Monotypes and more
Opening: 2. November 2012: 6 to 9 pm
Exhibition: 3. November 2012 – 26. January 2013
The Galerie Niels Borch Jensen is proud to present its first solo-exhibition of works by renowned Danish artist Per Kirkeby.
Born in 1938, Per Kirkeby achieved a masters in Arctic Geology at the University of Copenhagen in 1964, at which time he had already joined Eksskolen, an important experimental art school. Working across painting, sculpture, printmaking, writing, poetry and filmmaking - and consistently addressing the relation of the natural world to art - Kirkeby was among the first to collaborate in our printshop, in 1979.
Kirkeby is by far one of the most beloved artists in Danish history - iconic even, with works included in every museum collection in the country. He is Scandinavia's most celebrated living artist, and a household name across Europe. With extensive exhibitions and retrospectives at institutions including the Tate in London, the Louisiana Museum in Denmark, the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, and Documenta VII, Kirkeby has also produced numerous major public and collaborative works; from a vast mural covering the ceiling of the Royal Danish Library, to set and costume design for productions at the New York City Ballet, to multiple collaborative films with filmmaker Lars von Trier. This year marks yet another first in Kirkeby's career: his first major exhibition in America, a comprehensive retrospective currently on view at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.
For this exhibition we present, alongside a selection of etchings from 2001, Kirkeby's most recent monotypes. In Kirkeby's own words: “monotypes are [just like masonites] also etchings. I paint and draw on a metal sheet. Covered by a sheet of paper I guide it through the press. Afterwards, nothing is left on the sheet, it has been rubbed out, erased. But there is an unreal imprint on the sheet of paper. (...) The original drawing is gone, now there is one – unique – reproduction. Indeed, it is strange and requires a high level of exertion in order to escape from death”.
Having begun working with monotypes in 1988, the medium has become a uniquely fitting one for Kirkeby's conceptual content: the layering of the paint, the ephemeral nature of painting on a surface to produce only one print, and the flattening effect that removes the superficial strokes of brush and hand, all result in a secondary, residual product that can be likened in many ways to cross-sections of rock layers. These monotypes embody the fundamental concepts that can be traced throughout Kirkeby's long career: the ideas - and the evidence - of change, extinction, ephemerality, and process.