Louisiana Museum, Humlebæk, Denmark
I don’t recall who it was I got this idea from, but a few years ago I started a tradition of spending my birthday someplace I’ve never been before.
I’ve never been big on celebrating my birthday the traditional way, but I love travelling, so going somewhere new seemed like the perfect way to do my birthday my way.
Last year I spent the day roaming the enchanting halls and gardens of the MET Cloisters in Upper Manhattan. The year before it was the Musée des beaux-arts in Montreal where an extensive exhibition on Rodin and his sculptural process had us spellbound. Given our wonderful visit to the Rodin Museum that previous fall, it all seemed relevant.
This year on my birthday, I woke up in Copenhagen, and took the train (and bus) to Humlebæk, home of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It’s quite a remarkable museum, well worth a visit if you’re in Copenhagen.
Approximately thirty kilometres from city, the museum sits on the coast of the Øresund strait in Northern Denmark. Looking towards the sea are wide-ranging views of the ocean, with Sweden in the distance.
Sculptures and installations interspersed within the lush, verdant grounds feels like part of the natural landscape. The buildings, dubbed Danish modernist architecture offer up large picture windows, and seamlessly connect to the main house, a beautiful manor from the 1800s.
Using its unique setting, it manages to incorporate art, the landscape and public space, and architecture into something truly special.
We were lucky to catch a temporary exhibition by Marina Abramovic called The Cleaner, a retrospective featuring over a hundred works from her 50-year career as a performance artist.
There are no words or commentary to explain how moving, powerful, emotional, bizarre, uncomfortable and hopeful that exhibition was; it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. You would notice that I have no photos from the exhibition, I took two and had to stop.
One other exhibition I loved was a series of dynamic paintings from Danish artist Tal R.
The museum’s permanent collection include paintings and sculptures by renowned and lesser-known artists. You’ll find works from Scandinavian and international artists like Picasso, Giacometti, Calder, Kandisky, Warhol, Hockney and many others spanning the 1940s to present.
The collections are laid out in an intimate and casual manner, if like me, you’re not an artsy person but love and are inspired by art, you’ll appreciate the laid-back atmosphere and the clean airy space. You might even strike up a conversation with an art student and learn a thing or two about shapes, colour, textures and form.
I had a wonderful time, we spent close to eight hours there, and even found our way down to the beach. Sitting out there looking out to the sea, it felt strangely like being back home.
The name Louisiana is a hold-over from the original owner of the property, who apparently had three wives, all named Louise.
More photos below…