The Danish painter, sculptor and architect Per Kirkeby was born as the son of an engineer in Copenhagen on October 1, 1938. His first activities in the Danish art scene date back to the 1950s and 1960s, when he contributed to various Fluxus and Happening activities. In 1962 Kirkeby joined the avant-garde art group "Den Ekperimenterende Kunstkole".
Per Kirkeby had his first solo exhibition in Copenhagen in 1963. In 1965 Per Kirkeby had his debut as a lyric poet. Over the following years he produced more than 70 books, featuring poetry and essays on art and architecture. Under the influence of Andy Warhol's film theory, Kirkeby produced his first short film "Britte Bardot" in 1968, 24 more films followed.
Whereas Kirkeby vehemently opposed the art informel movement during the 1950s, he turned to exactly that style in the early 1970s. In 1973 Per Kirkeby expanded his oeuvre to brick sculptures for exterior spaces and produced his piece "Huset". The following year he made his first oil paintings.
In 1978 Kirkeby became a professor at the Karlsruhe art academy, from where he transfered to the Berlin "Hochschule der Künste" in 1983. Kirkeby's pieces were regularly shown at numerous prestigious exhibitions, including the "documenta" in 1972, 1982, 1992, the Venice Biennale in 1980 and 1992 and at museums such as the New York MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum and the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven.
During the 1980s Per Kirkeby worked on large-format oil paintings and monolithic brick sculptures. In 1988 he went to the "Städelschule" in Frankfurt am Main as a professor. Since 1995 Kirkeby has been designing architectural pieces and has regularly worked for the "Insel Hombroich" foundation as an architect. In 2000 Per Kirkeby was commissioned to produce 8 large bronze sculptures for the building housing the upper house of the German parliament the "Bundesrat".
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