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New Research Journal from Statens Museum for Kunst

COPENHAGEN.- Examples of the latest research at Statens Museum for Kunst are presented in its annual art history journal. SMK Art Journal 2007 has just been published. SMK Art Journal brings you up to date with research at the Museum, and passes on knowledge from the on-going work at the Museum on the 700 years of art in its collections.

New knowledge The newly published SMK Art Journal 2007 contains six in-depth and profusely illustrated articles written both by Danish and international researchers:

Johanneke Verhave and Jørgen Wadum "Following the creative process – Peter Paul Rubens: The Ascent to Calvary. The bearing of the Cross". In 1634 Peter Paul Rubens received a commission for a large altarpiece for the abbey in Afflighem (Hekelgem, Belgium). The altarpiece, now in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, depicts Christ, surrounded by a crowd of soldiers and grievers, as they climb up Mount Calvary. Several of Rubens preparatory oil sketches for this composition have been preserved to this day and by studying them we can follow the creative process of the ”making of” an altarpiece.

David Burmeister Kaaring "Reality as Icon – The cottage motif in Dutch landscape painting 1600-50" In the first decades of the 17th century, a number of Dutch artists began to produce landscapes in drawings, etchings and later paintings, which depicted local landscape in an apparently realistic fashion. With point of departure in a number of drawings and etchings from the Department of Prints and Drawings at Statens Museum for Kunst, is to throw light on the meanings the motif could contain and which made it particularly interesting for the naturalists. I will argue that the cottage motif played a central part in the theoretical discussion of landscape art in that period, and that the motif was also an intentional marker of the naturalists’ artistic project: the portrayal of reality in all its various aspects.

Liza Burmeister Kaaring "Tracking the Language of Stillness" - Two tracks run throughout the whole of Palle Nielsen’s (1920-2000) work: one of them is tranquil, the other turbulent. They are parallel and equal and are both present in the whole of his work and by far the most of his different series and techniques. In the series Orpheus and Eurydice I, for example, one can find both pictures full of movement and dynamism and pictures where time seems to have come to a standstill, perhaps even in the middle of a movement. The article concentrates on the track of stillness in this article. What methods does Palle Nielsen employ to express time being stopped?

Niels Borring "Transfer Techniques – copy or original? On exploring the drawing techniques in the Collection of Prints and Drawings" - There are thousands of fantastic drawings and graphic works in The Department of Prints and Drawings at Statens Museum for Kunst. There they lie in their boxes waiting to be taken out to be exhibited, to be conserved, to be photographed – or for the public to visit the Reading Room of the Museum to go exploring in their world. However, some of the drawings are original in a different way from what we normally associate with the term. They are drawings which are copied using semi-mechanical methods, which can be described as transfer techniques among these squaring,pouncing, translucency and “carbon paper”. Some of the transfer techniques have obvious characteristics and can therefore also easily be described as such. Others, however, are difficult to identify because the techniques are hard to reveal without aids like the microscope1, for example, and so the characteristic signs are not always commonly known among art historians. The article will try to redress that, and also examine transfer techniques in relation to an artistic and workshop-based process.

Merete Sanderhoff "To Preserve or not to Preserve – On a conservational paradox" - There was a time when one could assume that when an artist made a work, then it was to leave a lasting mark. New, ephemeral categories of works appeared in the last century, which either consciously rejected the idea of the undying work of art, or were simply not interested in creating lasting statements. The museum laws enjoin the national and approved museums to ensure the preservation of works, whatever the intentions of the artist. This article proposes to initiate a discussion of how a national gallery like Statens Museum for Kunst can relate to changes in the concepts of art and works of art, in its task of preserving its collection. What problems do the various categories of works face conservators with? Does one take into account the various intentions behind artists’ work? Can the conservation of certain types of works be regarded as a misunderstanding of the artistic intentions – or even an assault on them?

Vibeke Vibolt Knudsen "Jakob S. Boeskov – Drawing as a critical, mimetic strategy" - The article is about Jakob Boeskov’s socially critical artistic practice and his drawings. A classical, static medium whose material is characterized by its physical exclusiveness in relation to mass-mediated art, which he has exploited on a large scale in several of his works.In general terms, Boeskov’s point of departure is a mimetic strategy, which he also employs in his drawings, not least the extensive series entitled Chrome Monster Drawings. In the following I will deal with a selection of these, partly on the basis of Gabriel Tarde’s social theory in which imitation, iteration and invention are key concepts in his perception of social formations; this perception acts as the sociological framework of the works in this analysis of the critical potential of the drawings.

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