Poul Gernes. Decoration Projects 1970–2006

Mottled cow has many spots

Poul Gernes (1925–1996) is one of the great Danish artist-designers of the post-war generation.

‘Art has to get out there into society. It’s got to be the richly colourful, elevating, dynamising, and inspiring part of our everyday life. It must be ever-present, everywhere. Art must not be something we go some place else to look at. It’s rather the case that right there, where we are, is where art must be.’ — Poul Gernes

Everybody in Denmark knows the Palads Theatre, in the centre of Copenhagen, and many know Herlev Hospital. But few – or hardly any – people know the rest of the 160 in situ decorations that Poul Gernes and his family, his assistants, and his students carried out over a period extending more than 30 years.

Artist, Finn Thybo Andersen has travelled all over the country with his camera, and with this highly informative guide, which contains over 500 illustrations, we obtain – for the first time – a comprehensive glimpse into Gernes’ huge oeuvre.

The book is built up as a guide, so that the interested reader him/herself can get out there and experience the various decorations. Of course, they are not situated inside the museums – but one of them might actually be just around the corner.

As the first comprehensive documentation of Gernes’ decorations, this guide is an important contribution to the on-going discussion about the artist’s place and the artist’s role in society.

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