Exhibitions

About Danish and International Art after 1900

From 30 March 2012. New display of the permanent collection

Modern art from the 20th century and the very latest contemporary art now fills the exhibition rooms of the Gallery’s white building, offering a wide-ranging display of the main movements within Danish art. The display includes rooms focusing on major individual figures, on collective movements, and on important works and trends from the international art scene of the period.

© Max Ernst, Two figures without sex, Chimeras, 1933

Modern art in the modern building
The new display of art after 1900 has moved modern and contemporary art to the newest part of the Gallery complex. The process also included a return to the original vision for the Gallery’s white wing: its layout now reinstates the architects’, C. F. Møller, concept of having a single, central corridor running through the length of the building.

Move through time – the long corridor is a timeline
The long walkway extending through the building acts like a kind of timeline. As you move through the large exhibition rooms facing the Østre Anlæg park you also move chronologically through a sequence of art from the early 20th century to the present day.

The large rooms provide an overview
The large exhibition rooms on one side of the walkway offers visitors the chance to orient themselves and get an overview of art from the early 20th century to the present day. Each room presents a specific period. 

Focusing on particular periods allows the special characteristics and modes of expression of the given era to emerge with greater clarity, and each individual work of art can be viewed and understood within the context in which it was originally made. At the same time the chronological sequence helps to foreground the variations, breaks, and shifts in focus that art undergoes. 

The small rooms focus on specific subjects
The smaller rooms on the other side of the corridor also follow the overall chronological order, but their focus is aimed elsewhere: they offer visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in parallel narratives. The rooms may focus on other tendencies or groupings developing concurrently with those shown in the large room; they may show international artists from the same period, or they may present monographic displays that focus entirely on a particular artist or take an in-depth look at a particular issue.

© Kirsten Justesen and Jytte Rex, Sleeping Beauty was a beautiful child, 1971

Clear chronology facilitates easy exploration
The clear chronological order creates new opportunities for actively exploring the collection: You can elect to trace a range of narratives about new departures and change from the days of early Modernism to the present day; you can draw parallels from pioneering figures within painting from Weie to Kirkeby, or you can discern the outline of a female avant-garde from Olivia Holm Møller to Ursula Reuter Christiansen. You can explore international beacons within French, German, and American art through artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Nolde, and Robert Smithson, or you can delve into the world of installation art.

Overlooked artists and alternative media brought into play
New nuances have been introduced to the classic narrative about Danish art by also featuring artists that have hitherto been overlooked – male and female alike.

Emphasis has also been placed on providing new perspectives on the classic media of painting and sculpture, and on focusing greater attention on the impact of new media during the period.

© Asger Jorn, Le soleil m’emmerde, 1961

New works in the collection
Many new acquisitions and long-time loans made in recent years will now be featured in the exhibition rooms; these include a large collection of important works by Asger Jorn.

A total of 500 out of the several thousand new works in the collection are on display at the moment. In the years to come a series of changing presentations in the smaller rooms will ensure that more artists and more movements are represented in the Gallery’s presentations.

SMK Photo

Borrow an iPad and immerse yourself in the collection
An iPad application provides access to a kind of curated archive. For selected works this application provides access to a wealth of materials – visual and written – that offers additional insight into the work, presents information about the artist, documents the period, and shows pictures from the period.

You can borrow an iPad from the ticket desk.

Experience 700 years of art in new presentations
Danish and International Art after 1900 constitutes the third and final stage of the comprehensive re-staging of the Gallery’s collections. In 2011 the Gallery opened the new presentations of Danish and Nordic Art 1750-1900, French Art 1900-30 and European Art 1300-1800. The Gallery can now invite visitors to experience the full spectrum of seven centuries of art.

The new presentation was curated by the curators Dorthe Aagesen, Birgitte Anderberg, and Marianne Torp, and head of education Berit Anne Larsen

Updated: 7.jul.2014
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