Panel from Rikke Villadsen’s Did Käthe Kollwitz Inhabit Me?, 2024. Courtesy the artist

“When I started to investigate the universe of Käthe Kollwitz,” says the Copenhagen-based author and artist Rikke Villadsen, “her self-portraits, and the number of them—more than 140—intrigued me. What did she see in her own face? What was her need for this self-interrogation?” These questions form the basis of Villadsen’s Drawn to MoMA story, created on the occasion of the Museum’s Kollwitz retrospective. Through a series of intimate drawings that recall the rawness of Kollwitz’s work, Villadsen’s alter-ego comes face-to-face with the artist—both figuratively and literally. “It’s a way of becoming something other than yourself, diving into…the lines and composition of another mind,” she explains. Though more than a century stands between Kollwitz and Villadsen, the conversation doesn’t end here: “I have become so fascinated by Kollwitz,” Villadsen says, “that I will expand the idea for this story into a fictionalized biography.”

Rikke Villadsen lives and works in Copenhagen. Her first graphic novel, The Sea, was published in 2011, followed by Cowboy (2020) and The Clitoris (2022). In 2015 she was the first cartoonist to receive the Danish Art Council Grant, an honor previously bestowed upon novelists and poets.

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