Ragnhild Keyser was a Norwegian painter who was born in Oslo. She was a student of famous artists such as Harriet Backer and Pola Gauguin, and later she studied under André Lhote, Fernand Léger and Araujo in Paris, where she spent a lot of time. She also studied under Georg Jacobsen in Oslo.
The National Museum/National Gallery in Oslo owns two of her early cubist compositions. In the early 1920s, Keyser painted a series of compositions that transformed landscape, houses and trees into a fixed architectural whole in a semi-Cubist manner (Cahors 1922). Several of the works are beautiful, if somewhat hesitant, carried out in a restrained color scheme dominated by earthy brown, gray and olive green.
From 1922–23, some smaller figure compositions show the influence of the teacher André Lhote. From 1924 (or 1925), Keyser studied under Fernand Léger at the Académie Moderne, and her pictures from the next few years are executed in a strictly constructive style. The motif is often an arrangement of everyday objects, a chair, urn, stack of boxes, etc., sometimes also a human figure or torso, but the motif is subjected to a drastic process of abstraction and transformed into a concretist surface composition where only certain characterizing profiles suggest the starting point.
In the mid-20s, Keyser participated in several exhibitions in Paris, and three of her finest works (now in the Yale University Art Gallery) were purchased by the American art collector Katherine Dreier. She also participated in the exhibition "8 Scandinavian Cubists" at the Kunstnerforbundet in 1927, but after she settled in Norway, she abandoned this advanced painting and adapted to a more naturalistic form of expression.
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