Written by Dragan Vojvodić//

Copenhagen, Denmark. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, with a selection from its permanent collection, a famous sculpture park, and a spectacular sea view, invites visitors this (late) summer to experience the installation by Yayoi Kusama and a retrospective of the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson.

Alexander Calder, Little Janey-Waney. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

Louisiana: A Masterpiece of Danish Modernism

Louisiana is considered a masterpiece of Danish modernism. In the style of discrete modernism, architects Vilhelm Worhlert and Jørgen Bo, at the request of the museum’s founder Knud W. Jensen, designed the museum as a complex of buildings integrated into the undulating landscape. A series of structures, connected by walkways, meander from the central entrance towards the south and north, dividing the museum’s spaces into two wings. The northern wing is reserved for displaying works from the collection, while the southern wing is dedicated to exhibitions of contemporary artists.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

The Permanent Collection of the Louisiana Museum

The museum’s collection, featuring more than 4,000 works, encompasses pieces from 1945 to the present day, primarily in the mediums of painting and sculpture. The collection is continually updated with the aim of showcasing the diversity of modern and contemporary art. It includes works by some of the most renowned artists of the 20th century, representing periods such as European Nouveau Réalisme with Yves Klein, American Pop Art with Warhol and Lichtenstein, German Neo-Expressionism from the 1980s with Kiefer and Baselitz, and video art from the 1990s.

The current display of works from the museum’s collection places a special emphasis on Pop Art.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

Sculpture Park

One of the distinctive features of the museum is its meticulously designed sculpture park, where each sculpture is carefully placed to integrate seamlessly into the architectural and landscape environment.

A prominent spot is reserved for the renowned sculpture „Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 5“ by Henry Moore, created in 1963-64. Positioned on the lawn behind the museum, right on the edge of the slope overlooking the sea horizon, the sculpture has become so closely associated with the museum’s identity over time that, even though it wasn’t originally created exclusively for the museum, it has become an icon of the museum itself.

The location, which would eventually become one of the best-selected positions for his sculptures, was chosen by Henry Moore himself.

Henry Moor, Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 5. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

Among the other sculptures, two stand out due to their specific integration into the environmental context.

The first one is „The Gate in the Gorge“ created by Richard Serra between 1983 and 1986. This sculpture was designed for a special location within the museum’s park—a sort of cleft between two slopes. From the museum building towards the sea, there are gates that enclose two rectangular monumental steel surfaces. In this way, the sculptural installation both separates and connects two landscape elements with different shapes.

Richard Serra, The Gate in the Gorge. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art©︎ Art Box portal

The second sculpture, of a performative nature, demands a different kind of perception. „Square Bisected by Curve“ (2008) by Dan Graham can be seen as a multidisciplinary work that intertwines architecture, sculpture, and performance. The sculpture is constructed from transparent Plexiglas surfaces arranged in the form of a cube intersected by an equally curved surface connecting its opposite ends. Two entrances into the sculpture invite the observer to become an interactive part of the work. The visual field both inside and outside the sculpture is constantly multiplied, complicated, curved, and diverged from reality due to the impossibility of physically perceiving the character of the sculpture and the surrounding space in its usual entirety. The transparency of the sculpture’s body and the reflection of the surrounding architectural-natural environment on its surface blur the perceptual faculties of the observer, preventing them from seeing the work as a materialized, finished whole.

Dan Graham, Square Bisected by Curve. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

In the context of the museum’s specific space, one area stands out, characterized by its monumental dimensions, with vertical glass surfaces spanning the entire wall open towards the lake on the opposite side of the museum from the seashore. Not only does the museum harmonize its volumes with the terrain, but it also seamlessly blends with the cultivated surroundings through its interior vistas. Two elements have been added to this architecturally precise whole as essential components:  Alberto Giacometti’s sculpture and Enzo Cucchi‘s painting. These works distill the essence of expressive poetics. They communicate a sense of movement, whether in anticipation or frozen in time, with life beyond the glass membrane.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

The dialogue unfolding within this architectural-ambient entity, where the meticulously nurtured park speaks as forcefully as the museum’s sections, momentarily halts in windowless spaces, an essential element of that dialogue. Among the works of pop art, one stands out, which artistically continues that dialogue. Roy Lichtenstein, before painting „Figures in Landscape“ visited the Louisiana Museum. His resulting work is his interpretation of the same architectural and spatial entity, in which he incorporated a distinct female profile, likely that of his wife, in his characteristic style. Besides this visually prominent part of the painting, there are numerous elements borrowed from the museum’s natural environment, transposed into comic book-style details that interweave like a chaotic puzzle.

Roy Lichtenstein, Figures In Landscape. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

In addition to its gallery spaces, whether open or oriented towards the surrounding landscape, one space within the museum is conceived as a separate work of art itself.  Yayoi Kusama’sGleaming Lights of the Souls separates us from everything we’ve seen before and introduces us to an entirely different experience. This dimly lit space, with mirrored walls and filled with colorful round bulbs reflecting infinitely, directs our attention inward, toward introspection. The unmistakable minimalist aesthetic of Kusama distances the observer from the visibly ordinary experience and, much like Dan Graham’s sculpture, attempts to present a different world or a different perspective on the familiar one.

Yayoi Kusama, Gleaming Lights of the Souls. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

How to Get to Louisiana

In Louisiana, besides enjoying the art exhibited in galleries, you can indulge in the culinary art of restaurants, visit bookstores, and gift shops, and take leisurely walks through the sculpture park, where a special spectacle is presented by the panoramic view of the sea.

Travel is an integral part of the museum experience. The best way to reach the museum is by train. The railway that runs along the coast from Copenhagen unveils the vision of the person who wanted to establish a museum in that location. An old villa served as the initial nucleus for the museum, which has been gradually expanding since 1958.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

In the name of the journey that is essential to visit the museum, the Danish artist Per Kirkeby has erected a minimalist structure at Humlebæk railway station, which is within walking distance of the museum. This structure encloses emptiness and serves as a guidepost to the experience that awaits visitors in Louisiana.

Roy Lichtenstein, Endless Drip. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art ©︎ Art Box portal

Extended Opening Hours

The museum’s operating hours are also unique. The museum is closed on Mondays, open on weekends from 11 AM to 6 PM, and from Tuesday to Friday, you can visit Louisiana until 10 PM, allowing you to experience the fusion of art and nature and the special atmosphere of the museum during the evening.



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