Architect, painter, sculptor, film-maker, motion picture artist, draughtsman, set designer, commercial artist, writer, geologist and college professor
Per Kirkeby was born in 1938 in Copenhagen. He studied geology at the University of Copenhagen beginning in 1957 and received his doctorate in 1964. He captured landscape impressions from expeditions to Greenland, Central America and the Arctic in photographs, films and pictures. In 1962 he also attended classes in painting, graphic arts, film and performance at Copenhagen’s Experimental Art School. In the following year his first solo show opened in Copenhagen. From 1963 on he maintained close contacts with the Fluxus artists and became engaged in conceptual designs and in performances. In the 1970s he mainly produced collages, paintings and prints. His colours and landscape elements permit associative references to nature. In other pictures, by contrast, the gestural aspect is more greatly emphasised. Colour is the essential design factor in his works. In 1978 Kirkeby taught at the art academy in Karlsruhe, and in 1989 at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He has participated in documenta a number of times and also in the Venice Biennale. Kirkeby lives and works in Frankfurt am Main, Copenhagen and Arnasco, Italy.