Per Kikerby: Building and Painting

Per Kikerby: Building and Painting

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Architecture Meets Painting in the Oeuvre of Per Kirkeby. Per Kirkeby (b. Copenhagen, 1938; d. Copenhagen, 2018) was widely hailed as the leading Danish contemporary artist. A painter,sculptor, architect, and poet, he deftly interwove figurative andabstract art. In his works in large formats, luminous colors share thespace on rugged canvases with other materials. Nature was thefulcrum of his art, which is formidably sensual, but without lapsinginto romanticism. Exhibitions at the Tate Modern, the MoMA, and theCentre Pompidou and participations in documenta 7 and 11 and theVenice Biennale brought Kirkeby to the attention of wide internationalaudiences. For many years, Germany was the central scene of hiscreative endeavors―Kirkeby taught painting at the State Academy ofFine Arts Karlsruhe and later at the Städelschule in Frankfurt and wasclose friends with Joseph Beuys, Markus Lüpertz, and MartinKippenberger, and many others.Stiftung Insel Hombroich now mounts a focused retrospective of hisoeuvre: between 1997 and 2009, Kirkeby created six walk-inarchitectonic brick sculptures on the foundation's grounds. Theexhibition Per Kirkeby. Building and Painting complements theseworks with paintings, bronzes, and models spanning five decades.The interplay between the sets of works on view illuminates themultifaceted relations between architecture, sculpture, and painting;between space, light, and shadow. The catalogue accompanying theshow includes a survey of the architectural history of the foundation'scampus by Frank Boehm and Anna Czerlitzki; an essay by the arthistorian Denys Zacharopolous, a close associate of Kirkeby's; and aconversation between Niels Olsen, Fredi Fischli, and the architect Jande Vylder about this truly exceptional artist and the relations betweenarchitecture and visual art.