Indepth Arts News: |
"Henry Heerup: Faith, Hope and Charity"
2003-02-01 until 2003-06-09
ARKEN Museum of Modern Art
This spring ARKEN is dedicated to the Danish artist Henry Heerup. The artist who throughout his life depicted the fundamental human conditions, faith, hope and charity, is revisited via a different approach. Recognised and loved for his clear, bright colours and his imaginative stories of the joys and sorrows of life, the Danish artist Henry Heerup will be the subject of an exhibition at ARKEN from 1 February, presenting more than 140 of his best paintings, stone sculptures and junk models. Familiar and unknown major works are on loan from the best Danish museum collections as well as many Danish and international private collectors.
Heerupís úuvre is unique in its both popular and experimental idiom.
In a plain-spoken and direct language he addresses the big issues through subjects and materials from nature and his own everyday. His pictures of family life and erotic love reveal a strong interest in people and their relationships. They are depicted as highly dependant on nature as the life-giving primordial force. Although on the surface the pictures seem quite untroubled, behind the geniality there are often serious issues at stake. In Heerupís work, life and death, for instance, are significant themes; not just on a general level but also when concrete events intrude: the death of his mother, the births of his children, the destruction of war.
Throughout his life Heerup worked from morning till night with sculptures, paintings, lithographs and junk models. His colossal production is both familiar and uncharted country Ė it continues to offer a wealth of new meanings and avenues of interpretation. Focusing on such issues as the vitalist and social aspects of Heerupís úuvre, ARKENís exhibition adds to the understanding of his artistic universe. In connection with the exhibition the museum has put together a catalogue, illustrated throughout, shedding light on Heerupís social, vitalist and popular sides. Moreover in an interview the Danish artist Tal R tells of ĎMaster Heerupís significance to him.
Henry Heerup (1907-93) grew up in poverty on NÝrrebro in Copenhagen. Already by the early 1930s he had found the unique, imaginative and popular idiom that he cultivated out of doors the rest of his life in his gardens in VanlÝse and RÝdovre. Heerup exhibited with Asger Jorn and the other Cobra artists with whom he shared a fascination with the imagination and the popular aspects of art.