- Absolutely Modern
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
salutes Arne Jacobsen
30 August 2002 – 12 January 2003



It’s a modern classic – and a classic modern! – that is the subject of one of Louisiana’s two major annual shows in the year 2002: Arne Jacobsen. The Danish architect and designer is having his international revival right now with highlighted evergreens in furniture design like “The Egg” and “The Swan” and his architectural achievements are evoking increasing interest from comtemporary architects all over the world. Louisiana’s exhibition will be the most extensive centennial celebration of Arne-Jacobsen’s birth. It will show Jacobsen in full scale because exactly this concept of doing things in full scale, this ambition of a total design, is the core of his whole work.

Louisiana provides a full view of Jacobsen’s artistic output, i.e. to let all aspects of his work stand out clearly. Thus the exhibition will comprise architecture, furniture design, landscape gardening, textile design, photographs and watercolours, in a deliberate attempt to incorporate Jacobsen’s - in a Danish context quite atypical – all-encompassing vision. The staging and structuring of the exhibition represents a break with the predilection of traditional architectural shows for informative plates and models. Such will of course be included, but we have found it important to give a more sensual presentation of Jacobsen’s work, in accordance with the great awareness of physical qualities demonstrated in his work.

The presentation unfolds in three parts. The first part concerns Jacobsen’s historical framework, i.e. where he came from in terms of models, traditions, etc. The second part focuses on some of his major building projects, while the third presents contemporary interpretations of the special qualities of his work.

To achieve the latter, Louisiana contacted a number of internationally famous architects who have taken a special interest in Jacobsen’s work; of these, Sejima+Nishizawa/SANAA from Japan, Gigon/Guyer from Switzerland and Dominique Perrault/Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost from France have each agreed to be in charge of a gallery, in which they will install their own interpretation of one of the characteristic features of Jacobsen’s work. This approach ensures that the exhibition, rather than being exclusively oriented towards the past, will attempt to take up the Jacobsen heritage in a current and internationally relevant way, in response to the great interest shown in Arne Jacobsen abroad.

The exhibition will thus have a historical as well as a contemporary dimension. It will make use of models, drawings, settings and photography, as well as the most recent audio-visual and computer technology.

The exhibition is being organised in collaboration with ArkitekturInstituttet (The Danish Institute of Architecture) and two outside consultants: Professor Carsten Thau and architect Kjeld Vindum, co-authors of the comprehensive Arne Jacobsen monograph published a few years ago.

An exhibition catalogue in Danish and English (Louisiana Revy), as well as posters and a magazine (in Danish) will be published. Furthermore, an international, two-day conference for professionals will be held, organised in collaboration with ArkitekturInstituttet and featuring lecturers from all over the world.

DONG (The National Oil and Gas Company of Denmark) is the main sponsor of Louisiana’s exhibitions 2001-2003. The exhibition is supported by The Kulturbro Foundation, The Centennial Anniversary-Norway 2005 Ltd, Fritz Hansen A/S, The Augustinus Foundation, The RealDanmark Foundation, PRO HELVETIA, The Arts Council of Switzerland, and The Japan Foundation.

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