It is a great pleasure to be able to present at last a comprehensive retrospective of the artist, designer and architect Gunnar Aagaard Andersen (1919-82). He was one of the groundbreaking Danish artists of his time, both because of his innovative thinking and because of the way in which he experimented with materials. Today, several of Aagaard Andersen’s works have gained iconic status, and therefore renewed relevance, due partly to the ‘crossover’ approach that he took within his practice. These days, when design and visual art tend to mix and overlap to an unprecedented extent, it naturally makes sense to find out what there is to learn from Aagaard Andersen’s impressive productions.
This exhibition is the result of a research project by senior researcher Vibeke Petersen M.A., in curatorial collaboration with the artist Jørgen Michaelsen. For the first time ever, Aagaard Andersen’s work is presented from sketch to finished product, encompassing his set design, graphic design, the legendary polyurethane furniture, his drip paintings, textiles, wallpaper patterns, carpets, etc. His use of typography as a graphic element, displaced onto carpets and upholstery textiles, along with his approach to materials and the shaping of furniture, are early examples of the ways in which design and art can flow seamlessly into one another. The textile design company Kvadrat, in connection with this exhibition, are reprinting five of Aagaard Andersen’s earlier textile designs. In the 1950s, Aagaard Andersen was attached to Unika Væv, who were later to develop into Kvadrat -and it was there that he designed patterns, created a new colour system, and worked on graphic layouts.
The exhibition will focus on presenting Aagaard Andersen’s visual thought processes and show how the artist guides his audiences visually and sensually through his extensive creative, qualitative and methodological body of work. The central theme of the exhibition is his pioneering work on the relationship between art and design.
The exhibition has already received a lot of amazing reviews from amongst other Jyllands-Posten, Børsen and Berlingske.