Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculptures in Bronze shows the oeuvre of late Danish artist Per Kirkeby – spanning a long carreer as a painter, sculptor and filmmaker, and one of the most versatile artists of his generation.
Michael Werner Gallery has brought together in its East Hampton premises a selection of important paintings, bronze sculptures and works of paper.
Characterized by insistent materiality and an energised openness, the artist’s approach reveals a deep interest in the physical properties and expressive potential of its medium along with a solid understanding of history and traditions.
As emphatic as his command of colour and gesture are the methodologies and frameworks devised by Kirkeby in order to bring into alignment his interest in landscape and geology.
Non-conformist in attitude, and working across painting, drawing and sculpture, painting still lies at the heart of his practice, proving malleable enough to condense a breadth of knowledge while establishing a dynamic enquiry into abstraction, spontaneity and control, instinct and intellect.
Per Kirkeby is one of the most important painters of his generation. His first exhibition coincided with the completion of his studies in geology, in 1964. Kirkeby represented Denmark in the 1976 Venice Biennale and later participated in documenta VII and documenta IX. Important solo museum exhibitions include Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Kunsthalle Bern; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk and BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels.
Though widely exhibited throughout Europe, Kirkeby’s work has not often been seen in London. The artist participated in A New Spirit in Painting at the Royal Academy in 1981 and was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Tate Modern in 2009.
A retrospective of painting and sculpture was organised by The Phillips Collection, Washington DC, in 2012. Works by Kirkeby are found in many museum collections including the Tate, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Museum of Modern Art, New York, among many others.