Tue Greenfort

1 Kilo PET, 2021 
PET bottles, fused 
ca. 28.5 x 31 x 30 cm 

Streamers, carnivals, lively parties – such are the images that may come to mind when first setting eyes on these paper spirals. But things are not always quite as they seem in the works of Tue Greenfort (*1973 Holbæk, DK). Greenfort continuously explores how nature, culture, science and technology all shape each other, right across both the public sphere and the private sector. The twirls of paper turn out to be pH test strips discoloured by acid rain.  

The artist’s subtly mischievous sense of humour is often intended to make us think twice, not only about the destruction of habitats, shared awareness of environmental problems and scarcity of natural resources; but also about ways of seeing from the perspective of species other than our own. Take “A fly’s composition (trace)”, for example, which documents the path trodden by a fly on the other side of a glass pane covered in condensation. A witty reminder that human activity is not a one-way street: nature inevitably returns to leave its mark on the built environment too, at some point. The question remains as to when and where this encounter takes place, and what consequences it may have. 

All three of Greenfort’s works in the EPO collection have to do with traces. 1 Kilo PET concerns a problem to which innovators around the world continue to seek sustainable solutions. At a stretch, the colours and rhythms here could be compared to lively brushstrokes in Vincent Van Gogh’s Seascape near Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (1888) or even Claude Monet’s Water Lilies (1906). These classic oil paintings certainly share the topic of water with the current artwork. However, times have changed and the water bottles in Greenfort’s sculpture are made from the petroleum-based polyester known as PET (polyethylene terephthalate). Astonishingly, it takes some 17.5 litres of water to produce one kilogram of PET, more water than these bottles could once have carried. Greenfort clearly has his sights set on the broader impact of such disposable products, which is not only disrupting the art world but life on Earth too.  

Rain I

Rain I, 2008 
pH indicator strips, rain 
70 x 100 cm 


Rain II

Rain II, 2008 
pH indicator strips, rain 
70 x 100 cm 


Rain III

Rain III, 2008 
pH indicator strips, rain 
70 x 100 cm 


Partitur einer Fliege (Spur)

Partitur einer Fliege (Spur), 2004 
33 x 45 cm 


© Tue Greenfort