Per Kirkeby

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Per Kirkeby (born 1 September 1938, in Copenhagen) is a Danish painter, poet, film maker and sculptor.


Brick sculpture by Per Kirkeby in front of German National Library in Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Per Kirkeby is a Danish artist. By the time he completed a masters education in arctic geology at the University of Copenhagen in 1964, he was already part of the important experimental art school “eks-skolen” and worked primarily as a painter, sculptor, writer and a lithographic artist which he has pursued ever since. Kirkeby’s interest in geology and nature in general still plays a crucial role in his artistic expressions, these themes being therefore very characteristic in the works of the artist. Kirkeby’s works have been shown at many art exhibitions worldwide and are represented in many public collections such as Tate Gallery, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris. Kirkeby has been teaching as a professor at the Art Academy in Karlsruhe (1978–89) and Frankfurter Städelschule (1989–2000).

1962 Studies at the Experimental Art School in Copenhagen; works in the School on painting, graphic arts, 8 millimeter films and performance pieces

1974 First exhibition with Michael Werner Gallery, Cologne (still representing his work in Germany, UK and US); publishes Fliegende Blätter

1976 Participates in Venice Biennale (also in 1980, 1993, 1997 and 2005)

1977 One-man exhibition in the Museum Folkwang, Essen

1978 Professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts, Karlsruhe

1979 Purchases a house on the island Laeso in the Cattegat

1982 One-man exhibition in the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Documenta VII, Kassel

1988 Publishes books of essays on Delacroix, Manet, Picasso

1990 Receives the Art Prize of NORD/LB, endowed for outstanding efforts in the subject of contemporary art

1996 Receives the Coutts Contemporary Art Foundation Award and the Henrik-Steffens-Award 1996

1999 Designs Swan Lake, New York City Ballet

2000 Professorship at the Städelschule, Frankfurt a.M.

2003 Receives Herbert-Boeckl-Preis for his lifework

2005 He marries Mari Anne Duus Jørgensen in Grundtvigkirken, one of the architectural turning points in Copenhagen that he has written extensively about. This marriage has proven extremely important for the continuation of his art and her research.

2007 Designs set and costumes for Romeo and Juliet, New York City Ballet; first major exhibition in China at Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; “Per Kirkeby”, Arts Club of Chicago

2008 “Per Kirkeby Retrospective”, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark

2009 “Per Kirkeby Retrospective”, Tate Modern, London

2013 Sustains a serious brain injury in a domestic fall accident[1]

2015 Announces that he has given up all further attempts to resume painting after the accident,[2] but still does create small etchings.[1]

Per Kirkeby currently lives and works in Hellerup, Læsø, Frankfurt am Main and Italy.

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Per Kirkeby's nameless fresco in the Black Diamond in Copenhagen

2016 Kirkeby på Læsø - om Læsø i Per Kirkebys kunst, Læsø Kunsthal, Østerby

2015 Per Kirkeby komplet. Det raderede livsværk, Museum Jorn, Silkeborg

2012 Per Kirkeby - Samlingen, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum

2009 Per Kirkeby, Tate Modern, London

2008 - 09 Per Kirkeby, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Copenhagen

2007 Designs settings and costumes for Romeo and Juliet, New York City Ballet

2007 Per Kirkeby, Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai

2007 Per Kirkeby: Neue Bilder, Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne, and Julius Werner Berlin, Germany

2007 Per Kirkeby, Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago

2006 Per Kirkeby Statens Museum for Kunst Copenhagen

2006 Per Kirkeby – Prototypes of Nature, Kunsthalle im Emden, Emden

2006 Per Kirkeby – DS Art Galerie, Frankfurt am Main

2006 Per Kirkeby, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel

2006 Per Kirkeby / Crystal – Reflections, Connections and References, Aargaouer Kunsthaus, Aarau

2006 Homage to Chillida, Guggenheim, Bilbao

2005 Per Kirkeby, Galerie Vidal-Saint Phalle, Paris

2005 Per Kirkeby: Recent Masonites, New York Michael Werner Gallery

2005 Per Kirkeby: Recent Masonites, Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne

2005 Per Kirkeby, LA Louver Gallery, Venice, CA exhibition page at LA Louver

2005 Per Kirkeby: New Paintings, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen

2004 Per Kirkeby, Galerie Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck

2004 Per Kirkeby: Bilder, Masonite, Zeichnungen, Galerie Gabriele von Loeper, Hamburg

2004 Per Kirkeby. Ohne Beweis, Niels Borch Jensen Galerie und Verlag, Berlin

2004 Per Kirkeby LA Louver Gallery, Venice, CA

2004 Per Kirkeby: Natur und Gestalt. Retrospektive der Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, Städtisches Kunstmuseum Singen

2004 Per Kirkeby – Retrospettiva dei Disegni, Accademia Tedesca in Roma, Villa Massimo, [Rom]

2003 Per Kirkeby – Natur und Gestalt. Retrospektive der Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg v.d.H.

2002 Per Kirkeby. Monotypes, University Art Gallery, University Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth (MA)

2002 DC: Per Kirkeby. 122 x 122 - Gemälde auf Masonit, Museum Ludwig, Cologne

2001 Per Kirkeby. Monotypien, Masonite, Bronzen, Deutsche Bank Luxembourg, Luxemburg

2000 Per Kirkeby. Die Karlsruher Jahre, im Hallenbau A, Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe

2000 Per Kirkeby. Radierungen, Holzschnitte, Monotypien • 1980-2000, Niels Borch Jensen Galerie und Verlag, Berlin

1998 Per Kirkeby. Schilderijen, sculpturen en modellen in brons/Peintures, Sculptures et modèles en bronze, Paleis voor Schone Kunsten/Palais des Beaux Arts, Brüssel

1997 Per Kirkeby - Malerier og skulpturer, Galleri Riis, Oslo

1996 Per Kirkeby. Peintures 1992 - 1996, Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou, Centre d'art contemporain, Cajarc-Lot, France

1991 Per Kirkeby. Pinturas y Esculturas, Galeria Gamarra y Garrigues, Madrid

1990 Galerie Biedermann Munich, Germany

1987 Ludwig Museum Cologne

1985 Whitechapel Art Gallery London

1984 An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York

1982 Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven

1978 Kunsthalle Bern

1977 Museum Folkwang Essen

1975 Statens Museum for Kunst ("The Danish National Gallery") Copenhagen


2012 Per Kirkeby. Kaere Aby Warburg in "MozArt" - edited by Bruno Corà, Perugia, 3Arte - Ali&no editrice, n.1 2012, pag. 28-39 - ISBN 978-88-6254-092-6

2003 Tøjner, Poul Erik: Per Kirkeby. Malerei. Köln : König, 2003

2003 Per Kirkeby. Natur und Gestalt. Retrospektive der Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, (Sinclair-Haus, Altana Kulturforum, Bad Homburg v.d. Höhe; Deutsche Akademie Rom, Villa Massimo; Städtisches Kunstmuseum Singen). Bad Homburg v.d. Höhe : ALTANA, 2003

1999 Per Kirkeby. Sorte billeder og bronzer. Schwarze Bilder und Bronzen, (Kat. Museumsberg, Flensburg, Tønder/ Flensburg: Sønderjyllands Kunstmuseum/Museumsberg, 1999

1999 Per Kirkeby, malerier og bronzer, Magasin 3, art gallery, Stockholm 1999

1997 Kirkeby, Per: Gespräche mit Lars Morell, Köln: König, 1998 (Kunstwissenschaftliche Bibliothek; Bd. 8), Zugl. Kopenhagen: Borgens, 1997

1994 Per Kirkeby. Großformatige Zeichnungen 1977-1994 (Kat.), Portikus, Frankfurt a.M., Münster: Kleinheinrich, 1994

1990 Per Kirkeby. Gemälde, Arbeiten auf Papier, Skulpturen 1977-90 (Kat.), Frankfurt a.M.: Städelsches Kunstinstitut, 1990

1989 Per Kirkeby. Pinturas, esculturas, grabados y escritos (Kat.), Valencia: IVAM, Centre del Carme, 1989

1984 Per Kirkeby. Übermalungen 1964-1984, (Kat.), München: Kunstraum, 1984

1979 Hunov, John: Per Kirkeby. Oeuvrekatalog 1958-1977 over raderinger, linoleumssnit, træsnit, Kopenhagen: Borgens, 1979

1977 Per Kirkeby. Fliegende Blätter (Kat.), Essen: Museum Folkwang, 1977


  1. ^ a b Stockmann, Camilla (31 January 2015). "Interview: Kirkeby: »Jeg har opgivet at være maler«" [Interview: Kirkeby: "I have given up being a painter"]. Magasinet. Politiken. Photo by Joachim Adrian. Copenhagen. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Per Kirkeby opgiver maleriet" [Per Kirkeby abandons painting]. Kristeligt Dagblad. 31 January 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 

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