Poul Gernes

Gernes (JPG)Untitled, 1967
Enamel paint, masonite, wood
each 90 x 90 cm
(c) Poul Gernes, courtesy of Galerie Ben Kaufmann, Berlin; Katrin Rother

The four works by Danish artist Poul Gernes (*1925 Copenhagen, DK, † 1996 Ekeröd, SE) depict circles, triangles and other simple geometric elements in vivid colour combinations. The images testify to the artist's interest in non-figurative painting as well as the systematisation of colour and form. For many years, his work, which bears a resemblance to both minimalism and pop art while at the same time being exceptionally individual, remained largely unknown outside Scandinavia, not reaching a wider audience until relatively late. Gernes turned his back on figurative art in the early 1960s in search of new methods of pictorial expression beyond any figurative themes. He continued his artistic research at the Experimental School of Art in Copenhagen, which he founded together with art historian Troels Andersen, and at which Per Kirkeby, for instance, also taught.

Poul Gernes worked in a wide range of media and, besides painting and sculpture, engaged with film and photography. He created panel paintings as well as numerous, in some cases temporary, installations and devised colour schemes for public buildings. His interest in colour structures can be traced through all his work. Gernes’ sense of colour, form, surface and space is also reflected in the EPO's four small-scale, but nonetheless powerful, works from the late 1960s.

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