Gertrud Oelsner
Carl Jacobsen’s Museum Professional Grant of DKK 200,000

From the statement of the New Carlsberg Foundation’s board:

‘In the relatively short time since she became the director of the Hirschsprung Collection, Gertrud Oelsner has succeeded not only in enhancing the museum’s professional profile but also in translating it into convincing audience initiatives. Not least, the museum’s persistent effort to address gaps and blind spots in both its own collection and Danish art history in general is exemplary. Just a few years ago, few people had ever heard of Bertha Wegmann. However, through a targeted purchasing policy and a strong research focus, which will soon be manifested in both an exhibition and a publication, the Hirschsprung Collection under Oelsner’s leadership has added an important chapter to our common art history.’

Nina Beier
The New Carlsberg Foundation’s Artist Grant of DKK 200,000

From the statement of the New Carlsberg Foundation’s board:

‘Over the past 15 years, Nina Beier has earned international acclaim. She is one of the Danish contemporary artists who have seen growing recognition abroad, while we in Denmark have been a little slow to appreciate her originality and high artistic level. Today, Nina Beier is recognized for a practice on a high international level that contributes to developing sculpture as an art form. Her works show a keen sense of the quirky, the humorous and critical curiosity, and her practice serves as an inspiration and a reminder that art is different from everything else we know.’

Kathrine Ærtebjerg
The New Carlsberg Foundation’s Artist Grant of DKK 200,000

From the statement of the New Carlsberg Foundation’s board:

‘Kathrine Ærtebjerg’s practice as a painter has its own distinct place in Danish contemporary art. On her canvases we encounter characters and objects in a setting resembling fairy-tale universes. Naive, almost reminiscent of children’s drawings and in bright colours. However, this is merely a top layer, a sort of exterior embellishment. Upon closer inspection, her works reveal an abyss of something cruel and macabre. The doll-like figures on her canvases often look directly at the viewer with an introvert, insistent earnestness. As if they know something about us, about the world; something that we need to know yet cannot be allowed to know, something that cannot be put into words. But which can be shown here, in these works of art.’

Kjeld Kjeldsen
The New Carlsberg Foundation’s Honorary Grant of DKK 300,000

From the statement of the New Carlsberg Foundation’s board:

‘Kjeld Kjeldsen is not just Louisiana’s expert, he is Denmark’s leading communicator in architecture. For almost five decades, thanks to his high consummate professionalism and unique international network, he has drawn architecture from all over the world to Humlebæk in one eye-opening exhibition after another. In a visionary and creative approach, he has also renewed the exhibition medium with a cross-aesthetic approach that connects architecture with the visual arts and design, among other fields. His exhibitions always approach the world and the audience with a basis in current and relevant issues and trends that demonstrate the significance of architecture in a societal and global perspective. Kjeld Kjeldsen is recognized for his life-time contribution in communicating architecture and its world in a way that makes it resonant, relevant and sensuous.’

About the New Carlsberg Foundation’s Art Awards

Brewer Carl Jacobsen, the founder of the New Carlsberg Foundation, was born on 2 March, and every year, the Foundation marks the occasion by handing out awards to Danish art. With the art awards the Foundation recognizes individuals who make a special contribution to the Danish art and museum landscape. Appreciating and highlighting the achievements of artists and museum professionals over time benefits the Danish art scene at large, and thus, the award events are a natural element of the Foundation’s work.

More about this year’s award recipients

Gertrud Oelsner has been the director of the Hirschsprung Collection since 2016. She graduated as a mag. art. (MA, research degree) in art history in 2001 and earned a PhD degree in 2017. In 2000–13 she was a curator at the art museum Fuglsang Kunstmuseum. Over the years, Oelsner has planned a number of exhibitions, particularly on Danish Golden Age art. She is also one of Denmark’s leading experts on Vilhelm Hammershøi and a co-author of the landmark book ‘Vilhelm Hammershøi: På sporet af det åbne billede’ [‘Vilhelm Hammershøi: In search of the open image] from 2018. At the Hirschsprung Collection, Oelsner has focused especially on enhancing the interaction of research and communication in connection with both temporary exhibitions and presentations of the museum collections.

Nina Beier graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in London. After living in Berlin for a number of years, she is now mainly based in Copenhagen. Beier’s practice is characterized by experimental and persistent juxtapositions of found objects that give rise to new, thought-provoking themes. Wigs, bird’s cages, second-hand clothes and mechanical bulls are just some of the objects that have found their way into works that, with equal parts poetry, polemics and humour, have earned her widespread international recognition through numerous exhibitions around the world, including at Kunstverein in Hamburg, Centre Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London.

Kathrine Ærtebjerg graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and lives and works in Copenhagen. Ærtebjerg’s works are characterized by a surrealist figurative expression that draws on a parallel fairy-tale universe in enigmatic and unsettling manifestations. Whether in painting, watercolour, drawing or sculpture, her thematic world, with secretive girl figures, fantastical creatures and strange landscapes, seems to occupy a place in between dream and reality. In addition frequent exhibitions, Ærtebjerg’s works are represented in many Danish museums, including SMK – the National Gallery of Denmark, ARoS and Arken.

Kjeld Kjeldsen has been attached to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art since 1973, where he has been a curator for the past 25 years. He trained as an architect at the Aarhus School of Architecture, where he also taught. At Louisiana, he put architecture on the agenda from an early date, including in the exhibitions ‘Alternative Architecture’ (1977) and ‘The House as Image’ (1981). Later followed an impressive range of exhibitions, including presentations of important architects such as Jørn Utzon, Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel. In recent years, the exhibition focus has shifted towards less well-known but nevertheless highly significant architects, including architects from outside the Western culture. In addition to his extensive work at the museum in Humlebæk north of Copenhagen, Kjeldsen has curated exhibitions about Jørn Utzon and the Danish urban planning researcher Jan Gehl for the Venice Biennale of Architecture.