Tor II, Per Kirkeby
Per Kirkeby
Tor II
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Per Kirkeby

Tor II, 1987 (casting 1991)

240 x 170 x 60 cm
700 kg
Physical Description
Bronze, patinated
Inventory Number
Acquired in 2011 with support of the Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Not on display


About the Work

In Per Kirkeby's paintings, ice crystals become separated from the pictorial ground, and sedimented mosses, lichens and stone iridesce, alternating in colour between green, brown and purple - thus far the association. The colour structures are abstract but evoke something organic. The Danish artist with a doctorate in geology aims to make visible structures which are based on the fleeting phenomena of reality. Comparable with the basic principles of Structuralist theory, it is a question of the relationship between things, and correspondingly the meaning of the overall structure points beyond the meaning of the individual elements. "The structural individual takes what is given, dismantles it and puts it back together again," wrote Roland Barthes in his 1966 essay 'The Structuralist Activity'.

The menhir-like sculpture 'Gate II', by contrast, resembles a found object from another world or a meteorite from an unknown galaxy. Encrusted earth, old tree bark - organic again - seem to have been deposited on the surface. The craggy 'skin' of the monumental sculpture also references Auguste Rodin - one recalls his 'Galatea' (1889), the statue just coming to life and peeling itself out of the stone. Kirkeby's boulder looks like a preliminary stage of that particular work. He plays off the promise of life against hermetic reticence. The heavy, unfinished-looking bronze harbours a secret, a gate, which promises imaginary access to another world, but then ultimately denies it.

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