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The Louisiana 2020 programme spans from great women of surrealism – such as Frida Kahlo, Meret Oppenheim and Leonora Carrington – to the first major presentation of the recently passed Danish artist Per Kirkeby's bronze sculptures. From colourful, optical illusions to a large-scale thematic look at the role of 'The Mother" in the arts and culture of the 20th and 21st century.

Please note: The exhibitions planned for 2020 will be realized, though the current coronavirus-crisis invariably will affect the program. We shall be updating changes, dates of closure and openings, continuously once they are confirmed - thank you for your patience and understanding.


This exhibition will introduce the work of the Belgian artist Ann Veronica Janssens (b. 1956) for the first time in Denmark. Janssens’ art eludes categorization, but its effect on the viewer is unmistakable. While the artist openly acknowledges her inspiration from the Californian Light and Space artists of the 1960s, for her it has always been about conveying an experience of art by simultaneously stimulating the eyes, body and consciousness, and not about observing art from a distance.

Janssens’ work ranges widely, with no intention of confirming what we already know. In fact, it aims to locate us precisely at the spot where we open ourselves up again. Like a scientist, she pursues and pushes the boundaries of the known – in light effects, mists, colour trails, reflective optical illusions – as a ground for engendering thoughts and feelings in the viewer. Very simple at times, her works can demand our participation while enveloping us completely in alienation.


The American artist Nancy Spero (1926-2009) was a feminist pioneer. As an activist in the 1960s, she levelled her art against all existing power structures, notably political oppression, racism and male hegemony.

Dealing with the violence in her time – World War II followed by the Vietnam War and Third World oppression – Spero’s work also aspired to define a different material, drawing inspiration from ancient cultures. Long paper friezes are inhabited by supernatural figures, fighters and lovers, often in cyclical processions placing women at the absolute centre of the world. To express what she considered the basic nature of humanity, Spero in her final years entirely stopped representing men in her work, which makes her expression no less human or powerful. The exhibition is the first presentation of the artist’s work in Denmark.

An exhibition of Museum Folkwang, in cooperation with Nordiska Akvarellmuseet, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and Lillehammer Art Museum, and is supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.


Per Kirkeby (1938-2018) is a key artist in Louisiana’s collection, which features works from his earliest beginnings to the very last years of his life. The exhibition in spring 2020 takes a close look at Kirkeby’s bronze sculptures and the artist’s work with figure and space that also occupied his painting in the early 1980s.

While the bronzes have often played a supporting role in shows of his work, this exhibition will present a majority of Kirkeby’s sculptures, sometimes in interaction with individual paintings and drawings, while spotlighting his personal affinities with old masters – Rodin and others – that so typified the intellectual range of his outlook.


The first ever comprehensive presentation of Kirkeby’s bronzes, the exhibition will take up the museum’s entire West Wing. It is curated by Louisiana’s director, Poul Erik Tøjner, who has written several books on and with the Danish artist, including two central volumes, Per Kirkeby: Painting and Per Kirkeby: Sculpture.

Tøjner was also behind Louisiana’s big 2002 exhibition 122 x 122 Paintings on Masonite, featuring Kirkeby’s Pop art from the 1960s and 1970s. Later, to celebrate Kirkeby’s 70th birthday in 2008, Tøjner organized a large retrospective, accompanied by a film with the artist.


The Japanese artist Tetsumi Kudo (1935-1990) takes on humanity’s technology-obsessed self-destruction and ecological decline. The exhibition presents a focused selection of works from the 1960s and 1970s growing out of the apocalyptic postwar awareness of the atomic bomb’s effect on reproduction and the environment.

While Kudo’s work will be new to many, the Louisiana Collection features two of the artist’s peculiar and distinctive sculptures. Dystopian, fluorescent terrariums with weird experiments in budding life, they anchor this presentation of Kudo’s caustic depictions of a polluted and ailing world that we ourselves have created and have to figure out how to keep alive. Grotesque and absurd, his art could not be more topical.


Louisiana’s big summer exhibition focuses on the contribution of women artists to Surrealism. While the movement’s male practitioners are widely known and have been celebrated in countless shows, few people today have much familiarity with the female Surrealists – even though many of them were part of the inner circle around André Breton and showed alongside their male colleagues in seminal Surrealist exhibitions of the day.

Featuring around 250 works by 30 women artists – from the US, Mexico and Europe – the exhibition is the first comprehensive presentation of their work. In a fascinating look at their diverse approaches to Surrealist ideas, each artist is represented by distinctive works tracing the outline of their oeuvre and highlighting their singular contribution to the Surrealist vocabulary.


The exhibition will showcase and contextualize the thematic similarities and connections between the artists’ work in painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and film.

Alongside well-known names like Louise Bourgeois, Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington and Meret Oppenheim, this will be the first opportunity to experience artists like Kay Sage, Leonor Fini and Toyen in Denmark.

An exhibition of Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, in cooperation with Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk.


In the fourth exhibition in The Architect’s Studio series, the Indian architect Anupama Kundoo aims to shed light on a scarce resource in our life: time. Kundoo sees time as a forgotten resource in architecture, while architecture is a process that embraces the present, the past and the future.

Constructed as a journey through time, the exhibition explores and integrates traditional Indian building customs, crafts and materials into Kundoo’s current works. In general, Kundoo is concerned with using as few resources as possible in her architecture.


Anuparma Kundoo works both in India and in Europe. The architect’s own house in the experimental township of Auroville, Southern India, is among her most important works. Auroville arose from the idea of a community where people from different cultures could live in peace and harmony, regardless of nationality, religion, caste or politics. 

As a theme in the exhibition, Kundoo’s work in developing Auroville will be unfolded in large-scale models. Moreover, Kundoo is designing a site-specific installation for Louisiana’s Park that will be on view during the exhibition.

Realdania supports the exhibition series The Architect's Studio.


Arthur Jafa was honoured with the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. The American artist (b. Tupelo, Mississippi, 1960) first gained worldwide attention in 2016 with his video work Love is the Message, the Message is Death.

Running roughly eight minutes, the work is a virtuosic cut of viral videos and historical footage of American notables like Barack Obama, Serena Williams and Martin Luther King alongside news clips and handheld footage of police brutality against Black Americans, scored to the Kanye West song Ultralight Beam. Deeply touching and scathing, Jafa’s work highlights the discrepancy between the fame and status of Black stars and the treatment of the African-American population in general.

The exhibition will show Jafa’s seminal Love is the Message, the Message is Death, as well as a number of works made for the occasion. Alongside his art, Jafa has worked on an array of documentaries and features, as director or camera operator, and directed several music videos, including with Jay-Z and Solange Knowles. Jafa is represented in Louisiana’s collection with his 2013 work Apex.

Louisiana Channel interview with Jafa


Present or absent, supportive or domineering, warm or diabolical – everyone has a Mother! The big exhibition event at the Louisiana in autumn 2020 revolves around Motherhood, viewed through changing notions of art and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. Bringing together works by many of the greatest artists of the period, the exhibition will run the gamut from early avant-garde movements to the present day.

In a sprawling and sensuous, richly unfolded story, motherhood and the figure of the mother will be examined in cultural-historical, philosophical, psychological and artistic depth. As with Louisiana’s recent THE MOON exhibition, the story will go back in time and follow the tracks that lead to the present moment.


Ranging from religious images of the Madonna to post-feminist “bad girls,” the iconography of motherhood is closely linked to stories of female power and liberation – and to the physical and psychological relationships between mothers and their (artist) children, daughters and sons alike.

A through line in the exhibition will, naturally, be the movements and distinctive developments that have changed society over the last century or so, challenging the traditional social position of women, especially, and putting notions of motherhood and traditional cultural norms and expectations under pressure.

The exhibition brings together a number of important artists that have been exhibited at the Louisiana over the last decade, many of which are represented in the museum’s collection. There will be works by Louise Bourgeois, David Hockney, Yayoi Kusama, Rineke Dijkstra, Ragnar Kjartansson, Paula Modersohn-Becker and Candice Breitz, among others, along with contributions custom-made for the occasion by a number of younger artists providing topical perspectives on Mother!

The Obel Family Foundation and Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond support the exhibition MOTHER!