Three significant works in textile, light and ceramic created by three acclaimed designers and artists were recently acquired by Designmuseum Danmark on Bredgade in Copenhagen: Arkivbogen (The Archive Book) (2021) by textile printer and designer Lisbet Friis, Kurenai Light Object (2019) by designer Ane Lykke and Urban Complex VII (2016) by ceramic artist Karen Bennicke.
For the past three years, the museum has had a special focus on acquiring recent works of design and decorative art. Each in their way, the three new acquisitions will enhance the collection’s contemporary perspective and reflect the museum’s broad-spectred field of study and collection focus.
260 printed patterns
Lisbet Friis is one of Denmark’s leading textile printers and has exhibited widely, both in Denmark and abroad, for the past 25 years. The newly acquired Arkivbogen contains 260 patterns designed and printed by Lisbet Friis over a period of three decades. The patterns are printed on Belgian linen or Hahnemühle paper. In addition to being a representation of exquisite artistic skill, the patterns are a documentation of 260 different prints and varying hand-printing techniques over time. Knowledge about several of these techniques is currently at risk of being lost.
Japanese crafts in Danish design
In Kurenai Light Object, Ane Lykke explores light and space, drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese crafts. Colour, light and shadows vary continuously as the observer moves around the object, viewing it from different angles. Kurenai Light Object is already a familiar sight at the museum, as it has adorned the building’s lobby since the museum reopened in 2022 after extensive renovations. The donation enabled the museum to purchase the piece and make it a permanent part of its collection.
Karen Bennicke’s groundbreaking practice in the field of sculptural, non-functional ceramic art has won her acclaim as one of the most significant ceramic artists of our time. Urban Complex VII is one of a suite of eight sculptures from 2015–16 based on a diagram of the Parisian arrondissements. In this series, the flat map has been translated into spatial sculptures in a unique artistic expression with clear architectural references. The museum has long been wanting to acquire a piece from this series, which demonstrates new aspects of Karen Bennicke’s artistic practice.
Designmuseum Danmark resides in one of Copenhagen’s beautiful rococo palaces, the former Kongelige Frederiks Hospital (Royal Frederik’s Hospital) in Bredgade. Based on its library, collections and archives, the museum conducts art and design history research and presents the results in both exhibitions and publications. In 2022, the museum reopened after a two-year closure for renovations to preserve the museum’s historical buildings for the future.