The Kunsthalle Krems exhibition of Per Kirkeby (1938–2018) had originally been planned as a retrospective for the artist’s 80th birthday. After Kirkeby’s death in May 2018, it has now become a commemorative exhibition.
The comprehensive show brings together more than 100 representative paintings, sculptures, and drawings by Kirkeby. Its starting point are his paintings of the 1980s, which oscillate between free painting and austere tectonics and yet are always structurally informed by nature and landscape.
His rarely shown pictures on hardboard panels, which the artist worked on from his very beginnings as a painter, illustrate his complex and stylistically diverse genesis. Another focus is on his even less known overpaintings, Kirkeby’s painterly appropriations of pictures by others.
In the 1980s, he intensively explored bronze sculpture, organic formations that mainly address and examine human corporeality. In the centre of his bronze sculpture, there always are the processual element and the disclosure of its materiality. The sculptures also are closely related to the paintings, with their cracked tectonics evolving from the layered painterly surfaces.
The exhibition catalogue contains texts by Robert Fleck, Per Kirkeby, and Florian Steininger.
English and German text.
Accompanies the exhibition ‘Per Kirkeby’, 25 Nov 2018 – 10 Feb 2019, Kunsthalle Krems.
Design by Alexander Rendi and Eugen Lejeune.