a different form of egg

 

Solar Egg by Bigert & Bergström is not just an amazing sculpture but is also a sauna and it has been set up in the courtyard of Kunsthal Charlottenborg … the Royal Academy of Fine Art in the centre of Copenhagen.

You can book the sauna on Wednesdays, when it is free, or on Saturdays and Sundays and you can rent a towel, slippers and a kimono though you have to bring your own huzzpah … this is a large and popular public square. 

the Solar Egg is at Kunsthal Charlottenborg through until 13 January 2019

OUT at Statens Museum for Kunst

 

An exhibition of work by the German artist Judith Hopf who is based in Berlin.

In part this work is about how we perceive space - how an artist can organise and manipulate space - and how we respond to space.

And it is also about materials and scale.

The main work, that you see as you enter the gallery, is a diagonal line of three Pears in brick and on a monumental scale - the largest is just under a metre high. That line is reinforced by a low brick wall cutting across the gallery at an angle. 

Untitled (Laptop Men) in polished sheet metal are identifiable as figures holding a laptop and leaning back against the gallery wall but are also like a pictogram but on a life-sized scale.

Suspended around a large video display are curtains hung from the ceiling but stopping short of the floor so you have to duck under the curtain to enter the space to see the video but your legs, from the knee down, seem to become part of the work.

OUT - the video that gives the exhibition its name - shows a high narrow block in front of the open courtyard of an apartment building with distinct features including sun shades over the balconies but, as you watch, the tall block is raised up revealing legs, again from the knees down, showing it is in fact a costume worn by a person and it is our preconceptions and clever perspective and manipulation of perspective that deceives us into seeing it as a building.

As the scene develops there is a short length of hedge on wheels and a young boy playing a full set of drums in what looks like the courtyard of an apartment building.

 

 

the exhibition continues until 30 December 2018
in X-rummet / the X room at Statens Museum for Kunst

Oak Tree - an exhibition of work by Tina Astrup

 

 Tina Astrup graduated as a textile designer from the Danish Design School but also completed a post-graduate degree in furniture and spatial design.

Inspired by the timber and the colours seen in a local saw mill, where oak was stacked and seasoned, the work shown here is a project that has evolved over four years. She takes large disks of timber - sections of tree trunk - or substantial wedges of oak and baulks of wood and enhances both the pattern of the natural grain that mark the growth of the tree but her process seems also to echo mechanical cuts and saw marks that show how a tree is felled and the trunk cut into planks.

She uses vinegar poured over the timber that has been wound tightly with wire … a process that brings out tannins in the timber and creates slashes of dark colour in a way that echoes the effect when textiles are tie dyed.

 
 
 

This changes the character of the oak to make it darker both in terms of colour and in the sense of being much more dramatic.

We tend to see oak now only after it has been worked - so finely cut and planed and smoothed and pale - and see oak as the ideal wood for wide, hard-wearing floor boards or for strong finely-made furniture.

Along with beech and ash, pale or almost white oak is still a hall-mark if not the hall-mark wood for the modern Scandinavian interior. Through the classic period of modern furniture design, the English even talked about ‘light oak furniture’ to distinguish the look they wanted from the ‘dark’ oak of 19th-century and earlier furniture that was regarded as old fashioned or unfashionable.

But oak trees, in the wood or the forest, can be twisted and gnarled - powerful and impressive - and even disturbing.

The cuts and marks on these pieces by Tina Astrup reconnects us with what is, after all, the force - the almost aggressive force - of chopping down a large tree and cutting it into planks and should take us a step back from the product to the natural material and to the way we work with timber to see new possibilities in how designers could work with and use oak in very different ways.

 

Kunsthåndværkere & Designere
Tina Astrup

the exhibition continues until 28 October 2018
at Officinet - the gallery of Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere - Bredgade 66, Copenhagen

 

BIG Art at Kunsthal Charlottenborg

 

An impressive and entertaining exhibition at Kunsthal Charlottenborg with large-scale works created by artists working with the architectural studio of BIG and primarily for major new buildings or for public spaces.

Each work has a video presentation by Bjarke Ingels and this confirms that he is one of the most articulate proponents of modern architecture and planning.

the exhibition continues until 13 January 2019

Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Out of Ousia - Alicja Kwade

 

Through six large gallery spaces at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, this is the first solo exhibition in Denmark to show the work of Alicja Kwade. ‘Ousia’ is Greek and means being or essence.

One large-scale work in the first gallery, DrehMoment, with large stone spheres balanced on a frame was created in 2018 specifically for Charlottenborg.

the exhibition continues until 17 February 2019

Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Alicja Kwade at Louisiana

 

Louisiana has a new work in the Sculpture Park - pars pro toto by the Polish / German artist Alicja Kwade with eight spheres carved in rock from different parts of the world.

There is an interview with the artist on Louisiana Channel

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art at 60

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

The entrance to the museum is through a 19th-century house - a private villa built in 1855 for Alexander Brun (1814-1893) that was set back on the east side of the coast road from Copenhagen to Helsingør - just north of Humlebæk - with extensive gardens looking out over the sound. 

It is said that the new museum was called Louisiana - because all three of the wives of Alexander Brun were named Louise - and the name was kept when the villa was purchased in 1955 by Knud W Jensen - a businessman, writer and patron of the arts who founded the new museum.

New buildings were designed by Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo with covered and glazed corridors that link three large, well-lit gallery spaces to the house and together form an arc around the north side of the main lawn.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opened in 1958.

the original house from the gardens (top)

plan of the house with the villa cross hatched and showing the low ranges of service buildings forming a forecourt
the first new buildings were a series of corridors stepping down gradually to follow a ridge between a lake or inlet to the west and the beach and sea to the east and retaining both the large lawn and mature trees

Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo photographed in 1958 standing in front of a brick wall that formed the side of what was initially the library - this is the side of the building that faces away from the sea and is now an area of terrace alongside the museum restaurant

the view out over the sound from the terrace of the museum restaurant (below) shows how important the landscape and the garden setting are for the museum

 

farve form stof / colour form texture

detail of 1025 Farben by Gerhard Richter 1974
Parrhesia, sculpture in papier mâché by Franz West 2012
and, in the background Para 1 by Morris Louis 1959

 

Works in this exhibition are drawn from the collection and they mark major themes in art since the Second World War looking at the use of vibrant colour that has an immediate impact and at the exploration of texture and of forms for sculpture that step well beyond realism or, rather, look beyond the realistic depiction of colours and shapes and forms from the natural world.

The exhibition in the lower galleries looks at two other major themes from art from the middle of the 20th century onwards … men and masculinity and war and conflict.


the exhibition farve form stof continues until 21 October 2018
at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Gammel Strandvej 13, 3050 Humlebæk

 

Take My Breath Away - an exhibition by Danh Vo

LOG DOG, 2013

 

Generally, art and sculpture are not reviewed here - on a site that focuses on architecture and design - but this extensive exhibition, showing work by the artist Danh Vo from the last fifteen years, includes pieces that he has chosen from the collection of the gallery and these are presented in a way that challenges our perceptions and preconceptions and uses the architectural space extending across the lobby and the Sculpture Street of the gallery as well as the two main exhibition spaces.

Works include sculpture, furniture, Chinese pavilions in timber and artefacts including letters and photographs. It is the juxtaposition of these elements - so a television and refrigerator and a crucifix together - that tests the boundaries we impose between art works, found objects, discarded or broken art and more mundane household objects that never-the-less have strong and important personal associations.

Danh Vo was born in Vietnam in 1975 and came to Denmark with his family when he was four years old. His work explores themes of migration, colonialism and religion. In the exhibition is a chandelier that hung above the table in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the treaty ending the Vietnam War was signed. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. 

the exhibition continues at Statens Museum for Kunst until 2 December 2018

 
 

Chinese pavilions - the pavilion in the middle lobby area with the bronze sculpture It’s Just Not a Waiting Room by Danh Vo from 2013 and the pavilion in the north exhibition hall with commercial shelving used to display some of the works

 
 
 

Sculpture Street with statues from the Royal Cast Collection shown in groups and set on wooden pallets

 
 

GUSTAV’S WING, 2013
Bronze from Pinault Collection

MA TI LONG, 2016
Bamboo bird cage on Roman Corinthian column

UNTITLED, 2018
Roman torso of Venus in marble

 

03.01.1752, 2015
German porcelain recovered from the wreck of the trading ship Geldermalsen that sunk in the South China Sea
Set on a sandstone eagle

08.03, 28.05, 2009
Chandelier from the Hotel Majestic in Paris from above a table where the Paris Peace Accord was signed

 

ORBIT at Design Werck in Copenhagen

 

 

 

 

 

 

On show at Design Werck in Copenhagen is a major work from the cabinetmakers Mette Bentzen and Lasse Kristensen of Egeværk.

It is hanging sculpture - a globe with a diameter of 1.8 metres - that is deceptively simple but with 14 perfectly cut, curved and finished ribs in walnut that are slotted together at the top and bottom where they are held with a key piece in maple.

Suspended from the ceiling but with the axis set at an angle of 23.5 degrees, ORBIT twists slowly to throw shadows across itself and across the floor.

This is an amazing combination of imagination and consummate skill for a simple geometric form but with a complex and precise construction making maximum use of the grain, colour and character of the wood.

Design Werck

Egeværk

 

Fælledparken - the entrance from Trianglen

Entrance Faelled Park.jpeg
 

 

At the corner of Blegdamsvej and Øster Allé is a large area of gravel that is triangular in shape — the site of a major new metro station - and set back, beyond the triangle, is the entrance to Fælledparken.

Established in 1908, the main feature here, on the central axis of the entrance, is a memorial … a large figure group in bronze raised on a high stone base that was installed in 1930 to commemorate the return to Denmark, in an international settlements following the First World War, of land in South Jutland that had been lost to Germany in a war of 1864.

Lettering on the stone base reads:

TIL MINDE OM SONDERJYLLANDS GENFORENING MED MODERLANDET 1920

In memory of South Jutand's reunification with mother country 1920

 

The main figure is a woman who is looking down at an adolescent girl who holds or, rather, she clings to her side, looking up but not at the woman so up and away into the distance at the sky or to the heavens. It is a powerful depiction of a mother embracing or drawing in a child for their protection.

The woman is wearing a loose, finely-pleated costume, that is clearly classical in style, with an outer garment or stola that she is lifting to cover the girl who is naked … nakedness, at least here, implying both innocence and vulnerability.

The sculptor was Axel Poulsen who nearly twenty years later repeated the image of mother and child - a woman holding a dead youth slumped across her lap - for the incredibly powerful stone sculpture for the Mindelund Park in Copenhagen that is a memorial garden for the dead of the Second World War.

read more

Sansehaven - garden of the senses

As you enter Fælled park from Trianglen, just beyond the monument, there is an area of woodland on the right but as you are drawn forward - towards the light and open space of the park ahead - it would be easy to miss the Sensory Garden in the trees.

In dappled light, in glades among beautiful mature trees, the garden was designed by the landscape architect Helle Nebelong and was created in 1996 when Copenhagen was City of Culture.

With wide, gently-curving, gravel paths and low but distinct boundaries it is laid out to be an easy and a safe place for children to explore even if they have sight impairments or have mobility problems or use a wheelchair. 

Plants are chosen for their distinct shapes and there are herbs for their smell or even their taste but the dense but low planting also shields the garden from the more noisy and boisterous park beyond to make the space feel somehow calm and protective. 

The main features are a gravel-filled canal that runs through the centre of the garden with low bridges over it or stepping stones along it, and gives a distinct Japanese look, and there is a large maze with low walls of wooden posts - some with numbers or letters set near the top so you trace 1 to 9 and then track the alphabet as you follow the posts of the undulating palisade.

In the line of the planting around these features there are small, semi-enclosed spaces where children can discover a giant nose carved in smooth marble or a wooden sculpture like a giant chess piece but with a carved fish and lemons on the top or there are wind chimes or a seat under an arch and several larger features including a hexagonal temple with ornate carved posts supporting a tiled roof. 

It's all very beautiful and the garden is a credit to a park and to a city when they can design and maintain a place that is so magical.

Helle Nebelong

 
 

translation of the park sign:

SANSEHAVEN

Sansehaven is a small garden for children and their adults - a corner of Fælledparken with space for exploring surroundings, feeling nature and discovering all the senses.

1 Hearing
2 Seeing

3 Taste
4 Smells

5 Feel
6 Sixth Sense

A sense garden can be a substitute for nature when the real thing is far away or difficult to get to. Sansehaven was originally made for multi-handicapped children and young people who can enjoy small gardens with many impressions and experiences.

For the sake of children who are visually impaired or use a wheelchair, Sansehaven is therefore arranged with wide paths and clear edges of, among other things, cobblestone, which makes it easy to get around.

Sansehaven in Fælledparken is shaped like a maze with winding paths, and if you are curious, you will discover a garden full of surprises.

Enjoy.

Fælledparken

the hoardings are coming down

 

Work is moving forward to complete the new City Ring of the metro in Copenhagen. One of the main new interchanges with the existing metro lines will be at Kongens Nytorv and there, after six years of being fenced off, the high green hoardings that have kept traffic and people to the fringes of the square are coming down. For now there are wire fences around the works but already the square seems larger and more open.

The next stage at ground level will be replanting all the trees and the reinstatement of the stone paving.

The equestrian statue of Christian V has been at the centre of the square since 1688 and remained there through all the works.

Vindspejlet - Windmirror

 

A large sculpture or mobile has been installed at the far end of Kvæsthusmolen - the long open space at the north side of the National Theatre in Copenhagen … more popularly known as Ofelia Plads.

The installation - by the composer and sound artist Ragnhild May and Ea Borre who makes machines and kinetic sculptures - is a giant weather vane that is five metres high with four long arms that are supported on a grey metal pyramid-shaped base that looks rather like a harbour buoy. The upper part spins as the wind catches large curved metal plates on each arm that are painted yellow or red so that they look like maritime or harbour pendants. Two cone-shaped speakers relay and amplify the sound of the wind as the arms spins around.

 

Installed at the end of September, Vindspejlet will be at the north end of the mole through until 30th November 2017.