Art Basel OVR : Pioneers | Poul Gernes

March 24 - 27 | 2021

For Art Basel OVR : Pioneers, Galleri Nicolai Wallner is pleased to present a solo presentation of significant works by one of of Scandinavia’s most influential Post War artists, Poul Gernes.

 

 

Danish constructivist Poul Gernes (1925 – 1996) was a painter, sculptor and performer. Active from the 1940s and through the rest of his life, he sought to redefine ideas regarding arts and public space.

Known for his bold use of colour and geometric forms, this incredibly graphic style made use of easily accessible materials. Celebrating a return to decorative arts, his works communicated a strong belief that art has a function—it is intended for everyone. The flexible and modular construction of his works represent an invitation, a democratic gesture.

Poul Gernes (1970) Photo: Asger Sessingø

 

 

 

Poul Gernes
Untitled (Dot painting) (1966)
Enamel painting on masonite, four panels
244 x 244 cm | 96 x 96 in
EUR 108.000,-

To Inquire

 

 

Poul Gernes
Untitled (Dot painting) (1966)
Enamel painting on masonite, four panels
244 x 244 cm | 96 x 96 in
EUR 108.000,-

To Inquire

 

Playfully radical, his influence extends to a generation of artists in Scandinavia as well as around the world, with many younger artists building on his ideals and iconic style, as they continue to be inspired by his insistence on challenging the ways in which art exists.

The iconic pieces highlighted in this presentation demonstrate the progressive philosophy that he developed at Den Eksperimenterende Kunstskole (The Experimental School or Ex-School). The school, which Gernes co-founded 1961, was created as a reaction to the academic and institutionalised practices of the more traditional Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

 

Solo exhibition, Poul Gernes Retrospective (2013), Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

 

 

Poul Gernes
Untitled (tic tac toe painting) (1967)
Enamel painting on masonite
160 x 160 cm | 62.9  x62.9 in
EUR 38.500,-

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Gernes often painted in series. He used this serial approach to not only create singular works around a specific principle, but to create series of works which be comprised of a limited number of individual paintings. These series would typically have a leading principle, for instance a coloured dot on a monochrome background with varying colour combinations, or three stripes, two of them being black and white and the third a varying colour.

 

Solo exhibition, Sidekick (Cosima von Bonin and Poul Gernes) (2013), Artipelag, Gustavsberg, Sweden

 

 

Poul Gernes
Untitled (Target Painting) (1966)
Enamel painting on masonite
122 x 122 x 3.5 cm | 48 x 58 x 1.3 in
EUR 33.500,-

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Solo exhibition, Arkiv för Dekorativ Kunst (1978), Lund, Sweden

 

His legacy can be seen throughout the Scandinavian landscape, notably with Copenhagen’s now-iconic, brightly coloured Palads movie theater—the exterior of which he created in 1989. Gernes created an impressive 150 other decorative projects throughout the country, bringing his artworks outside of normal exhibition spaces and placing them firmly within the public realm. His design of the interior of Herlev Hospital—completed in 1976—is still in use, and remains one of the largest artistic decoration to date in the region.

 

Solo exhibition, Poul Gernes Retrospective (2013), Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

 

 

Poul Gernes
Untitled (Stripe painting) (1966-1967)
Enamel painting on masonite
122 x 182 cm | 48 x 71.7 in
EUR 48.000,-

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documenta 12 (2007), Kassel, Germany

 

 

 

Poul Gernes
Untitled (1965)
Enamel painting on masonite, fifteen panels
122 x 122 cm each | 48 x48 in each
Placement variable
EUR 300.000,-

To Inquire

 

In 1988, Poul Gernes represented Denmark at the Venice Biennial. The presentation of a selection of his works at Documenta in Kassel, Germany, in 2007 led to renewed interest in Gernes, who has since been the subject of several major internationally acclaimed exhibitions, with notable solos at Deichtorhallen (Hamburg), and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebaek).

His work is found in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Denmark (Copenhagen), ARKEN (Ishøj), ARoS (Aarhus), Daimler Collection (Berlin), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk), HEART (Herning), KUNSTEN (Aalborg), Museum Jorn (Silkeborg), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), KØS (Køge), Sorø Kunstmuseum (Sorø) and The Phillips Collection (Washington), among many others.

Poul Gernes’ work will be on show in the Centennial exhibition of The Phillips Collection in Washington in 2021, following the recent acquisition of one his iconic stripes piece Untitled (1965) (Series of 16 with ochre as recurring colour). The piece already occupied the central place in the ambitious exhibition ‘Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 1821–2018’. The exhibition presented two centuries of Nordic art and highlighted its diversity, in part by including examples of abstract and conceptual art.

 

carrie emberlyn