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Per Kirkeby
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Copenhagen, Denmark
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Copenhagen, Denmark
Per Kirkeby is a prolific Danish artist and global traveler whose oeuvre encompasses painting, bronze and brick sculpture, graphic arts, blackboards, television set designs, film and literature. He often couples graphic work with painting. His techniques include lithography, etching, monotypes, woodcuts, linocuts and collage. He has used untraditional materials such as bricks, bicycle enamel, and masonite sheets ground with blackboard paint to which chalk drawings were applied. In the 1960s he was inspired by American Pop Art and included entertainment industry elements (e.g., television and cartoon strips) in his work. In the 1970s he participated in performance art and happenings. At the University of Copenhagen he studied natural history and took part in expeditions to Greenland and the Arctic. These and later visits to Central America, the former Soviet Union, Australia, Bali, Haiti, and Morocco, among other destinations, significantly influenced his creativity. Throughout his life geological concepts such as landscape, sedimentation, erosion and physics inspired his writing and art. Recently Kirkeby revisited a place familiar from his youth and wrote, “It is late in the season, but the sun still moves in a circle on the sky, and with the recent good weather, everything is extraordinarily clear. The row of cliffs (is) surrounding us in fairy tale colors, but I do not doubt they are there. The way the shadows travel is enough to reveal the truth.” (Notes from Travels to Greenland, 1993) CURRENT RESIDENCE: Lives and works in Hellerup and Laeso, Denmark, Frankfurt, Germany, and Arnasco. PERSONAL HISTORY: 1965 married Elisabeth Therkelsen; 1976 divorced 1979 married Vibeke Windelov EDUCATION: 1957-1964 University of Copenhagen. Dissertation on Arctic geology. 1962 Experimental Art School (Eks-skole), Copenhagen. Worked with painting, graphics, 8mm film. AWARDS include: 1965 one of the first to receive a three-year grant from the Denmark State Fund for the Arts 1968 Academy Council Gold Medal for Young Danish Painters and Sculptors 1983 refused the Eckersberg Medal 1990 NORD/LB Art Prize 1993 Ars Fennica Prize Arthur Kopcke Prize 1995 Murer Prize (from the Guild of Copenhagen Bricklayers) 1996 Henrik Steffens Prize (German) Coutts Bank Art Prize (Swiss) ACADEMIC POSITIONS: 1978 appointed professor at the Karlsruhe Academy, Germany 1988 appointed professor in Stadelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ONE-PERSON EXHIBITIONS include: 1990-1997 -Kunsthaus Nürnberg, Germany (1997) -Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte (Art and Cultural History), Münster, Germany (1997) -Gerhard Marckshaus, Bremen, Germany (1997) -Galerie Borkowski, Hamburg, Germany (1997) -Arken, Museum of Modern Art, Denmark -MIT Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massashuetts -University Art Museum, Berkeley, California -Ribe Kunstmuseum, Denmark 1980-1989 -Whitechapel Art Gallery, London -Retrospective, Louisiana, Humlebaek, Denmark and Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Museet for Samtidskunst, Oslo -Museum Winterthur, Zurich 1970-1979 -Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland -Museum Folkvang, Essen Germany -Copenhagen State Museum of Art -Formed a long-term association with Galerie Michael Werner, Köln (Cologne), Germany and New York in 1978, where his work has been shown for two decades. 1960-1969 -Jysk Kunstgalerie, Copenhagen -Fyns Kunstmuseum, Denmark GROUP EXHIBITIONS include: 1990-1997 -Thirty-Five Years at Crown Point Press: Making Prints, Doing Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (June-September, 1997), FAMSF (October 1997-January 1998) -Strangers in the Arctic, Pori Art Museum, Finland and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki -Group Show of Prints and Multiples, Avanti Editions, New York -Editions from Maximilian Verlag-Sabine Kunst, Munich, Brook Alexander, New York -Michael Werner Gallery, Köln (Cologne), Germany and New York 1980-1989 -Art in Germany, Palais des Beaux Arts -A New Spirit in Painting, Royal Academy, London -Sleeping Beauty-Art Now, Contemporary Scandinavian Art, Guggenheim Museum, New York (traveled) -Sydney Beinnale, Australia -Cosmic Images in the Art of the 20th century, Tel Aviv Museum -Origin and Vision, New German Painting, Centro Cultura de la Caja de Pensions, Barcelona and Palacio de Velasquez, Madrid -An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York -Carnegie International ‘85, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh -Après le Classicisme, St. Etienne, France 1970-1979 -Group Exhibition, Kunstmuseum, Lucerne, Switzerland -Participates in Venice Biennale -Tabernakel, Louisiana Museum, Copehagen. In this notorious happening, a horse was ritually slaughtered. 1960-1969 -Galerie Jensen, Copenhagen -Participated in festival consisting of happenings at Experimental Art School (Eks-skole), Copenhagen -Performance in New York (with Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman) and Aachen, Germany (with others). -Group exhibition, Experimental Art School (Eks-skole), Copenhagen (1963). This was the artist’s first participation in a group exhibition. Later that year, the school’s publishing house published Kirkeby’s books.