Per Kirkeby was a Danish painter, sculptor, poet, and filmmaker. He was a pioneering Neo-Expressionist who first achieved widespread recognition alongside German artists Georg Baselitz and Sigmar Polke, as they revolutionized the traditional medium of painting. In contrast to his contemporaries, Per Kirkeby’s work alluded more frequently to geological formations and landscapes rather than figurative subjects and emotional states.
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About the artwork
"Painting is always layer by layer", explains Per Kirkeby in his 2012 Writings. Trained as a geologist, writer, and painter Kirkeby has been reluctant to go into depth about his own work, remaining adamant a picture is meant to be seen—experienced—first and foremost; relegating its title and explanation to a second importance. In his series of Untitled works his theory of "nonsynchronized" pictures is apparent. With each layer, a new picture emerges. Like geological strata, each coating of vigorous gestural and saturated color emerges as its own movement, tone, and sound working together towards the same crescendo.