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Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag

Johannes Hofmeister1981

The Danish Parliament

The Danish Parliament

Modern art has gained a firm foothold at Christiansborg in recent years. It is not a matter of chance that artists began to take certain liberties from the 1960s onwards. The invention of TV meant that the public became increasingly familiar with politicians so it was no longer so important to portray them in a realistic manner. At the same time, artists have been experimenting with new forms of expression, and a living state institution and a workplace such as Christiansborg must naturally reflect these developments.
However, most recently, a more discreet and realistic idiom has once again emerged. Parliament's Art Committee now helps politicians to choose portraitists. Nevertheless, it could be asked whether things did not go too far on one occasion when former Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Liberal Party) chose the pilot, concept artist and former squatter activist, Simone Aaberg Kærn, to paint his portrait. It is a kitschy, rather ineptly painted picture that makes Fogh Rasmussen look as though he is wearing a mask due to the absence of detail in the depiction of his physiognomy.
Among the most successful portraits of prime ministers from modern times that should be pointed out are Martin Kaalund-Jørgensen’s portrait of Thorvald Stauning, Mogens Kølkjær’s portrait of Viggo Kampmann, Johannes Hofmeister's portrait of J.O. Krag, Niels Strøbek's portrait of Poul Schlüter and Michael Kvium's portrait of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. Author: Lisbeth Bonde, M.A and art critic. Photographer: Torben Eskerod.

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Details

  • Title: Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag
  • Creator: Johannes Hofmeister
  • Date: 1981
  • Physical Dimensions: w81 x h91 cm
  • Original Title: Statsminister Jens Otto Krag (1962 - 1968/1971 - 1972)
  • Danish Description: J.O. Krag, der var statsminister i flere omgange fra 1960’erne og frem, afbrød dramatisk sin karriere som statsminister den 3. oktober 1972, dagen efter at vælgerne havde stemt Danmark ind i EF (nu EU). Han er foreviget af sin nabo i sommerhuset i Skiveren, maleren Johannes Hofmeister, som skildrer ham mere som privatpersonen Krag end som statsministeren Krag. Da portrættet blev afsløret i 1970 – dengang offentligheden endnu kun kendte Krag som en elegant og strategisk dygtig socialdemokratisk statsminister – faldt receptionen negativt ud. Man studsede over, at Krag optræder i en langærmet, blå undertrøje, og at hans ansigt fremstår så maskeagtigt – ganske uden ansigtstræk. Igen havde kunstneren i stedet for at tugte sig og underlægge sig den officielle opgaves krav om portrætlighed dyrket sit eget kunstneriske jeg, hed det sig. I dag, da man kender flere facetter af Krags personlighed og ved, at han var et ulykkeligt og meget tillukket menneske, som ønskede at befri sig selv ved at male og skrive i sit tidligt valgte otium, synes Johannes Hofmeister at have været profetisk. Det er både et fremragende portræt og et rigtig godt billede. Forfatter: Lisbeth Bonde, cand.mag. og kunstkritiker. Fotograf: Torben Eskerod.
  • Provenance: © Johannes Hofmeister/billedkunst.dk
  • Type: Oil on canvas

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