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Maria Foerlev

‘We have to listen to the next generation.’

The New York Times has called her one of ‘The Five Most Important New Dealers on the Forefront of Design.’ Maria Foerlev’s Copenhagen gallery, Etage Projects, showcases her remarkable ability to identify artists who have something to say to the future.

She was the first to show the colourful works of Soft Baroque in 2016 and the neon-and-resin lights of Sabine Marcelis. She was also an early partner for Thomas Poulsen a.k.a. FOS whose work went on to grace the interiors of Céline’s London and New York shops. 

Today, Foerlev works with artists who make functional pieces and designers who work conceptually. The work relies on engaging experience, with Foerlev’s interests centred on how aesthetics affects us and how ideas can translate into aesthetics. At Etage Projects, an object’s emotional resonance ascribes its value and ambiguity is assumed.

Over dinner in the leafy patio of restaurant Geist, Foerlev makes a declaration that may explain her outlook and uncanny ability to nurture emerging talent.

‘We have to listen to the next generation,’ she says.

Indeed, her instincts have been honed since childhood. She grew up in a house built for her grandfather by legendary Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen. And her great-grandfather’s home, outfitted by the most cutting-edge craftsmen of his day, is now part of the National Museum of Denmark.

‘’I feel like I’m channelling their desire to work with forward-thinkers,’ she says. This humility and deep connect to the past and future are central to Foerlev’s style and the success she has been able to build with artists like FOS and Karl Monies.

At home, Maria Foerlev lives with her daughter and son among works by artists’ she represents, but she also has a few pieces that reference the eras of her forefathers.

A PK54™ by Poul Kjærholm is a solid, simple centre in a dining space that pushes the boundaries of art and design.

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