Works from the National Gallery of Denmark and Funen Art Museum
Concrete art becomes art before our very eyes. It requires us to enter into the world of forms, to let our gaze and mind stray through the forms and colours of the paintings.
Experience Funen Art Museum's (Fyns Kunstmuseum) outstandig collection of concrete art in a dialogue with contemporary French/European avant-garde art from the National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst):
Among post-war artists, with the famous Parisian Galerie Denise René as a driving force, a particularly lively experimental art scene arose - an avant-garde that cultivated abstraction, pure geometry, movement and space with a view to creating new, concrete, realistic art. This vital meeting between Danish and French art involved many Danish artists, including Robert Jacobsen and Richard Mortensen as well as the Linien II artists Gunnar Aagaard Andersen, Paul Gadegaard and Ib Geertsen, who collaborated with the French gallery's most important artists: Jean Dewasne, Jean Deyrolle, Serge Poliakoff and Victor Vasarely.
Richard Mortensen and Denise René at the Biennale in Venice 1960 and Herbin, Dewasne, Jacobsen
After 1945 Danish artists poured into Paris, where they were preoccupied with exploring the formal language of art and creating a new kind of artistic expression; new in the sense that it was to communicate with everyone through forms and colours. In Paris they met artists who shared their interests and goals; at among other places the recently established Parisian Galerie Denise René, with which Robert Jacobsen and Richard Mortensen became associated in 1947.
But the meeting did not take place in Paris alone. In Copenhagen Richard Winther, Ib Geertsen, Bamse Kragh Jacobsen and others joined forces in the group Linien II. The name was taken from the art periodical Linien (The Line) from the 1930s, in which Richard Mortensen had been involved. Linien II showed their experiments with the formal language of painting, with music, film and performances in exhibitions from 1947 on, and they invited the French artists form Galerie Denise René to participate. In other words, the meeting took plade in both Paris and Copenhagen.
The title of the exhibition is taken from the painting A Handshake, a collaboration between the Danish artist Richard Mortensen and the French artist Jean Arp. In the painting Mortensen made "space" for Arp's forms. In other words the two artists "met" over art, all the way into the painting. This is what the exhibition is about: the meeting of artists in an artistic project. At Funen Art Museum we let the works of art meet again. French and Danish. Sculpture, paintings and film together in the exhibition. The story of Galerie Denise René and Linien II is told through archive material from the gallery.
The exhibition A Handshake is the first visible result for the newly-established partner-ship between the National Gallery of Denmark and Funen Art Museum. The exhibition is part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Odense City Museums and the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the museum building in which Funen Art Museum is housed today.
The collections of the two museums are brought into play together in the exhibition. Funen Art Museum is a museum specializing in concrete art, and here it's striking collection meets Danish and French/European avant-garde art from the National Gallery of Denmark.