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Danh Vo: the artist’s retrospective that will Take your Breath Away (again)
30 August, 2018
From 30 August to 2 December 2018, the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) presents a large-scale retrospective featuring one of Denmark’s most internationally acclaimed contemporary artists: Danh Vo.
Full-scale replicas of the folds of the Statue of Liberty’s robes, a chandelier that has witnessed major turning points in history, and letters from a warring and ballet-loving Henry Kissinger.
This autumn, SMK presents more than 75 works of art, including several entirely new works produced especially for SMK, will fill the museum’s exhibition rooms.
At the same time Vo also takes over the museum’s Sculpture Street to present a very special project.
In his art, Vo works with existing and found materials such as a classical marble sculptures, a lavish watch, a worn-out refrigerator, personal letters and historical photographs, deconstructing and combining these objects to create new works with new meaning. He often uses his personal history as the starting point for discussing universal themes such as migration, globalisation and desire.
The exhibition Danh Vo –Take My Breath Away is created in collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, which presented the first version of this exhibition in the museum’s iconic rotunda this spring. For the SMK show, Vo has developed entirely new settings for the presentation of his works – including large-scale Chinese pavilions made of wood and an original pink food truck, which has also been brought in from China.
For his display in the Sculpture Street, Vo has chosen a selection of classical sculptures from the Royal Cast Collection, combining them with circular daybeds upholstered in original fabrics by the noted textile company Kvadrat as well as with Akari paper lamps and herb beds grown in collaboration with the museum café, Kafeteria, which he took part in designing earlier this year.
SMK has followed Danh Vo ever since the early beginnings of his career, making this his third exhibition at the museum. A crucially important contemporary artist, Vo is particularly interesting to SMK because his art delves into cultural, aesthetic and political aspects of the past, reflecting current themes and issues in history. This approach closely resembles how SMK, being a national gallery that houses art from the fourteenth century to the present day, works with the past and present and all their mutual interactions under the same roof.
The exhibition at SMK is the result of a unique collaboration with The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.