Eva Helene Pade’s work explores the emotions and intensity of human relationships. Working primarily within the medium of painting, people mingle from canvas to canvas. Absorbed in conversation, dancing, exchanging, being intimate—relationships unfold and deepen in timeless environments that could equally be nightclubs, bedrooms, romantic gardens or bustling crowds whose intentions remain ambiguous.

Depicted almost between feelings, crowd screams in fear and moans in lust, groans in pain, dances, stares in stunned silence, and flees in panic, unbound by societal restraint. Pade’s focus on the complexity of interrelationships finds its roots in a tradition of painting that includes expressionist masters such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Francisco Goya, Edward Munch, James Ensor, and Otto Dix. This also extends to our own position as viewer, which shifts and is used in different ways within the work.

In some paintings, it’s as if we are invited to join in, encouraged to become part of a narrative that started before our arrival and will continue on once we leave.In other works, it feels as if we are strictly made to be an observer or voyeur allowed to look in from the outside or as if you were never intended to see it at all—as if you opened a door at a party and accidentally walked in on something private. Inversely, some works feel as if these roles are swapped and that it is the people in the paintings who are in fact observing us, peering directly into our own lives. Both fervent and blasé, Eva Helene Pade’s works echo our own mix of diverse feelings, love, melancholy, joy and jealousy, and all other emotions that constitute us at human.

Eva Helene Pade (b. 1997, Denmark) lives and works in Paris, France. Pade graduated with an MFA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2022.

carrie emberlyn