A unique figure in the history of modern Danish art is the focus of this year’s final Louisiana exhibition. In spite of his short and tragic life, Jens Adolf Jerichau still managed to leave behind an inspiring legacy, which plays an important part in the shaping of modern art.
J.A. Jerichau (1890-1916) is a unique figure in the history of Danish art who despite a brief career was able to create a very significant and intense oeuvre. He became an inspiration to later generations of Danish painters, not least the two central figures Asger Jorn (1914-1973) and Per Kirkeby (1938-2018).
The exhibition gives an account of Jerichau’s headlong creative development in parallel with the unfolding of his short and tragic life story (Jerichau took his own life in Paris in 1916).
This enables us among other things to describe a number of important friendships and acquaintances of both personal and artistic significance – for example his friendship with Axel Salto (1889-1961) and his late meeting with Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), who invited Jerichau on a journey to Brittany so they could paint together.
Jerichau’s artistic production is typified by an ongoing dialogue between tradition and modernity. He related to the great masters of art history and copied their pictures, while he retold the myths of antiquity and brought them up to date. We do not see much of modern life as such in his pictures. Rather, it is the conditions of a new age that the artist describes through his classical models.
Louisiana’s exhibition about Jens Adolf Jerichau is the biggest presentation of the artist’s works to date, and as a classic exhibition is a contribution to the story of the birth of modern art in which Louisiana has several times taken an interest over the years.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)