Denmark: Constructions

Imago Mundi

Contemporary Artists from Denmark

In 2016, Denmark achieved first place in the Happiness Index, celebrated by the UN on March 20th each year. And, having existed for over a thousand years, it is also the oldest monarchy in the world, second only to the Japanese empire. In this winning blend of modernity and tradition, social welfare and democracy, Imago Mundi has collected the testimony of 160 contemporary artists who took up the challenge of the 10x12 cm canvas.

Jette Bille - Untitled (2014)

“In Denmark - highlights Luciano Benetton, the creator of Imago Mundi - they have always been accustomed to doing things well, as even the name of the famous Lego bricks suggests; deriving from the Danish leg godt, it means play well. The Danish have always built the future. The country, in addition to the Happiness Index, rates highly in the most varied of rankings: from performance in climate change (Climate Change Performing Index) to the list of the least corrupt countries in the world (Transparency International Corruption Perception Index), from the Forbes “Best Countries for Business” to the World Bank's “Ease of Doing Business”Index.”

Stig Brøgger - Untitled (2014)

Mahmoud Alibadi - What’s Left Behind (2014)

“This – adds Benetton - is the Danish model, enjoyed by its approximately five and a half million inhabitants. Here a long tradition of guaranteeing and protecting civil and political rights goes hand in hand with a strong social balance and, despite the global economic crisis, with equal opportunity and remuneration policies that, for example, make Copenhagen one of the cities with the highest level of income in the world.”

Fredrik Tydén - Untitled (2014)

Anja Franke - My Garden Waste (2014)

“When we look at Imago Mundi’s Danish collection – observes Angelika Dahl Serritzlew, Art Consultant, University of Copenhagen - we will first and foremost meet the individual works and see their formal diversity and range. The differences are what first and foremost characterise this collection. But, nevertheless, each and every contribution in the Danish collection was made in a specific time and place. They have not been made without context, but in conscious or unconscious dialogue with time and place, with that which we call our age and the Danish cultural context.”

Simon Fensholm - Decorative Death / A House a Head (2014)

Lis Nogel - Copper Relief (2014)

“The ambition for the Imago Mundi project – explains the curator Sophus Gether, owner of Gether Contemporary - became to try to create a broad picture of the Danish art scene across generations, and with artists working in all media and genres. Painters, photographers, sculptors, illustrators, video artists, and even performance artists are part of the collection. They have all addressed the very small format in their own way. But the inclusion of all artistic schools has demanded much of the participating artists. Of the performance artist Dina Friemuth, for example, whose works cannot normally be immortalised as a form on a surface. Her challenge was therefore not only the format, but also to reformulate and translate her work for an entirely different medium than she normally works in.”

Torben Ebbesen - Reflector (2014)

Kim Asbury - The Epistemology of Color (2014)

Malene Bach - Untitled (2014)

“But above and beyond the diversity of approaches, the Danish
collection – continues Sophus Gether - also extends across all the active generations on the Danish art scene. Older as well as younger artists are part of it and thus give the collection perspective. Stig Brøgger, Bjørn Nørgaard, Torben Ebbesen, Eva Kock, and Margrete Sørensen from the older generation therefore rub shoulders with Emil Toldbod, Fredrik Tydén, Christine Overvad, Esben Gyldenløve, and Vinyl, Terror & Horror, to name just a few from the younger generation. This gives the collection breadth and allows us to understand the basis of Danish contemporary art, why the art looks the way it does today, and in which direction it looks to be going in the future.”

Kristina Elisabeth Steinbock - (2014)

Tina Maria Nielsen - Untitled (2014)

In Denmark, research into the future is a key element in all fields. And, in this context, the country’s art scene – the curator notes – “is at the moment being given exposure on a number of different platforms. Project spaces and artist-run spaces, which break with the customary hierarchy of the art world, have joined the established institutions such as museums and galleries. Artists and art historians are stepping out of the conventional framework to create their own platforms for showing art. This results in new and different exhibition concepts and constellations seeing the light of day, which would have found things difficult within the established system.”

Martin Fasting - The Art Collector (2014)

Amalie Jakobsen & Oskar Jakobsen - Red White Square (back) (2014)

Imago Mundi contributes with enthusiasm to Danish art’s push towards the future. “Danish artistic expression – summarizes Luciano Benetton - exudes the ability to bring together concrete content, creativity and sense, starting from architecture and design, which have become synonymous with beauty and formal simplicity at the service of function. In particular, in this collection we find talent and ability, reflection on the role of contemporary art and, above all, great expressive freedom. The construction of Life, lived and imagined. Material and ideal.”

Malene Hartmann Rasmussen - Love Chain (2014)

Credits: Story

Sophus Gether

Valentina Granzotto

Editorial coordination:
Enrico Bossan

Luciano Benetton
Angelika Dahl Serritzlew
Sophus Gether

Special thanks:
All the participating artists
Valentina Pozzoni
Charlotte Fogh

Editing and translation:
Sandro Berra
Carlo Antonio Biscotto
Jozef Falinski
Sara Favilla
Ferena Lenzi

Book design:
Marcello Piccinini

Marco Zanin (artworks)

Marco Pavan

Martin Erik Andersen (www.martinerikandersen. dk/

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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