National Gallery of Denmark opens Danish and International Art After 1900

The National Gallery of Denmark presents Danish and International Art After 1900, an exhibition on view from 30 march 2012.

(Left to right): (From left): Max Ernst,Two Sexless Figures. Chimerae, 1933. Poul Gernes, Untitled, 1968-69. Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Absolute Exotic, 2005.

Art from the 20th century and cutting-edge contemporary art are on the agenda when the National Gallery of Denmark officially presents the results of the third and final stage of its recent and comprehensive revitalisation of the Gallery’s collections of 700 years of art.

Order out of Chaos
Artistic gravitas and innovative modes of presentation are obvious objectives for the National Gallery of Denmark, but in addition to this the Gallery’s new displays of the permanent collections aim to establish a clear overview of the collection’s key areas. That particular challenge is especially demanding as regards art from the dawn of the 20th century onwards: During this time art explodes and scatters into a wealth of modes of expressions and media at dizzying speeds. “Danish and International Art after 1900” is a multi-faceted display of the main movements within Danish art. Arranged in an overall chronological order, the presentation also allows scope for special focus on major individuals and collective movements. With highlights such as the expressive paintings of Emil Nolde and Robert Smithson’s minimalist milestones the display also features major pieces from Modern and contemporary art.

Periods and focus areas
The overall focus on periods means that the era’s distinctive characteristics and modes of expression are clearly evident. Individual works can be viewed and understood within the context in which they were made, as can the various breaks and shifts that took place along the way. The displays also aim to offer additional detail and perspectives on many different aspects of art. Many of the smaller rooms are dedicated to parallel narratives that focus on alternative trends or groups, or which offer an in-depth, monographic look at a particular artist.

Highlights, female artists, and new acquisitions
Of course, the chronological display includes familiar highlights from the collections, ranging from works by Edvard Weie, Vilhelm Lundstrøm and Wilhelm Freddie to Per Kirkeby and Bjørn Nørgaard onwards to young artists such as Tal R and Elmgreen & Dragset. At the same time the presentation also endeavours to add new nuances to the familiar story of Danish art by pointing to artists and works that have hitherto remained obscured. For example, fresh attention is di-rected to female artists from the period: Astrid Holm, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Lene Adler Petersen, Kirsten Ortwed, Gitte Villesen, and Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen among many more – all of them artists who leave marked impressions on the hitherto decidedly masculine story of Danish art. Space has also been set aside to display a large number of new acquisitions and loans from private collectors; works that have never before been on display at the National Gallery of Denmark. The display does not believe itself to be conclusive. The Gallery has given it a format that allows for frequent substitutions of works in order to provide scope for the variety and dynamism that reflects the collection as such and its continued development.

New, original setting
Now, after having spent a number of years on display in the old original building, the modern and contemporary works once again find their home in the two floors of exhibition space provided in the white wing of the Gallery. The exhibition rooms have undergone extensive renovation to allow them to show the many works – more than 500 in all – to their best advantage. During the process the exhibition spaces have been returned to the original layout that the building’s Italian-Danish architect Anna Maria Indrio had in mind: a gallery arranged along a central walkway that extends through the full length of a floor in the long, narrow building. The axis acts as a kind of timeline that lets visitors set out on a tour through the realm of art from the early 20th century to the present day.
More about “Danish and International Art after 1900”.

Art presented on iPads – and in guides
The Gallery offers visitors the opportunity to borrow iPads equipped with curated archives that provide users with access to a wealth of materials. These specially selected texts, photographs, sketches, and film clips turn the iPads into mobile platforms for placing individual works, artists, or periods within a wider context.

The opening of “Danish and International Art after 1900” marks the completion of the reinvention of the permanent collections at the National Gallery of Art. To mark the occasion the Gallery publishes a series of guides entitled “11×11”; the guides lead visitors through the full range of the collections in accordance with specific themes that span the many periods of art history. If you are pressed for time you can consult the guide “66 minutes at SMK”, which homes in on a selection of the Gallery’s many highlights. The guides are available from the Gallery’s ticket desk.

The new presentations of the collections are supported byThe A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Foundation and the Obel Family Foundation.

National Gallery of Denmark
Statens Museum for Kunst
Sølvgade 48-50
DK-1307 København K
Phone +45 3374 8494
Fax +45 3374 8404
Email [email protected]

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