Exhibition | Press meetings | 26.apr.2010
NEW EXHIBITION. Bjørn Nørgaard from A to Z
With 115 works, the exhibition provides the first concise yet panoramic overview of Bjørn Nørgaard’s multifaceted works from the 1960s through to today. At the same time it traces a common denominator through the sculptor’s initially seem-ingly contradictory oeuvre – from the infamous Horse Slaughter in his early years through to Nørgaard’s widely diverse reconnaissance missions through the syn-tax of sculpture and his ongoing dialogue with tradition and global culture. From A-Z the exhibition paints a picture of an uncompromising artist who constantly challenges common conceptions of art and insists upon its relevance in contem-porary society.
Re-modelling the World
National Gallery of Denmark
16. April – 24. Ocober 2010
Press conference: 13 April at 11 a.m.
Down from the pedestal
Bjørn Nørgaard (born 1947) has been one of the most prominent figures in Danish art since his public debut in 1965. Part of the experimental art scene, he took a radical, provocative and utterly self-assured approach in reformulating art and its relationship to institutions and reality in particular. Yet his experimentation and provocation have never been aims in their own right, just as art was, in his view, never meant to be a purely internal affair. Instead, art was to be taken down from the pedestal and out of its isolation. Ever since, Nørgaard’s works have demon-strated timeless engagement with the rapport between art and the world around it, not least in the form of numerous works that challenge and reshape public space.
Diversity and involvement
Bjørn Nørgaard’s artistic metier is colossal in scope and radiates in many direc-tions, not only in terms of working methods and use of materials, but also in terms of the topics he voices and embodies in his works. As an artist of – and in – his time, Nørgaard navigates both high and low through the waxing stream of information in our globalised world, in such a way that his oeuvre, virtually ency-clopaedic in compass, applies to both mundane daily life and the eternal themes of history, religion, mythology and art history alike. The ethical and political are firmly grounded in Nørgaard’s humanistic stance; yet instead of drawing conclu-sions and staking claims in his art, he invites the viewer to activate her/his own knowledge and point of view.
Re-modelling the World
A common point of departure throughout Bjørn Nørgaard’s oeuvre is human-kind’s fundamental tendency to conceive of the world through structures: whether this be visual and mathematical systems or cultural signs and codes, which
Nørgaard reveals and tests out so as to ultimately recombine fragments of them in new ways. In doing so, he picks the world apart at the seams and reshapes it anew. His art removes us from the normal day-to-day world and our customary ways of viewing. We recognise what we see, and then again we do not; instead, the work becomes an opening for new forms and meanings, and thus a set of new viewpoints and discussions.
The exhibition at the National Gallery of Denmark is the first major retrospective presentation of Bjørn Nørgaard’s oeuvre in 25 years and is naturally the first to incorporate works from his early years through to his most recent production. With 115 works of sculpture, installation pieces, action art, film and graphic art, the exhibition presents all the facets of Nørgaard’s production as an artist, and features absolutely pivotal works alongside rarely seen works from private collec-tions. The chronology and scenography of the exhibition are both inspired by Nørgaard’s own methods and groups of motifs. The consistent chronological presentation form is in its scenography underpinned by five leitmotifs, which refer to symbols or symbolic acts that are more or less consistent throughout Nør-gaard’s art.
To coincide with the exhibition, the National Gallery of Denmark is publishing a sizeable book giving an overview of and insights into Bjørn Nørgaard’s artistic production.
Bjørn Nørgaard. Re-modelling the World.
193 pages, richly illustrated
Foreword by Karsten Ohrt. Main article and image selection by Birgitte Ander-berg. Also includes special articles by Lise Skytte Jakobsen, Lars Bang Larsen, Peter van der Meijden, Birgitte Thorsen Vilslev and Tania Ørum.
In addition the book features a comprehensive illustrated biography and a bibliography.
Price: 198 DKK
This exhibition is supported by
Queen Margrethe's and Prince Henrik's Foundation, King Frederik and Queen Ingrid’s Foundation, The Augustinus Foundation, Montana, The New Carlsberg Foundation, Nørgaard på Strøget, Fehrs Foundation, Odense, The George and Emma Jorck Foundation, Toyota Foundation
Krista and Viggo Petersen Foundation.
Press photos are available for download from www.smk.dk/presse.
Jakob Fibiger Andreasen
Head of Press
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