Mette Boel in private collections
Historical Context of Denmark
As the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark has often been very influenced by the Germanic culture of Northern Europe, that borders its southern limits. This responsiveness is often combined with the Nordic attributes of restraint and melancholy in its arts. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, and in the earlier part of the twentieth, Denmark produced an extremely important painter of Post-Impressionism, Vilhelm Hammershøi. Renowned for his melancholic and extremely sparse interiors, Hammershøi's reputation was founded on his exquisite depictions of light and shadow in modest, elegant interiors, most often his own residence. In the later twentieth century, Denmark was a key country in the CoBrA movement of Expressionist painting, where the naming convention was derived from the cities of the founding members - the Co standing for Copenhagen on behalf of Danish artist Asger Jorn. Established in 1949, CoBrA's bright colours and lively childlike figures became both a scandal and sensation. Other critically acclaimed modern and Danish artists include Per Kirkeby, Olafur Eliasson, Danh Vō, Sergej Jensen and Tal R.