Exhibitions

Works, breaking out of the frame

See more frames and works in the collection

20TH AND 21ST CENTURIES

The following works in the Museum’s collection are examples of how artists in the 20th and 21st centuries allow their works to break out of the frame. It disappears as a physical element, but at the same time it increasingly becomes part of the work’s content instead.

Richard Mortensen, The Green Quadrangle, 1933.

Richard Mortensen, The Green Quadrangle, 1933.

Part of the composition
The frame is present although it has almost disappeared in Richard Mortensen’s painting. Painted the same colour as the work itself, the cheap wooden mouldings form part of the composition of the picture. Wooden surrounds hammered directly onto the stretcher with large nails can be seen on many of the paintings in this room.

The elevated atmosphere which a gilded frame can create is gone.

Vilhelm Lundstrøm, The Second Commandment, 1918.

Vilhelm Lundstrøm, The Second Commandment, 1918.

A double frame
Lundstrøm was one of the most radical artists at the beginning of the 20th century, and his work The Second Commandment caused a great scandal. The materials were no longer oil on canvas but old wooden boxes. In this way the painting was no longer a window onto reality, but part of it itself - just like the collages of Picasso and Braque at the same period.

When the work was exhibited in 1918, it had a classical gold frame, but if one looks more closely at the work, there is already an oval frame painted around the central motif as if it were a portrait. With this double frame, the work insistently queries art’s framing of reality.

Room 207: Albert Mertz: Untitled, 1979-84.

Room 207: Albert Mertz: Untitled, 1979-84.

Dependent on the space
Mertz’ work is not demarcated by a frame. It can be divided up, put on a ceiling, wall or floor according to taste. Mertz’ blue and red composition, however, is always dependent on the space it is placed in, and its extent can be variable. In this way, the artist is no longer master of the ultimate appearance of the work.

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Absolute Exotic, 2005.

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Absolute Exotic, 2005.

Outside the frame
The monitor or TV screen becomes a frame in itself, and we position ourselves in front of the work as if it hung on the wall in a gold frame. We do not only know live pictures from art, but also from our televisions, which bring both reality and fiction into our rooms.

In Cuenca Rasmussen’s works, sound is vital, and moves out into the room to us. It can either make us dance or relate to a discussion on ethnicity. The work uses humour to open up for interaction, taking a stance and activity. Thus whatever goes on outside the frame of the monitor cannot be separated from the work inside the frame.

Ingar Dragset og Michael Elmgreen, Please, keep quiet, 2003.

Ingar Dragset og Michael Elmgreen, Please, keep quiet, 2003.

Enter the work
Sssh! You can suddenly feel you have gone the wrong way when you enter the work Please, keep quiet!

Hospital beds, patients and the smell of hospital – they are all there. The two artists Elmgreen and Dragset have transferred a slice of reality to the Museum and to a quite unaccustomed context. It is the Museum which is the frame for this work. It is here the installation becomes a work of art and our expectations are challenged when we step directly into it through the doors of the work, through the frame of the work, and find ourselves right in the middle of the work’s reality.

It is called an installation, because everything in the room is conceived as a whole. In its own way, installation art is reminiscent of the interior design of the Baroque and Rococo periods. It is a total experience.

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Updated: 15.oct.2014
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