Thursday, May 23, 2013
From staff reports
BRUNSWICK — Bowdoin College Museum of Art will present the first American retrospective of one of Europe's most distinguished contemporary painters, Danish artist Per Kirkeby, March 26 through July 14 at the museum of art, 9400 College Station.
“Mordet I Finderup Lade (Regicide at Finderup Barn),” 1967, mixed media on Masonite, and, below, “Untitled (Horses),” 2009, tempera on canvas by Per Kirkeby.
Courtesy of Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Kirkeby is a painter, sculptor, geologist, filmmaker and writer whose career spans 40 years.
The major retrospective features 26 paintings and 11 bronze sculptures that represent all phases of Kirkeby's artistic development.
The exhibition highlights key moments of Kirkeby's career, including his idiosyncratic adaptation of a Fluxus and Pop aesthetic in the 1960s; his 1980s engagement with "heroic" painting; and his sculptural exploration of the human body. It features richly layered paintings and striking bronze models.
The museum of art describes Kirkeby's art as "not defined by a single style or movement -- he believes that art, like science, is constantly in flux. His work incorporates all aspects of natural history -- from the progression of humanity to the scientific evolution of the world.
"The viewer experiences Kirkeby's paintings as outbursts of exuberant color contained by richly layered textures of pigment," Joachim Homann, curator at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, said in a prepared statement.
"The painterly explorations are often based in the observation of the visible world and contain references to landscapes or recognizable shapes emblematic of biographical narratives and symbolic in nature," Homann said.
"Those references do not create a decipherable meaning, but inspire curiosity and generate associations in an open-ended, prolonged process of discovery and expression."