Exhibitions - The Arts Club of Chicago

The current exhibition of work by Per Kirkeby will be on view through 26 July 2007.

The exhibition is the first solo exhibition of his work in Chicago and the Midwest. Per Kirkeby was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1938. Primarily a painter, Kirkeby also works in sculpture, drawing, etching, architecture, performance, essay, poems, and diaries. He studied geology at the University of Copenhagen in the 1950s, and took many expeditions to Greenland, where he spent the mornings as a geology student and the afternoons as an artist. His in-depth understanding of the natural world is based on his studies of geology and informs his work as an artist. Trips to Mayan ruins and the Arctic further crystallized his affinity for nature, which is a constant source for his work.

Kirkeby does not emulate nature by making art in its image. He imbues his paintings with the willfulness and dynamism of nature, communicating the experience of the landscape through his use of color. In the introspective tradition of Scandinavian painting, Kirkeby gives color precedence over form, using color to structure the painting and communicate the sublimity of the landscape as a profound experience.

Kirkeby began exhibiting at the Michael Werner Galerie, Cologne in the 1970s and became associated with the group of German painters including Jörg Immendorff, A.R. Penck, Markus Lupertz, and Sigmar Polke, and aligned with the Neo-Expressionist movement of post World War II. Since then he has exhibited extensively throughout the world and is included in many museum and private collections. He designed the scenery and costumes for New York City Ballet’s current production of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, which runs from 1 – 13 May 2007.

The exhibition, which gives an overview of his work, includes 21 paintings, 19 works on paper, and 8 sculptures executed between 1967 and 2006. An exhibition catalogue is available at The Arts Club.

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