The famous Danish COBRA painter, if alive, would have celebrated a century of fruitful and creative life, this year. To mark his birth centenary, ARKEN is hosting a grand showcase of more than 200 of the master artist’s paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, ceramic works, mosaics, and even poems. Here are a few highlights of the event and the artist’s career:
The exhibition, done in collaboration with the Carl-Henning Pedersen & Else Alfelt Museum, shows works from his vast oeuvre from the end of the 1930s up to his death in 2007. Visitors can also see a documentary film (Carl-Henning Pedersen – the spontaneous painter) that ARKEN has produced in collaboration with the Danish broadcasting corporation DR.
- Carl-Henning Pedersen had a very strong urge to create and throughout his life he sought to conjure up the direct, spontaneous image. At the end of the 1930’s a group of artists in Denmark broke away from the naturalistic school of painting, and with great talent and courage created a new, expressionistic imagery. These were the artists which later established contact with international art circles through the COBRA group. Pedersen was one of the most outstanding of these, and his art greatly influenced most of the members of the group.
- His poetic talent and particularly his appreciation of the expressive powers of colour have inspired him to paint pictures of great dramatic beauty and originality. He sought the purity of the child and drew inspiration from so-called primitive folk art from all over the world. Birds, masks, suns, stars, horses, sea and sky are recurring symbolic features of his imagery, and his art is inspired by the free universe of dreams.
- The artworks have been carefully selected from among the many thousand that Carl-Henning Pedersen created over seven decades. In connection with the exhibition, the museum has also published a catalogue including a series of works and poems as well as articles that explore new art-historical themes in Carl-Henning Pedersen's oeuvre.