Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Visiting Arken Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen

A visit to this museum will probably change the way you think of art, both classical and modern. Though the Arken Museum of Modern Art is a museum that showcases one of Scandinavia’s finest collections of con­temporary art, it also houses regular exhibitions of classic pieces. The maritime-inspired architecture has gained the museum international renown. Arken is located further afield from the main city center, but luckily there is public transportation that can easily take you there (both Metro and Bus). So come along, and lets see what the Arken has to offer.

One of Denmark’s newest contemporary art museums, the Arken Museum of Modern Art was inaugurated in 1996. Prior to this, years had been spent to ensure that this coastal location in Ishoj just south of Copenhagen would become a significant player in Danish cultural life. The young architecture student, Soren Robert Lund, won the design competition and created this museum, which resembled a giant beached ship. The ship metaphor is also evident in the huge indoor gal­lery axis, which is shaped like a hull with tall, heavy doors of iron, exposed bolts and metal staircases. This is the bold framework for a large collection of contemporary art and special exhibitions.

Vocabulary of Solitude Installation

45 realistic clowns, cast from male and female models, make up the installation: vocabulary of solitude. Usually clowns are happy, energetic and entertaining, but here they are the opposite: contemplative and passive. The installation shows their melancholy, as they do not meet our initial expectations of the funny clown. There is a lot of interaction here, though your are not obviously allowed to touch the clowns. It's very interesting to observe them, sit next to them, contemplate and digest.

Van Gogh Exibition

Vincent van Gogh is one of the most famous artists. Known for having cut his ear off, loved for his moving paintings and letters, for Van Gogh, life and art were a hard struggle. In all of that, he was able to create an original artistic vision and style that demonstrates his belief in the wondrous unity of man and nature. Arken's exhibition shows with 28 paintings and 11 drawings how his depictions of hard-working farm laborers and captivating landscapes were meant to express the divine in nature and mankind at a time of new departures in society, when traditional faith was coming under pressure from modern philosophy and science.

The exhibition is layed out in multiple, connected rooms and each painting or drawing is given a lot of space to breathe. It's amazing to get up close to these paintings and observe them. I was completely in awe by them, as well as the story behind the paintings which is explained as you walk through the museum. By the end you will have a better understanding of the life and work of Van Gogh.

J.F. Willumsen Exhibition

Another exhibition are the artworks and paintings from J.F. Willumsen. The contemporaneity and relevance of Willumsen as one of the pioneers behind the modern breakthrough in Danish art calls for thorough illumination. In collaboration with J.F. Willumsens Museum, Arken unfolds the artist’s radical oeuvre in an exhibition that features all the major works from the museum’s unique collection. There are a lot of large paintings here as well, which are very impressive to stand in front of.

Damien Hirst Exhibition

Death is a central theme in Hirst's works. He became famous for a series of artworks in which dead animals (including a shark, a sheep and a cow) are preserved, sometimes having been dissected, in formaldehyde. The Arken displayed the dissected cow. Art is subjective of course, but the pieces displayed here surely provoke discussion. Shown below is the piece called "For the Love of God". It is a sculpture that consists of a platinum cast of an 18th-century human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead that is known as the Skull Star Diamond. The skull's teeth are original, and were purchased by Hirst in London. The artwork is a memento mori, or reminder of the mortality of the viewer.

What do you think about the exhibitions displayed at the Arken?


  1. Most interesting--- Some might find some of the exhibits a bit weird. I think they're great!

    1. There is something for everybody there I think.

  2. Not my 'cup of tea' so to say although I would live to visit that country

    PS...welcome back!

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)

  3. What an extraordinary museum - such variety in beauty & style.

  4. The exhibits with the clowns fascinate me! Great post, Mersad.
    Thanks for sharing at

  5. My sister was in Copenhagen in the spring. I wonder if she went here?

  6. Also alles sehenswert würde mich besonders die Van Gogh Exibition reizen. Bin ein Fan von diesen Bildern. Moderne Kunst muss ich öfters länger auf mich wirken lassen und das für mich Schöne zu sehen.

    Liebe Grüsse


  7. What a fabulous designed building and I love all those clowns. the other exhibitions all look very interesting. A great place to visit

  8. What an amazing museum it is, makes me falling in love to visit it. Thanks for sharing your visiting experience with us.
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  10. It is definitely mind boggling. Especially the skull and the diced cow.
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