Artist Claus Carstensen: “Why do I have the urge to collect?” | Louisiana Channel



We met a man of seemingly endless energy – the Danish artist Claus Carstensen, who resists being labeled or put into categories.

“As an artist, I work dialogically. The dialogue of art means that text and motif and everything behind, next to, before, and after the motif matter as much to me in my work as the motif and the text.”

“The great thing about art and poetry is its openness. It’s something uncontrollable. It’s like an open work of art with boundless gifts. It has a generosity not found in regulations, traffic signs, and treaties. But it’s always there in paintings and poetry. In art and poetry.”

Claus Carstensen (b. 1957) is a Danish artist, poet, writer, curator, and former professor at The School of Visual Arts at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, where he taught painting from 1993 until 2002. He has had a long row of solo shows, including What’s Left (Is Republican Paint) at ARoS – The Art Museum of Aarhus (2015, catalog), Ether Body at The National Gallery of Denmark (2019), and The Day the 70s Died at Randers Art Museum (2021, catalog in two volumes). He has participated at The Biennale of Sydney (1992), 22. Bienal Internacional de São Paulo (1994), and The Venice Biennale (1997).

Carstensen has executed a wide range of public commissions, e.g., the University of Copenhagen, the Danish Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, and the maximum-security prison Storstroem Faengsel. His latest curatorial projects were the transhistorical group exhibition Becoming Animal at Den Frie, Copenhagen (2018, catalog published by Hatje Cantz Verlag) and RES PUBLICA at Museum Sønderjylland i Tønder (2024, catalog published by Hatje Cantz Verlag).

He has published 15 collections of poetry and six essay collections and edited several anthologies.

Camera: Simon Weyhe
Edited by: Signe Boe Pedersen
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2024

Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet, and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling.

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