See a selection of the best artworks in Kunsten’s permanent collection, just as they were presented in 1972, when the new museum, designed by Aalto and Barüel, opened its doors to the public.
“Walking through the large, bright rooms is like walking inside a sculpture, where the space is perpetually changing, automatically luring you around on a voyage of discovery.”
This is how one critic described the brand new museum in 1972. It was an opportunity for visitors to explore an exhibition featuring a selection of works from the museum’s permanent collection. Ever-changing natural light, linen-clad walls, marble and light-grey floor carpets – in this setting they could take in exciting works by modern Danish and international artists such as Asger Jorn, Richard Mortensen, Else Alfelt, Vilhelm Lundstrøm, Pablo Picasso, Lynn Chadwick, Le Corbusier and Max Ernst – to name but a few.
Now, 50 years later, in this self-same setting and based on the same gesamtkunstwerk principle – in which art, architecture and design come together to form an overall entity – Kunsten is presenting works from its permanent collection.
Featuring the characteristic linen walls, Kunsten Retro recreates the exhibition architecture of 1972 and displays a new selection of artworks from the Kunsten collection, which now spans an impressive 100 years of art history. Though the setting is identical, the exhibition will reflect the fact that both the content and the mode of presentation have evolved over the past five decades.
The exhibition features classics, which were also part of the 1972 exhibition, some less frequently seen works and some brand new acquisitions: from Vilhelm Lundstrøm’s radical packing box picture (1919), the highly imaginative paintings of the CoBrA artists and the ground-breaking art of the 1960s to the more recent contemporary works that in recent years have been incorporated into Kunsten’s collection.
Grab an ‘information newspaper’, as visitors did back in 1972, and explore these amazing treasures from the Kunsten collection.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kunsten, on 23 September 2022 the museum will launch Kunsten Collection. It will provide members of the public with online access to all the works in the museum’s collection.
Kunsten Collection will enable you to search the museum’s collection of around 4,000 works of art, whenever you want and no matter where you are. You can study the works in detail or save your favourites in My Collections, which will enable you to group together works you have personally picked out from Kunsten’s collection.
The aim of Kunsten Collection is to make Kunsten’s collection available to as many people as possible, animating it in innovative ways on the basis of the curiosity and engagement of the museum’s users.
Though ever-changing presentations such as Kunsten Retro enable visitors to discover part of the Kunsten collection physically, each exhibition represents merely a tiny fraction of the collection. Space is limited – even in Kunsten! Kunsten Collection is your personal passport to Kunsten’s collection. Maybe your goal is to explore specific works by Asger Jorn or Julie Nord, or maybe you simply want to explore and be surprised.
As a part of Kunsten's 50th anniversary in 2022, we are thrilled to present Kunsten's own digital collection database – Kunsten Collection. Visit collection.kunsten.dk to learn more about the artworks from the exhibition.