Phillips Collection presents Per Kirkeby. Paintings and Sculpture

Phillips Collection presents Per Kirkeby. Paintings and Sculpture, on view now through 6 January 2013.

Per Kirkeby, A Picture of Yucatan, 1972–73. Mixed media on Masonite, 48 x 48 inches. ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark

One of Europe’s most celebrated living artists, Per Kirkeby (Danish, b. 1938), is a painter, sculptor, geologist, filmmaker, writer, and poet. The most comprehensive display of his work in the U.S. to date, the exhibition features 26 richly layered paintings and 11 striking bronze sculptures. Kirkeby’s art does not fit into a single style or movement; he believes that art, like science, is constantly in flux. His works incorporate all aspects of natural history, from the progression of humanity to the scientific evolution of the world, reflecting the artist’s considerable curiosity about the infinite variety of life.

Kirkeby is equally trained in geology and art, studying arctic geology at the University of Copenhagen and making expeditions to Greenland and South America. In 1962 he enrolled in the newly created Experimental Art School in Copenhagen, which turned away from traditional artistic practice to focus on new genres including pop art, minimalism, and the radical anti-art fluxus movement, along with new materials such as film and performance.

Kirkeby has also made more than 20 short films and full-length features that address art and natural history and has published more than 70 books of poetry, essays, and novels. He lives and works in Copenhagen and Læsø, Denmark, and Arnasco, a small town near Genoa, Italy. Major retrospectives of his work were held at the Tate Modern, London (2009), and the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, Germany (2010). His work is in collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

The Phillips Collection
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