Salvador Dalí and Wilhelm Freddie. Joan Míro and Ejler Bille. René Magritte and Richard Mortensen. TRIUMPH OF DESIRE spotlighted with more than 130 works Danish Surrealism and its association with international Surrealism in the 1930s.
Conceived in Paris in the 1920s, Surrealism soon spread across Europe with its wild ideas, sweeping Danish art too. The Danish Surrealists were inspired by the new international stars and create independent artistic expressions which lead to e.g. CoBrA art in the 1940s.
TRIUMPH OF DESIRE showed that to the Surrealists the world was a place where anything could be transformed into Surreal experiences and artworks. They were especially interested in the erotic currents they found in the subjects of nature and of the everyday. From grotesque, sexual scenarios to organic growths.
Throughout his long life the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) revelled in the use of all materials and techniques. With the exhibition PICASSO & WOMEN ARKEN focused on his pioneering work as a self-taught printmaker – and on what was indisputably his favourite subject: women.
In the 81 prints in the exhibition the audience recognized Picasso’s various lovers, wives, models and muses. It came very close to Picasso’s personal life, thoughts and artistic deliberations. In intimate formats he explored the relationship between man and woman or between artist and model. He returned repeatedly to the process of artistic creation and the role of the viewer as themes. In disguised self-portraits Picasso appeared as man, artist, minotaur or as his mentors from the history of art: Degas, Rembrandt and Velasquez.
Picasso’s women were given unruly, distorted forms or pure, classical lines. He was a master of all styles. Picasso experimented with most printing techniques: etching, drypoint, lithography, linocut, as well as aquatint and sugar lift aquatint.
The exhibition spanned most of Picasso’s life as an artist, with works from 1905 to 1970. The prints in PICASSO & WOMEN all belong to the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. They are very sensitive to light and are rarely exhibited.
The exhibition was organized by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem in collaboration with ARKEN Museum of Modern Art.
Spellbinding images of midnight sunlight, bleak scrap heaps in South Funen, staged stories of people and landscape – NORDIC MOODS embraced the many different modes of Nordic landscape photographers working today. These seventy-five works by 24 Nordic artists were about us and our relationship to nature, as well as to culture.
Landscape, as depicted by today’s Nordic photographers, is sensuous and evocative. The artists have an eye for beauty and romance, drama and staging. At the same time, they critically interrogate the traditional, romantic landscape, pointing out new directions for landscape in art.
The exhibited works showed a wide range of ways to portray and employ landscape. Some artists photographed landscape through a classic, romantic gaze. Moreover, confirming or reflecting on the notion of a special Nordic mood in the landscape, many of them pointed beyond a classic, romantic landscape representation.
The meeting of nature and culture was a point of focus for several of the artists. Others used landscape as a stage or a set for storytelling. There we find spectacular landscapes, along with uncanny scenarios and poetic tales of everyday life.
In their various ways, the works showed that the concept of a Nordic mood in a landscape photograph is linked to whoever is doing the seeing – and to where and when the seeing is done. The exhibition documented the multitude of ways that modern people relate to landscape: it is both out there somewhere and inside us.
The participating artistsDag Alveng (N 1953), Elina Brotherus (FIN 1972), Lotte Fløe Christensen (DK 1979), A K Dolven (N 1953), Olafur Eliasson (IS/DK 1967), Ilkka Halso (FIN 1965), Camilla Holmgren (DK 1972), Per Bak Jensen (DK 1949), Gerry Johansson (S 1945), Martti Jämsä (FIN 1959), Aino Kannisto (FIN 1973), María Kjartansdóttir (IS 1980), Kirsten Klein (DK 1945), Tove Kurtzweil (DK 1938), Finn Larsen (DK 1956), Susanna Majuri (FIN 1978), Annica Karlsson Rixon (S 1962), Torbjørn Rødland (N 1970), Jeanette Schou (DK 1958), Jari Silomäki (FIN 1975), Erik Steffensen (Dk 1961), Anna Strand (S 1979), Lars Tunbjörk (S 1956), Ebbe Stub Wittrup (DK 1973).
ARKEN spotlighted the contrast between the Skagen painters’ two subjects of choice: the artists and the stout fishermen.
The works of the Skagen painters are well-known and beloved national treasures, often regarded as testaments to a bygone era. But are they authentic eyewitness depictions or staged works of art? This is the question which the exhibition attempted to answer.
The artists wished to portray reality but at the same time they arranged their subjects and models in order to tell a story. Both intentionally and unintentionally their paintings were characterised by the age’s attitude to art, artists and other people.
P.S. Krøyer’s masterpiece Hip, Hip, Hurra! Artists’ Party was the chief work in the exhibition.
In addition the exhibition presents 96 works by the famous Skagen painters: P.S. Krøyer, Anna and Michael Ancher, Christian Krogh, Oscar Björck, Viggo Johansen, Laurits Tuxen and Carl Locher.
This spring we presented a solo show with the young Russo-German painter Andreas Golder (b. 1979).
In recent years Golder has become the object of attention with his personal painting which in a humorous and elegant fashion renews painting’s potential – conceptually as well as regarding form and content.
In Golder’s figurative paintings existential issues of identity and self-image are tangled up in absurd and comical narratives from everyday life. Anything from strong headwind to shopping sprees, catwalks and nose picking are valid subjects. The usually solitary figures race along, leaving deep tracks in the thick paint or are captured in serene moments of lonely wonder.
Golder’s paintings are twisted portraits and grotesque mirror images of the human condition and of the culture we have constructed around us. With great technical range he incorporates in his painting everything from photographic snapshots to writing and objects, nodding at heavyweight role models painters like Francis Bacon, Philip Guston and Per Kirkeby.
The exhibition was the first comprehensive presentation of Golder’s works in Denmark and included a number of brand new paintings created specially for ARKEN’s exhibition.