Ejler Bille (1910-2004), Lurking Bird, 1933
Ejler Bille himself states that he modelled Lurking Bird in the course of a single night. But what a night! The movement between the concave and the convex activates the space around the sculpture in dynamic curves. The core of the sculpture’s mass is exploded, and a buoyant, freely articulated figure emerges. The bird arches its back, creating a tension between its tail and head. It is expectant, observant, yet ready to take off at any minute, its wings lifted and its tail pressed to the ground.
Inspired by the French Surrealism
The duality in this sculpture can be seen as an expression of Bille’s inspiration from French Surrealism. Surrealism, with its interest in the intuitive creative process, had a great impact on Ejler Bille and Richard Mortensen. The unconscious was to be given voice through free association, resulting in what Bille termed "a living being."
A pioneer of Danish abstract Surrealism
In 1933 Ejler Bille was one of the co-founders of the artists’ group and journal linien, making him one of the pioneers of Danish abstract Surrealism. Lurking Bird is a key work from this period where Bille clearly positioned himself as a groundbreaking sculptor who rebelled against the prevalent naturalism and tendency towards frontality within Danish sculpture.