculptures Eickhoff made for memorials in Denmark.