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  • Ib Geertsen, installation view GAK Bremen 2016, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen: Untitled, 1949, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen, installation view GAK Bremen 2016, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen: Kaedemobile, 1996, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen: Untitled - light blue, red and blue, 2007, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen, installation view GAK Bremen 2016, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen: Drejeskulptur, blau, 1953, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen, installation view GAK Bremen 2016, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen: Untitled. Collage, 1967, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen: Untitled. Collage, 1967, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen, installation view GAK Bremen 2016, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen: Kassetegning II, 1970, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen, installation view GAK Bremen 2016, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen: Karussel-mobile, 1964, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen, installation view GAK Bremen 2016, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen: Untitled, Collages, 1974, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Ib Geertsen, installation view GAK Bremen 2016, Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • –- Ib Geertsen: Untitled, 1987, Photo: Tobias Hübel

Ib Geertsen

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20.08–13.11.2016

Ib Geertsen (1919-2009) is one of the most important representatives of Danish Concrete Art and is highly regarded in his home country. His mobiles, paintings, and paper works are featured in major museum collections. His murals and “drawings in the air”, as he called his mobiles, have become iconic public art works in many danish cities. And his forays into the applied arts and the playful poetry of his colourful geometric shapes remain highly relevant today. Critic and curator Lars Bang Larsen wrote in Artforum in 2003: “Ib Geertsen is practically a father figure within Denmark’s artistic household. Generations of Danish artists have grown up with his colourful formalism in museums and public spaces, and now a younger audience has rediscovered Geertsen’s sensuous cool.”

Given the quality of Geertsen’s artistic oeuvre, on par with international contemporaries such as Richard Paul Lohse, Niele Toroni, Serge Poliakoff or Alexander Calder, it is surprising that his work is nearly unknown outside Denmark. Without a doubt, his art contains tendencies that are now (again) part and parcel of contemporary artistic production. Many aspects of his work—his colour palette and expressive geometric forms unencumbered by symbolism, but emotionally charged, the interweaving of balance, motion, light and space, and the artist’s way of crossing genre boundaries to form a direct link with people in their everyday lives—are still very up-to-date and enjoying a revival of sorts in many current artistic positions.

Geertsen’s exhibition at the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst marks the first-ever showing of his work in Germany. It presents a number of Geertsen’s mobiles, paintings and paper works since the 1950s and moreover includes a generic documentary of his projects for public spaces and his designs in the Applied Arts. The show is complemented by a „museum shop“ that offers a selection of design objects inspired by Geertsen and exclusively developed for the show for sale.

Ib Geertsen was born in Copenhagen in 1919, where he died in 2009. He first trained as a gardener in the 1930s before becoming a self-taught artist. He was a founding member of the artist group Linien II, which between 1949 and 1952 served as a link between Danish Concrete Art and international artists working in the same vein. Since the 1950s, his work has been a part of many international group exhibitions on concrete art and presented in solo exhibitions by Denmark’s most important art institutions. His works are represented in the main collections in his home country (i.e. National Gallery in Copenhagen, ARoS in Aarhus, Sorø Art Museum or Trapholt in Kolding). Between the 1960s and 1990s, he also realized numerous public art projects throughout Denmark and made design drafts.

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20.08–13.11.2016

Curated by
Janneke de Vries

Catalogue

Ib Geertsen (Editor: Janneke de Vries, GAK Bremen, 2016).

Events

Fri 19.08.16, 7 pm
Opening

Thu 25.08.16, 7 pm
Guided tour with Janneke de Vries

Thu 08.09.16, 7 pm
Dr. Simone Schimpf: Form versus Function. Concrete Art and Design
Lecture

Thu 22.09.16, 7 pm
Guided tour with Marilena Koch

Thu 29.09.16, 7 pm
Christian Hald Foghmar and Nils Erik Gjerdevik:
Balance in Movement
Conversation (en)

Tue 04.10.16, 1.30 – 7 pm
Colour Thoughts
Workshop for children
In cooperation with the kek – children’s museum

Mon 10.10.16, 11 am – 2.30 pm
Colour Thoughts
Workshop for children
In cooperation with the kek – children’s museum

Thu 20.10.16, 7 pm
Doris Weinberger: sympósion. Film – Magazine – Edition
Screening & Presentation

Thu 10.11.16, 7 pm
Guided tour with Svea Kellner

Support

The Senator for Culture, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Karin and Uwe Hollweg Foundation, Waldemar Koch Foundation, Danish Arts Foundation

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