Per Kirkeby

Year of birth, place
1938, Copenhagen, Denmark
lives and works in
Kopenhagen, Denmark
Role at the ZKM
in the collection
Per Kirkeby was born in Copenhagen in 1938. He now lives in Copenhagen, Laeso (Denmark) and Frankfurt am Main.

After initially studying Geology, Kirkeby decided to become an artist. In 1962, while still a student, he had joined the newly established Eksperimenterende Kunstskole where he eagerly explored painting, print-making, performance art and film. His now extensive oeuvre embraces all of these fields; and he has also produced several artist's books and many sculptures in brick. In his paintings he retains an element of recognizable reality. His principal motifs include elementary architecture, geological and botanical forms and very simplified representations of the human figure. These invariably afford inspiration during the painting process; but in most cases clear reference to recognizable forms in the painting gradually weakens as Kessler crosses the borders of abstraction.

Individual exhibitions (selection)
1975 Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
1977 Museum Folkwang, Essen
1982 Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
1984 Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne
1987 Museum Ludwig, Cologne
1990 Moderna Museet, Stockholm; »Per Kirkeby: Gemälde, Arbeiten auf Papier, Skulpturen«, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt/M
1992 Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover
1995 »Per Kirkeby, Frühe Werke und neue Zeichnungen«, Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes
1996 St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, subsequently at Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; »Per Kirkeby, New Shadows«, Galerie Michael Werner, New York
1997 »Per Kirkeby, Arbeiten auf Papier«, Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne; Kunsthaus Bregenz; »Per Kirkeby, Skulpturen, Zeichnungen, Bilder«, Städtische Museen Heilbronn
Group exhibitions (selection)
1976 Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1980 Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1982 documenta VII, Kassel; »Zeitgeist«, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
1984 »Munch - Jorn - Kirkeby«, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; »von hier aus«, Messegelände, Düsseldorf
1987 »Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1987«, Münster
1992 documenta IX, Kassel
1993 »Border Crossings, Fourteen Scandinavian Artists«, Barbican Art Gallery, London
1995 »Kunst in Deutschland. Werke zeitgenössischer Künstler aus der Sammlung des Bundes«, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
1996 »Munch and after Munch or the obstinacy of painters«, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, subsequently at Munch-museet, Oslo; »Höhepunkte zeitgenössischer Kunst aus der Sammlung Garnatz«, Städtische Galerie im Prinz-Max-Palais, Karlsruhe; »Sammlung Speck«, Museum Ludwig, Cologne
1997 »Magie der Zahl«, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; »Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1997«, Münster

[Davidt Richardt, 1997]