Lars Physant

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Lars Physant
Born Lars Physant
(1957-04-24) April 24, 1957 (age 57)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Nationality Danish
Known for Painting

Lars Physant (born April 24, 1957, Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish painter whose conceptual expression has its roots in naturalism and realism[1]. Amongst his earliest influences are Christen Købke, J.Th. Lundbye, Wilhelm Hammershoi, Vermeer van Delft, Claude Monet and Geoges Seurat.


Lars Physant started drawing at a very early age. When he was a teenager, he would draw on very small pieces of paper so no one could see them. In 2005 he eventually showed these drawings to the public in his retrospective exhibition, El transit de la llum, in Castell de Benedormiens, Castell d’Aro, Spain.[2]

In 1986, he created the illustrations for the Danish and Norwegian editions of J.R.R.Tolkien’s book Tree & Leaf.[3] In 1987, he began work on a book on the history of Rome’s squares “Rom-pladsernes".[4] His aim was to depict each one of Rome's 40 squares by drawing and painting outdoors in the open air, like the painters of the Danish Golden Age used to do. No help from a photograph could be taken. His second book was about the unknown places in Rome “Glimt af et glemt Rom”, for which photographic references were allowed. Many exhibitions were produced from his 8 month Italian experience.[5]

In 1994, he had the chance to spend a year in Barcelona painting for an exhibition for his gallery in Copenhagen. This proved to be a turning point in his career.[6] [7]


In 1992, he began referring to his division of canvas as Introspective Naturalism to describe the representation of the inner and outer world, with the outer world in a realistic manner placed in the center of the paintings’ surface and the inner world as an abstract expression on the edges of the painting’s surface. He wrote, “Any type of perception of the external world to the limit of our body is always mixed with the reality which is kept in our inner self: the state of mind, memories, drowsiness, wakefulness, lived images, excitement after a discussion, sun blinding effect which makes immediate after images like photonegatives, flash-backs, experience of cold or extreme heat, etc…”.[8]

Also in the 90’s, as a step forward in his research within the fusion of realism and abstraction, he developed the expression United divided reality (Samlet, splittet virkelighed - in Danish). Examples of this expression are found throughout his work, but it is not until 1999 that he physically split the surface of his paintings and added the relief dimension.[9]

From then on, he would break up the canvas, and the shape of most of his paintings would become irregular, emphasizing the fragmentation of our reality. The fragments wouldl sometimes be totally separated, leaving irregular spaces between them. His technique used acrylics and oil on canvas on relief wood structures.[10]

The parallelism with music and musical concepts is always present in his work - a painterly way of conceiving “theme with variations”. Like in Elgar’s Enigma Variations’s, the relief structures contain many different visions of the same original theme (which itself is never exposed).

Psychoanalysis is another important inspiration and reference.[11] The role of the unconscious within the perception, and how the process of improvisation and composition is always related to how the mind works metaphorically (metaphor) and metonymically (metonymy) is present throughout his work.[12] Also, the way memory stores and distributes perception layer upon layer is like the transparent layers of paint used. The investigations of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan have left strong marks in his art, i.e. his painting “Wo Es war, soll Ich werden”.

Simultaneous perception[13] has been a theme of his last exhibitions, whereby he emphasizes the idea that the complementarity of different emotional states is the way to get on more qualified terms with inner and outer reality. Else Marie Bukdahl’s writes in her text “Flerhed af blikke” (Plurality of views), referring to Niels Bohr’s theories. [14]

As a consequence and evolution of the previous expressions, Lars Physant is working with the concepts Contrapunctual realism and Multiversal realism, focusing on the visual perception[15] itself. It is intended as a parallel expression in pure painting to that of Peter Greenaway within cinema and video art, which assumes the fragmentation and complexity of the 21st century as a challenge to artistic articulation. Contrapunctual realism refers partly to the influence from the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould’s working methods and his way of conceiving interpretation.


Lars Physant is also dedicated to portrait painting and religious art.

Paintings in books[edit]

  • Glimt af et glemt Rom (View to a forgotten Rome), Ole Askov Olsen, Tanning & Appel 2003 ISBN 87-413-6424-4 Paintings by Lars Physant
  • Rom – Pladsernes by (Rome – city of squares), Ole Askov Olsen, Taning & Appel 1996 ISBN 87-413-6343-4 Paintings by Lars Physant
  • Tree and Leaf , J.R.R. Tolkien, Danish edition published by ZAC 1987 ISBN 87-7348-0598 Cover design and illustrations by Lars Physant
  • Træ og Blæde , J.R.R. Tolkien, Norwegian edition Tiden Norsk Forlag A/S 1995 ISBN 82-10-03923-7 Cover design and illustrations by Lars Physant


  1. ^ "Lars Physant Biography". Lars Physant. Retrieved 2013. 
  2. ^ ""La realidad calidoscópica" (2005)". El Periódico de Catalunya. Retrieved 2005. 
  3. ^ Tolkien Society
  4. ^ Bogpriser Dk
  5. ^ Modern art Museum
  6. ^ Arthus Gallery He chose to move to Barcelona.
  7. ^ ""Coments by Christian Schultz-Lorentzen" (1995)". on the Rome III book. Retrieved 1995. 
  8. ^ Introspective naturalism
  9. ^ United divided reality
  10. ^ ""Retaules de f’isica i art" (2012)". El Punt Avui. Retrieved 2012. 
  11. ^ ""Antològica del danès Lars physant" (2012)". Bonart. Retrieved 2012. 
  12. ^ ""Momentets Skønhed Intervew by Lisbeth Bonde" (2008)". In Weekendavisen. Retrieved 2008. 
  13. ^ ""Lars Physant expone sus trabajos en el Palau Monja" (2012)". La Vanguardia. Retrieved 2012. 
  14. ^ Simultaneous perception
  15. ^ ""Vídeo, la obra de Lars Physant en el Palau Monja" (2012)". News España. Retrieved 2012. 
  • Nuria D’Asprer, “Barcelona: passatges de traducció” Edicions Xoroi, 2013
  • Rafael Argullol, Vicenç Altaió, Roger Pierre Turine. exh. cat. Simultaneous perception, 2012
  • Lisette Vind Ebbesen, E.M. Bukdahl. exh. cat. Panta rei, 2011
  • Else Marie Bukdahl, Lisbeth Bonde. exh. cat. The complexity of seeing, 2008
  • Lisbeth Bonde, interview “Momentets Skønhed”, 2008
  • Jørgen Gleerup & Lars Nymark, ”Vær velkommen Herrens år”, Forlaget Aros, 2007
  • Else Marie Bukdahl. Exh. Cat. Flerhed af blikke, 2007
  • Pere Gimferrer, Klaus Rifbjerg, Enrique Badosa, Arnau Puig, Arne Haugen Sørensen. Exh. Cat. El trànsit de la llum, 2005
  • Lisbeth Algreen, Lone Raadam, Jørgen Reeckmann, ”Linjer i landskaber”, Alinea 2003
  • Kasper Monrad, ”Under samme himmel. Land og by i dansk og tysk kunst 1800-1850”, Thorvaldsens Museum 2000
  • Lise og Louise Svanholm,”Danske Portrætter 1985-1995”, Gyldendal 1995

External links[edit]