Development of the collection
The starting point
A Danish artists’ group that included artists like Jorn, Alfelt, Carl-Henning Pedersen, Heerup and Bille began collaborating with Dutch and Belgian artists and in 1948 formed the CoBrA movement, which is represented in the collection by many works – including works by Appel, Alechinsky, Corneille and Lucebert. The museum’s Jorn collection was increased in 1999 by a fine donation of ten works, to which one more has been added later. The Jorn collection is today one of the museum’s absolute focuses, so in 2007 a permanent Jorn room was established. Other aspects of the museum’s collection of fifties art have been added with sculptures by Giacometti and Richier as well as works by Dubuffet, Tàpies and Bacon, who play a special role not least in the northern European perspective.
The art of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s
The group of American Color Field painters is similarly well represented at Louisiana. With nine large and four smaller works (most donated by Marcella Louis Brenner) the museum owns a considerable collection of paintings by Morris Louis, supplemented by works by Reinhardt, Rothko, Noland, Kelly and Stella. In addition, the collection includes works by several artists who made names as early as the sixties and in the next decade created a rich, nuanced oeuvre – Beuys, Kienholz, Mario Merz, Long, Oppenheim and Tuttle.
At he beginning of the 1980s, the new ‘wild’ painting had its breakthrough as an international movement that spread from Italy to Germany and the USA. The potential of painting was challenged anew, and figurative and expressive idioms were reintroduced. The Italians Cucchi and Paladino, German artists like Penck, Immendorf, Lüpertz, Baselitz, Polke, Richter, Kiefer and the Dane Kirkeby as well as the American New Image painters Salle, Fischl and Jenney are all represented at Louisiana by significant works.
With funding from A.P. Møller og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond til almene Formaal it became possible in 2007 for Louisiana to acquire the major work A Closer Grand Canyon (1998) by David Hockney. The 2 x 7.5 m work immediately placed Hockney at the centre of the museum’s collection and is an indispensable masterpiece in the Louisiana collection.
The sculpture collection
Besides the sculptures placed indoors in the museum’s exhibition spaces, around 60 works are presented in the park, where a few have been set up in special relationships with the buildings and should therefore be seen from inside, while others have their own exact space in the sculpture courts. Others require more space around them and are placed freely in the park. Here one finds works by artists like Arp, Bill, Calder, Max Ernst, Heerup, Henri Laurens, Miró and Henry Moore. Finally, artists like Serra, Trakas, Cucchi and Karavan have created site-specific sculptures for the Louisiana Park.