PER KIRKEBY (1938-2018)
Mild Vinter II
signed, titled and dated 'PER KIRKEBY Mild Vinter II 1989' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
7878 x 6718in. (200.5 x 170.5cm.)
Painted in 1989
Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne.
Hans Rasmus Astrup Collection.
Private Collection (acquired from the above in 2004).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
A. Hejlskov Larsen, Per Kirkeby, Paintings 1978-1989, Cologne 2016, p. 327, no. M973 (illustrated in colour, p. 476).
Munich, Galerie Biedermann, Per Kirkeby, 1990.
Brussels, Galerie Philippe Guimiot, Per Kirkeby, 1991 (illustrated, p. 41).
Copenhagen, Galleri Faurschou, Georg Baselitz. Jörg Immendorff. Per Kirkeby. Markus Lüpertz. A.R. Penck, 1992, no. 7.
Caracas, Galerie Kaj Forsblom, La Luz del Norte. Pintura y escultura. Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff. Per Kirkeby. Markus Lüpertz. A.R. Penck, Kurt Schwitters, 1995-1996.
Kiel, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Per Kirkeby - Bilder, Aquarelle, Skulpturen, 1996.
Shanghai, Zendai Museum, Per Kirkeby, 2007 (illustrated, p. 56).
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Lot Essay

A visionary ode to the seasons, Mild Vinter II is a sumptuous large-scale work dating from the height of Per Kirkeby’s practice. With its rich, tactile surface and glowing verdant palette, it conjures the flourishing of nature in the face of winter, its green painterly arabesques unfurling like new roots. Part of a suite of five variations on this theme, the work was painted in 1989, marking the end of a decade that had witnessed an international revival of painting. During this period, Kirkeby took his place at the forefront of a new generation of Neo-Expressionists, channelling the gesturalism of Abstract Expressionism, the colours of Pop Art and the spirit of Northern European Romanticism into a visceral celebration of his native Danish landscape. Originally a student of geology, Kirkeby was fascinated by natural processes and formations, and sought to capture their rhythms in paint. Indeed, the present work confronts the viewer like a cross-section of the earth, tracing layers of sediment and foliage that hover in abstract strata. The result is one of near-cinematic drama, where reality and illusion – and, indeed, winter and spring – are held in a tantalising state of flux.
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