Hommage à Per Kirkeby
Galerie Forsblom Stockholm
November 15–January 12, 2020
Opening Thursday November 14, at 5–7pm
Galerie Forsblom in Stockholm is proud to present the retrospective exhibition Hommage à Per Kirkeby. Kirkeby was one of Scandinavia’s most well-know and internationally recognized and acclaimed artists. In the exhibition a range of artworks are shown; paintings, sculptures in bronze and brick, and works on paper, created during the years, 1977–2015. The exhibition shows the width of Kirkeby as an artist and his great aesthetic expression. Working interdisciplinary as an artist, writer, poet, filmmaker and educated geologist, his versatility is reflected in his artistic career.
Kirkeby’s expressive paintings are inspired by the magnificent colors of the nature, from grass green to subdued earthly hues. The structure of the works is an important part of Kirkeby’s technique and the layers of color resonant to archaeological stratas. His unique imagery with intense brush strokes, organic shapes, as well as the abstract segments, makes him one of the masters of neo-expressionism, but at the same time his works are undoubtedly contemporary.
There is a consistent playfulness in Kirkeby’s works that recur in his bronze sculptures from 1983–1992. The dark and crackled surface of the sculptures resemble rock boulders, sea cliffs molded by the nature, archaeological findings or perhaps a meteorite. Like steaming lava, the shapes come to life and flood from the inner core of the mass. Kirkeby’s architectural brickworks derive from Danish traditional building construction, but its repetitive pattern and shape also conveys a minimalist design. Kirkeby described his brick sculptures as buildings without a purpose – evidently, they do have a meaning, but not necessarily a function. Fundamental in form they create a space around the object, where the spectators become aware of their relation to the sculpture and their own physical presence.
Kirkeby has been active as an artist since the 1960’s and participated in numerous solo exhibitions around the world. He received international acknowledgment in 1976 when representing Denmark at the Venice Biennale, where he exhibited on several occasions. His large-scale works are permanently installed at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Wanås Art in Sweden and at Louisiana – Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark. Kirkeby is represented in prestigious collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA, Tate Modern, London, UK, and Centre Pompidou, Paris, France. In 1978–1988 he was appointed professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe and the Städelschulein Frankfurt during the years 1989–1999. Galerie Forsblom has previously exhibited Kirkeby in a solo exhibition in Helsinki, 2015. Per Kirkeby was born 1938 and died in Copenhagen 2018. This exhibition is organized in collaboration with Galerie Michael Werner, Märkisch Wilmersdor, New York and London. The brick sculpture is exhibited in collaboration with Galleri Susanne Ottesen on behalf of the Estate of Per Kirkeby.