Alvar Aalto. Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg


More than 4,000 works of art, mostly dated from 1900 onwards and belonging to Danish artists, although international ones are also represented, are part of the collections of the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, whose headquarters are worth a visit in itself. : It is the only museum located outside Finland to be designed by Alvar Aalto, with the help of his wife, Elissa Aalto, and Jean-Jacques Baruël. Completed in 1972, it was made of white marble both inside and outside, and the copper lamps that have become its hallmark also bear the architect's signature.

After a period of renovations in which its original structure was fully respected (this is a protected construction), the museum reopened its doors in 2016 with a new exhibition gallery, various teaching rooms, cafes and shops and a park Completely renovated sculptures. 317 tons of Italian marble were replaced, both on the façade and in the interior spaces.

Returning to its collections, which largely come from donations from private collections, allow us to understand the evolution of art in Denmark since the beginning of the 20th century and have important chapters corresponding to international authors who worked before and after World War II; This collection is exhibited on a rotating basis, for reasons of space common to most museums of this size and with the aim of making the greatest number of Kunsten pieces available to the widest possible volume of visitors, inviting them, at their time, to a next approach. The works of Asger Jorn and Julie Nord are among its main attractions, but from 2022 we can also enter there in a permanent exhibition dedicated to Aalto that influences the Finn's belief that architecture, design and art are inextricably linked and that , together, should inspire people to achieve a life more attached to nature.

These principles are evident in the Kunsten Museum itself, in which the relationship of the building with the landscape, the use of materials and the fundamental presence of natural light invite you to access the center, which in turn provides semi-exterior spaces that They favor the approach of spectators to the green environment. The presentation, which was inaugurated to mark the half century that has passed since the completion of these architectures, contains documentation of the rest of Aalto's production and some of his furniture, both freed from sharp corners and edges, and close to the organic forms.

The fundamental objective of the architect from the Polytechnic University of Helsinki was to create spaces and environments that remind us of who we are, that capture our senses through their tones and that configure gesamtkunstwerks, total works of art in which architecture, furniture and lighting make up a unit. He sought, in short, to humanize recent architecture based on an unorthodox approach to construction technologies.

As for temporary exhibitions, there are four that the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg currently offers: the last one to open, “Polke, Kiefer & Baselitz”, presents through works by these three German artists from another Danish museum, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the possible weight of war, trauma and taboos that it generates in the development of new artistic approaches and alternative views on history, in this case post-war German history.

Georg Baselitz, Der Neue Typ, 1966. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk.  Donation: Franz Dahlem

Until October 20, you can also visit “Kusten retro”, which allows us to see a selection of the best works in the collections of this center as they were exhibited when it opened its doors fifty-two years ago, the date on which a critic described the experience of walking through it as “walking inside a sculpture, where the space perpetually changes, automatically drawing you on a journey of discovery.” The walls were covered in linen, the floors were covered in light gray carpets, and on the walls awaited Asger Jorn, Richard Mortensen, Else Alfelt, Vilhelm Lundstrøm, Pablo Picasso, Lynn Chadwick, Le Corbusier and Max Ernst, among others. The setting is now identical, but the exhibition will influence the changes that have occurred both in the museum's collections and in the ways of displaying them.

Retro kursten.  Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg

It will not be the only evolution to track in the Kunsten. The exhibition “100 Years” by Hans-Peter Feldmann, open until June, is made up of 101 portraits, in black and white, of people ranging in age from a few months to a century; They question whether it is possible to summarize the passage of time through photography, which is why we will see the images in chronological order and accompanied by a bouquet of fresh flowers.

Feldmann photographed his models, appropriately identified here, for three years (between 1998 and 2000) and all of them belong to his family circle, friends or acquaintances; In other words, his basis for addressing the course of the years was, above all, personal and emotional. Contemplating this project can also be for us: although each sitter carries with them their own story, foreign to ours, what really brings them closer to the public is our identification with those with whom we share our age and life stage; This is one of the most poetic proposals of this German conceptual author, who has always worked from the everyday and often using his own (and enormous) photographic archive.

Hans-Peter Feldmann – 100 years.  Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg

Finally, the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg presents “Overload”, the first exhibition by the young Swedish artist Maria Nordin outside her country. The human body is the axis of her works, twisting or interacting with others and with space; In most cases, these are watercolors that refer to frozen moments and that have been interpreted as tactile landscapes. In this center, due to their tones, they dialogue with Aalto's architecture, although they can also be read as images of the feelings of uncertainty typical of our time, of accentuated fragility.

Maria Nordin.  Cascade, 2023. Photography: Galleri Magnus Karlsson

“Polke, Kiefer & Baselitz”

From March 27 to September 15, 2024

“Retro Kunsten”

From February 9 to October 20, 2024

“Hans-Peter Feldmann – 100 Years”

From January 18 to June 26, 2024

“Maria Nordin – Overload”

From November 23, 2023 to June 9, 2024


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