Poul Gernes (1925-96), Untitled, 1968-69
The 20 pictures in Poul Gernes’ large-scale series are pictures of dots. The dots vary in size and colour scheme against the silver base. No brushstrokes are visible, the metallic colour has an industrial feel, and the simple motif appears to have been executed mechanically, with the centre of each dot placed in exactly the same spot from one image to the next.
A new vein of painting
Gernes explored the potential offered by a new vein of painting in which the subject matter does not refer to grand narratives, e.g. the Bible or classical mythology, and where the actual execution of the painting seems to betray no trace of the artist’s temperament, unique sensibilities, or touch.
Making art accessible
By choosing the very simple circle motif and unpretentious, everyday materials such as alkyd paint and (unframed) plywood sheets he hoped to make art accessible, allowing audiences to appreciate it without needing any particular qualifications and as an integrated part of their everyday life.
The individual pictures are not autonomous pieces; they are part of a series that could in principle be continued in endless variations. Similarly, the pictures created within the series can be combined and displayed as one wishes. With this move, Gernes wished to create a flexible, monumental, and essentially democratic work that can be adjusted in accordance with the audience’s needs and the dimensions and functions of a given building.