Ulla Diedrichsen is a Danish contemporary artist and part of the international conceptual art and the European movement, Spurensicherung movement. Her primary medium was painting, but early she became one of the pioneers within Danish photo art and contemporary mediums, which has been displayed in her many thematic exhibitions consisting of paintings, drawings, object art, film, and photography.
1950 She was born and grew up on the west coast of Jutland. Impressions from the bustling seaport and its surrounding nature formed the basis for her polarized mode of experience. Nature and the city. Both left traces in her world of motifs and the artistic themes she explored later in life.
1971 She begins her artistic education which includes two academic studies at the same time: art history, film and scientific theory at the University and painting at the Art Academy of Fine Arts. Already in the 1970s, Diedrichsen exhibited photographic installations and environments for which she has received multiple awards.
In the 1980s she was chosen by Polaroid to experiment with instant photography and became the first Danish artist to be accepted into The International Polaroid Collection, Boston, USA alongside artists like Helmut Newton, Ansel Adams, Chuck Close, and Andy Warhol. The latter with whom she was given the opportunity to develop the 50/60 format. The results hereof is part of the collection at smore European art museums including Kunstmuseum Brandts, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Known is also her series of Polaroids titled “Shootings from The Factory” which were taken in 1986 and 1987 at Andy Warhols Factory in New York City.
In the 1990s Diedrichsen became one of the first artists to integrate art and architecture, which resulted in a number of public buildings in Denmark. Her collaboration with esteemed architects led to a series of talk and further lectures qua her position as an external lecturer at the Art History Institute at Aarhus University from 1984-1998.
Diedrichsens work has always moved between polarities. Between urban and natural environments, between the sensuous and the intellectual and the visual and the verbal. This has resulted in several books and co-operation with authors. Parallel to her extensive exhibition work like being the first female Danish artist to have a solo, retrospective exhibition at ARoS Art Museum, Moment Movement Monument, in 2005, Ulla Diedrichsen has also collaborated with international writers including Dadaist Wiener lyrist, Friederike Mayröcker, American feminist icon Erica Jong and researcher of women’s studies, Karin Wieland, Berlin.
Existentialism and challenging established ideas of identity and behaviour is a recurring theme in Diedrichsen’s work. She is a voyeur who seeks to investigate why we act the way we do, which feature prominently in her photo series and texts like in the exhibitions and books BeautiFULL – My Combine Side at the Gender Museum Denmark (2013) and I-WAS HERE, Written Images at Ribe Art Museum (2022).
In addition to her artistic practice, Diedrichsen has also curated several exhibitions, one of those the very praised exhibition project in 1999 In the Beginning there was…text, picture, poetry, drama in space, with a number of the finest artists of Austria who worked with pictures and words. Among these authors and action artists were Ernst Jandl, Frederikke Mayröcker, Valie Export, Günter Brus, Arnulf Rainer and Hermann Nitsch. Her contact with international artists is documented and can be read in her auto- biography. Ulla Diedrichsen has participated in TV- and radio transmissions and created films. Diedrichsen works internationally and has been exhibited at and is represented in the collections of art museums both in and outside of Denmark. There exists several pubications on her work, and she has been accepted into the Literaturarchiv Salzburg and Institut für Moderne Kunst, Nürnberg. Ulla Diedrichsen is based in Denmark and Austria.