Galleri Brandstrup is honoured to present our first exhibition with Danish master Per Kirkeby (1 September 1938 – 9 May 2018). The exhibition will consist of prints, monotypes and bronze sculpture as well as three of the artists celebrated brick sculptures.
Kirkeby studied geology at University of Copenhagen, of which he gained a Masters degree in 1964, by this time he was already a member of the Experimental School (of Arts), compromised of committed avant-gardists grouped around the artist Poul Gernes. During his many early field trips within geology, Per Kirkeby experimented with watercolors and drawings, an attest to his interest in visualizing nature partly through a geological lens that continued throughout his career, evident in the works showed in this exhibition. His works varied between abstraction and landscape, often within the same canvas, though retaining an organic palette throughout. Comparably, his bronze sculptures, which he started making in the early 80s, are both abstract lumps and depictions of rocks he studied on the geology field trips he made throughout his life.
After years of focusing on painting as a media, exploring its history, and developing his distinct style of Neo-expressionism, Kirkeby moved towards working with a wide range of media in the 1970s, which led to his first large-scale brick sculpture exhibition, in Ikast, Jutland. The work that combined Danish red brick with Mayan architectural design, inspired by a trip to Central America two years earlier. Most of his brick works are referred to as “buildings without purpose”, and are located throughout Europe; outside the German National Library, in Frankfurt, the DR Byen station in Copenhagen, and as a series of five interconnecting arches and windows built on a grassy slope overlooking a fjord in the Nordland, Norway, amongst others. Although commonly viewed as a minimalist counterpoint to the artist’s neo-expressionist paintings, Kirkeby´s acclaimed brick sculptures are not minimalism. They relate to the specific history within Danish architecture tradition, and are places in public space, places of contemplation where changing and light and darkness may arrive. As most of his works, they are inspired from his studies of geology, the sculptures are regarded as outdoor sculptures, a celebration of nature and weather.
The great variety of media and approaches of which he worked with, reflects Kirkeby´s unlimited exploration of visual art forms, as well as the energy he put into his work. He always searched for new possibilities while experimenting with different media, and was open to work with every visual media accessible: painting, sculpture, printmaking, film, set design and monumental public-art commissions.
Kirkeby´s works are held in collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, amongst many others.
The exhibition is held in collaboration with Gallery Bo Bjergaard and Galleri Susanne Ottesen.