Wild, bold, and late Willumsen
New exhibition at ARoS features a series of neglected works by the Danish artist J.F. Willumsen
J.F. Willumsen (1863 – 1958) is one of the most illustrious figures in the history of Danish art. Many will recall iconic works such as A Mountain Climber and Green Girl, but Willumsen is often overshadowed by other Danish visual artists. ARoS will now direct focus at the more colourful and bold works from the late period of Willumsen’s life.
- We would like to stimulate a fuller appreciation of Willumsen’s art. ARoS is a sizeable museum with many visitors and we also have a duty to highlight aspects that tend to be overlooked. This exhibition seeks to elevate Willumsen to the elite division where he belongs, says Erlend G. Høyersten, museum director, ARoS.
THE LATE PERIOD AND WILLUMSEN THE OUTSIDER
The exhibition contains more than 90 works of which the majority were created after 1929. During this period, J.F. Willumsen experimented with several different styles and expressions and it is difficult, therefore, to categorise his works in relation to mainstream art history of this period. He was considered an outsider by many and had to fight for recognition, because he worked with a figurative language which departed from the abstract painting that tended to predominate contemporary painterly experiments.
- Willumsen’s late works are often considered peculiar, intense, and outright kitsch. Wild, Bold, and Late Willumsen shows a different and untraditional side of the artist – a side illustrating how far ahead of his time he actually was, says chief curator Lise Pennington, ARoS.
The works in the exhibition draw attention, among other things, to the individual and to self exploration. They feature grotesque and hysterical elements, distorted and mannered bodies and are characterised by a radical use of contrasts and dramatic colours, which often spill over to include the frame.
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Curators-in-charge: Lise Pennington and Jakob Vengberg Sevel, both ARoS.