Per Kirkeby

Per Kirkeby ( born September 1, 1938 in Copenhagen ) is a Danish painter, sculptor, architect and poet.

Life and work

Per Kirkeby studied from 1957 to 1964 Geology at the University of Copenhagen and graduated with a doctorate. In 1958 he undertook an expedition to Greenland. In 1962, he joined the newly founded by Poul Gernes and the art historian Troels Andersen avant-garde artist group The Eksperimenterende Kunstskole. There, he worked on graphic works, but also with 8- mm films and installations. In 1965, he received a three-year scholarship to the "State Art Foundation ". 1971 journey took him to the Mayan culture to Central America.

Although the primary theme of the trained scientist, the nature and he is primarily a painter, he nevertheless participated in the happenings of the 60s and collaborated with artists such as Joseph Beuys, Henning Christiansen, Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman. In 1968, Kirkeby's first short film, under the influence of Andy Warhol's film theory, which until 1989 twenty-three more followed.

At the beginning of the 1970s Kirkeby turned to the Pop Art of the informal painting of the 1950s, which he had previously criticized and rejected sharp. In 1973 Huset (The House ), his first brick sculpture in the outer space. The following year, followed the first oil painting, since the early 1980s, he also created bronze sculptures. In the 80s came next large-scale oil paintings monumental, monolithic brick sculptures. In 1982 he participated in the exhibition zeitgeist, 1984 in the exhibition From here - Two months new German art in Dusseldorf part. Since 1995, Kirkeby dealt increasingly with the architecture and designed several buildings for the Foundation Hombroich.

1978 Kirkeby was set up as a professor at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. His students included painters, sculptors and writers Herbert Wetterau. Six more of his students founded in 1979, the now legendary art group "War Fried ". In 1989 he was a professor at the Städel School in Frankfurt am Main, where he taught until 2000. In addition to numerous exhibitions in major museums around the world, he participated in several part in the Venice Biennale and also exhibited at documenta 7 and IX.

Per Kirkeby lives and works in Copenhagen, Læsø, in Frankfurt am Main and Arnasco (Italy).

Awards and honors

Public collections


  • Per Kirkeby, Siegfried Gohr (ed.): Per Kirkeby: Journeys in Painting and Elsewhere. Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern- Ruit 2008, ISBN 3-7757-2114-2.
  • Per Kirkeby: the star box. Thoughts and digressions. Gachnang & Springer, Bern, Berlin 1998, ISBN 978-3-906127-54-5.
  • Per Kirkeby: Manual. Texts on architecture and art. Gachnang & Springer, Bern, Berlin 1993, ISBN 978-3-906127-42-2.
  • Per Kirkeby: Bravura. 2 edition. Gachnang & Springer, Bern, Berlin, 1991, ISBN 978-3-906127-03-3.
  • Per Kirkeby: afterimages. Gachnang & Springer, Bern, Berlin, 1991, ISBN 978-3-906127-29-3.
  • Per Kirkeby: crystal face. Selected Essays of " natural history " and " Udviklingen ". Gachnang & Springer, Bern, Berlin, 1990, ISBN 978-3-906127-22-4.
  • Per Kirkeby: Continued Text | Notes. Gachnang & Springer, Bern, Berlin, 1985, ISBN 978-3-906127-05-7.
  • Per Kirkeby: Rodin. La porte de l' enfer. Gachnang & Springer, Bern, Berlin 1985, ISBN 978-3-906127-06-4.