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Denmark and Revolutionary ARKEN  

ARKEN is a contemporary art museum that is located 20 kilometers south of Copenhagen.   The architect behind its fascinating modern building is Søren Robert Lund whose vision helped make the structure truly spectacular the way it is rising on the edge of the water in Køge Bugt.

ARKEN’s Collection comprises almost 400 works of art and there are lots of wonderful gems in its collection that are specific to Nordic atmosphere.  ARKEN collects Danish, Nordic and international art with special emphasis on contemporary art (1990s and onward).

According to its founders there are two unifying principles in the ARKEN’s collection.  The first one says that art concerned with the existence of modern man, the second principle treats art through new forms, materials and media explores the very definition of art.

Here are two of the artists – the ones behind permanent exhibits -- that are representative’s of ARKEN’s principles:

Tilo Baumgärtel, born in 1972,  studied at Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig academy of arts from years 1990 till 1998.  During the years 1998-2000 he was an apprentice under Professor Arno Rink. Baumgärtel works in figurative painting.

Baumgärtel and other significant ARKEN’s Collection artists such as Matthias Weischer, David Schnell and Tim Eitel explore realism in painting in varied and quite twisted ways. The starting point in a recognisable reality is contorted, at times giving the paintings overly realistic, dreamy or almost hallucinogenic qualities. His critics say thatTilo Baumgärtel moves in the area between dream, nightmare and reality. the deserted forest lake, the deserted bus stops.

A Denmark’s native, Peter Holst Henckel who graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1992 is one of the biggest artistic influences in his country.  In 1987 he opened the gallery Baghuset, with Peter Rössel, which became the stamping ground for young, conceptually minded artists in Denmark, such as Jes Brinch, Lars Bent Petersen and Peter Neuchs. Baghuset’s breakthrough came with the exhibition "Luxury Culture" at Sophienholm in 1990.

Holst Henckel sees art as inextricably tied up with the rest of the world and therefore he states that it makes no sense to see art as expressions of its own laws and aesthetic principles. The concrete outcome of this belief is that Holst Henckel’s includes non-artistic image types –photographs that he finds in papers and magazines – in all of his art work. For him art is a means to interpret and understand the world.