Per Kirkeby (1938-), Playboy. Thule Air Base, 1965
Woman is the dominant motif in Per Kirkeby’s pop pictures from 1963-69. Playboy. Thule Air Base is from 1965 and belongs to a series of drawings referred to as the Thule series.
The drawings' motif
Kirkeby closes in on a pair of long, well-proportioned woman’s legs posing elegantly on the white paper. A dotted pattern of red and purple has been superimposed on top of the model, appearing like a pair of tights contrasting with the yellow poncho and the yellow sandals. The background is pure, unprocessed, focusing our attention on the model’s silhouette. The graphic qualities of the shapes are brought into focus.
The Ex School, pop art and popular culture
Within the Ex School, a circle that included Kirkeby, artists were aware of the potential offered by pop art. Popular culture was brought into play, offering a new range of motifs that helped push the boundaries of art imagery.
Kirkeby cut out more or less scantily clad female models from newspapers, fashion magazines, and pornographic magazines. The motifs were taken out of their original contexts and placed within new settings. They were used as templates for paper works, graphic works, and in paintings. This method provided Kirkeby with new artistic freedom, as the templates could be moved and reused from one picture to the next.