Kirsten Justesen was born in 1943. She currently lives and works in Copenhagen. She studied at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen 1975.
Her activities comprise a wide range of genres, from body art and performance art, to sculptures and installation. Justesen was part of the avant-garde scene of the 1960s, where she became a pioneering figure within the three-dimensional modes of art that incorporate the artist’s own body as artistic material. These experiments led her in the direction of the so-called feminist art which challenged traditional value systems during the 1970s. Her later works constitute broader investigations of relationships between body, space, and language.
Justesen has created a series of exhibitions, events, museum installations, performances, and mural work in Denmark and the rest of world since the mid-60s. And received number of awards including a life-long grant from The Danish Arts Foundation. Justesen has been a visiting professor and lecturer at art academies in Scandinavia, the U.S., and the Middle East.
The 1970s were especially dedicated to an investigation into the feminine gaze at a time where Justesen’s studio was located between the kitchen and the nursery. Justesen is continuously fighting for women artists’ rights and influence in the art world at many levels—from her work on various boards and positions in foundations, to co-organizing seminars concerning women artists’ positions in society. For more than 30 years ice has been pivotal to Kirsten Justesen’s art practice, making works that use and relate to this cold element in relationship to time, metamorphosis and the body.
Justesen always works with a heightened sense of materials and processes that testify to her starting point in the avant-garde of the 1960s. But her art has of course developed - from the women's political images of the 1970s to the nature and landscape visions of the 1980s to the interest in body, gender and identity that has been a focal point of her work since the 1990s.