Thursday, 28 March 2019

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Henry Moore - Reclining Figure, 1969-70

I'd seen lots to recommend taking the time whilst in Copenhagen to make a visit to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (named after original owner Alexander Brun's three wives, all of whom were called Louise), so I made the 30 minute train journey up the coast to Humlebæk. From Humlebæk station it was a 15 minute walk to the museum. I was met here by a particularly rude visitor attendant. The scenic setting of the museum though was enough thankfully, to offset her aggression. I found the museum interior to be a confusing and disorientating collection of spaces though, which is perhaps understandable in a way given the difficult terrain the architects had to work with. The galleries are for the most part set mostly underground due to the steep coastal landscape in which the museum is built.

Henry Moore - Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 5, 1963-65

After my reception here I was eager to get out into the fresh air of the grounds which were really calming and picturesque, just the thing to brush off and dispel negativity. Outside can be found a good sculpture trail nestled among the natural beauty of the landscape. The museum is also set on the shoreline which means as well as the sculptures, visitors are subjected to the breathtakingly glorious views of the waters of the Øresund Sound across to Sweden which can be easily glimpsed on the horizon.

The landscape of the museum grounds are great for walks, a chance to blow away the cobwebs, and give bored children space to run and let off steam. This coastal setting is definately both the strength and the most interesting aspect of the Louisiana. On following the sculpture trail I found the artworks set within the museum grounds were of variable quality - the Calders and Henry Moore's were majestic though, as was Alicja Kwade's series of large marble spheres forming their own constellation on the lawn. The following are several of the forms from the trail that I encountered.

 Alicja Kwade - Pars Pro Toto, 2017

Jean Arp - Venus From Meudon, 1956

Jean Arp - Threshold Sculpture: Reflection, 1960-82

Jean Arp - Threshold Sculpture with Plantlike Crenelations, 1959-82
Henri Laurens - Grande femme Debout a la Draperie, 1928

Henry Moore - Three Piece Reclining Figure (Draped), 1974-5

Roy Lichtenstein - Endless Drip, 1995/2006

Some of the artworks were no match for the natural sculptural forms of the trees. The architectural structure and highly polished mirrored surface of the sculpture below though blended well in its setting and was a personal favourite.

Not Vital - House To Watch the Sunset, 2015

Dan Graham - Square Bisected by Curve, 2008

Nobuo Sekine - Phase of Nothingness - Cone, 1977

Nobuo Sekine - Phase of Nothingness, 1969-70

George Rickey - Annular Eclipse IV, 1999, a kinetic sculpture.

Max Bill - Construction, 1937

Bryan Hunt - Daphne II, 1979

Isamu Noguchi - Queen of Spades, 1986

Joan Miró - Personnage, 1970

Alexander Calder's - Little Janey-Waney, 1964-76, and  
Almost Snow Plough, 1964-76 (below).

Alexander Calder - Slender Ribs, 1963

The huge Jean Dubuffet sculpture Manoir d'Essor, 1969 leads you down to the tranquil Lake Garden.

Henry Heerup

Richard Serra's large site-specific steel piece - The Gate in the Gorge, 1983-6

After exploring the wonders of the landscape I headed indoors into the galleries of the Louisiana Museum itself. The ground level buildings are light and airy being a collection of glass pavilions.

A Calder mobile in the sun room.

César Baldaccini - Le pouce, 1968

Per Inge Bjørlo - Pressure After Pressure, 2004

Asger Jorn - Øjets Blikstille (Eye of the Eye), 1971

Asger Jorn - Personnage, 1960

Asger Jorn - Green Market, 1944

The three colourful, expressionist works above were by Asger Jorn in the gallery of modern Danish artists, whilst the Giacometti's and Bacon painting were in perhaps the nicest exhibition space in the museum, a spacious gallery full of natural light with a view onto the Garden Lake.

Alberto Giacometti - Venice Women, 1956

Alberto Giacometti - Bust

Alberto Giacometti - Walking Man, 1960

Francis Bacon - Man and Child, 1963

Alberto Giacometti - Standing Woman IV, 1960

Alberto Giacometti - Annette IV, 1962

Alberto Giacometti - Walking Woman, 1932-34

As I mentioned earlier, I found the rest of the gallery spaces at the Louisiana to be disjointed and disruptive as you had to climb up and down sets of stairs to reach them. Due to the landscape the building is set in they were also underground so they were disorientating and dark in many areas. At the time of my visit there was a retrospective of the work of Cecily Brown which I may feature in a future post, and also a show of the graphic work/linocuts of feminist Dea Trier Mørch (1941-2001) which depicted the birthing process. At the end of a series of tunnels/galleries I managed to find the Louisiana permanent collection of art whose display seemed to be small and a bit of an afterthought being stuck at the end of a tunnel/gallery. Considering that the museum has a collection of over 4,000 works of art, I thought that there would be much more from their collection on display.

Andy Warhol - Flowers, 1970
Claes Oldenburg - Fag End Study, 1968-76

Claes Oldenburg - Lunch-Box, 1961

Anthony Caro - Sculpture

Robert Jacobsen - Sculpture, c.1959

Pablo Picasso - Woman and Flute Player III, 1956

Pablo Picasso - Luncheon on the Grass, 1961

Jean Dubuffet
Jean Dubuffet - Beard Orient, 1959

Wassily Kandinsky - Scale, 1928

Wassily Kandinsky - In the Free Blue, 1929
Kurt Schwitters

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy - Pneumatik Poster, 1926 
Jackson Pollock - Painting B (Black over Yellow) c.1950

Robert Rauschenberg - Tideline,1963

Gerhard Richter - Waldstück (Chile), 1969

Richard Hamilton - The Gold Guggenheim, 1965-66

Andy Warhol - Four Marlons, 1966

Andy Warhol - Mao, 1972

Andy Warhol - Jackie, 1964

Andy Warhol - Joseph Beuys, 1979

Victor Vasarely - Citra, 1955-1959

Josef Albers - Homage To the Square

Auguste Herbin - Untitled, 1946

Sonia Delaunay - Study for fabric design, 1924

Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Equilibrium, 1932

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
GI. Strandvej 13
DK-3050 Humlebæk