Poul Gernes: I Cannot Do It Alone, Want to Join In?

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

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Helle Brøns, Paul Smith, Hans Ulrich Obrist, et al.

Softcover | 24.4 x 1 x 34.3 cm | 96 pp

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art | 2017 | 9788792877680

This book documents the career of a pivotal figure of the Danish postwar avant-garde, Poul Gernes (1925–96) - Artist, designer and co-founder of the alternative art school Eks-Skolen. His serial, colorful works move between pop art and minimalism.

In 1961 Gernes founded the Den Eksperimenterende Kunstskole (Experimental Art College) in Copenhagen. The Eks-Skolen taught social awareness via an anti-authoritarian teaching system, believing that art should not arise for the sake of art, but should serve society, give and convey joy. In the early 1970s, the Eks-Skolen dissolved.

From 1974 to 1976 Gernes produced together with Per Kirkeby the film Normannerne. In 1968 he designed a 25-storey Copenhagen hospital in Herlev. Everything is done in contrasting bright colours right through to the furnishings. Further orders for the design of schools, cinemas and hotels in similar aesthetics followed. From 1985 to 1991 he taught as a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. His most famous works are series of pictures from the 1960s and 70s. They show colourful circular shapes, often in the form of targets, which are varied with numbers and letters. He was always critical of the art market and preferred to associate his works with the environment rather than being hung in a gallery.

Outside Denmark, Gernes gained notoriety only after his death. His paintings were exhibited at Documenta 12 in 2007.

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