Kirsten Ortwed was born in 1948 in Copenhagen and has since 1982 lived and worked in Cologne and Pietrasanta, close to the famous quarry of Carrara in Italy.
Her solo exhibitions include Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2008); Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg (2002); Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (1994); City Museums Heilbronn (1993); The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik (1992) and the joint exhibition with Lawrence Weiner and Barry Le Va in Malmö Konsthall (1999). In 1997 she was representing Denmark at the Venice Biennale.
Ortwed realised many sculptures for public spaces, her major commissions include Full Length, Copenhagen (2008); Monument to R.W., Stockholm (2001); Bering Iceland, Horsens (2002) and Platform for the state prison in Horsens (2006). A meteor-sculpture for the city of Moss was inaugurated in October 2016. She was honored in 2002 with the Thorvaldsen Medal of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.