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From Neo-pop to Danish Contemporary Art

Press Release   •   Feb 20, 2018 07:25 GMT

Olaf Breuning: "Mr. Melting Men (Icecream, Snowman og Chocolate)", 2004.

We welcome you to the year’s first international auction for modern art in Copenhagen with humorous artwork from ARoS’ exhibition ”FunFunFun”, works by the biggest names within Danish contemporary art and a photograph by superstar Cindy Sherman.

"With the catchy tune "Fun, Fun, Fun" the American band "The Beach Boys" sang their way into the hearts of people during the 1960s, and “FunFunFun” is also the title of an exhibition at the art museum ARoS from 2008. The exhibition lived up to its title and allowed ‘fun’ to take centre stage on the cultural scene in Jutland’s capital Aarhus. The exhibition's works were carefully selected from a private Danish art collection, which we can present a part of at the year's first international auction of modern art," says Niels Raben, head of the modern art department. 

With these works you really have to be up to speed! The selection includes, for example, 15 tongues in a row, a cloned fish and monkey, a coffin shaped like a smiling ice lolly and a mobile sculpture with pumpkin heads and fishnet stockings. With these works, the stage is set for the auction's Neo-pop art from the '00s. The auction lots include international names, such as the Americans Michael Bevilacqua, Matthew Ronay and Thaddeus Strode, the Swiss Olaf Breuning and Not Vital and the German Till Gerhard.

Danish Contemporary Art at Its Best!

After this vitamin boost, we move on to Danish contemporary art, where things are just as busy. Eske Kath invites us into a colourful, urban and disintegrating space in "Insight" from 2001. With Anette Harboe Flensburg reality has also been dissolved. In her work "Another Room. Another Colour. Another Time" (2005) a garden chair sits in front of a large window with a blurred view of nature outside. The light makes the floor appear as if flooded by water, and the viewer is drawn in by Flensburg’s mesmerizing painting technique. An interplay between sharpness and blurredness is also found in Allan Otte's photorealistic works, which this time includes an arrangement from 2006 with garbage bags, clogs and a blue cloth placed in front of a red brick house. Kathrine Ærtebjerg presents her distinct fairy tale universe in the painting "Hun var lige vågnet" (She Had Just Woken Up) from 2005, while Tal R goes wild in the emphatically expressive "2000 Monky" from 1999. When speaking of Danish contemporary art, the painter Michael Kvium is hard to avoid, and this time around he is represented with the painting "Intruder" from 2007. The painting depicts a pair of human legs equipped with animal hooves that wander through a devastated Scandinavian landscape.

Cindy Sherman’s Deformed Dolls

For the first time ever, we can present an original work by superstar Cindy Sherman, one of the most influential and controversial photographers in recent times. In her 1994 work, she depicts three deformed dolls in an arrangement with strong sexual overtones and sends a critical message to, for instance, the Surrealist Hans Bellmer's artistic worship of fetishism. Another American photographic artist, Marilyn Minter, has also stirred up debate in the art world with her erotic depictions. In the auction's two works from 2007 and 2009, she focuses on two women and their glistening skin.

Jorn, Bjerke-Petersen and Willumsen

The auction also includes eminent names from the slightly older generation of Danish artists. Asger Jorn is one of the artists represented with his work "Les années qui tiennent" (The Years That Count) from 1957, which comes from an artistically fruitful time for Jorn. Here he achieved his international breakthrough and met the French film director and author Guy Debord, with whom Jorn established the political and artistically radical movement "Situationist International". The forerunner of Danish Surrealism, Vilhelm Bjerke-Petersen, is represented with no less than seven compositions, but we also move further back in time with the Danish Symbolist pioneer J.F. Willumsen and his large, remarkable study for the monumental work "Badende børn på Skagen strand” (Children Bathing at Skagen Beach) from 1910, which today hangs in Gothenburg Museum of Art. There you have it – modern art in all shapes and sizes!

International auction

Auction: 6-7 March at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen

Preview: 22-26 February at the same address

View all the lots with modern art

Read more about the auction

Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.

In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are put up for auction each year at the traditional auctions and daily online auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.