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Basic data

Per Kirkeby was one of the most important contemporary artists of Danish contemporary art. After studying nature and geology, Kirkeby finds art. He worked as a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, poet and filmmaker.

  • Born: 1 September 1938
  • Place of birth: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Died on: 9 May 2018
  • Nationality: Danish
  • Studied at: University of Copenhagen
  • Era: Contemporary art
  • Stylistic direction: Expressionism

In addition to his brick sculptures, Kirkeby is now best known for his large-scale abstract paintings, which are, however, clearly inspired by the colors and shapes of nature.

Per Kirkeby prices 

Artist: Title: Price: Type: Size: Edition: Handsigned: Numbered: Date:
Per Kirkeby Ohne Titel 7900 Euro Unique 20.5 x 33.1 in   yes no 17.07.2019
Per Kirkeby Athos 950 Euro Original print 25 x 37 in limited edition of 99 yes yes 17.07.2019
Per Kirkeby Untergang 2200 Euro Original print 15.7 x 19.7 in limited edition of 60 yes yes 17.07.2019
Per Kirkeby Ohne Titel 990 Euro Original print 19.69 x 27.56 in limited edition of 20 yes yes 17.07.2019



Per Kirkeby was born Per Christensen in Copenhagen on September 1, 1938. Before he found art, he first studied geology at the University of Copenhagen from 1957 to 1964. This was followed by several expeditions to Greenland and Antarctica, the impressions of which he later recorded in his art in the form of photographs, films or other pictorial representations.

In 1962 Kirkeby began studying art at the Experimental Art School in Copenhagen in the fields of painting, graphics, film and performance. His earliest media include installations and films. He also joined the artist group "Den Eksperimenterende Kunstskale," participated in happenings, and collaborated with renowned artists such as Nam June Paik and Joseph Beuys. He also made his first short films, which were obviously still under the influence of Pop Art painter Andy Warhol.

In 1965, the artist received a three-year scholarship at the "State Art Foundation" and now expressed himself primarily as a draftsman. He also began working on brick sculptures in 1966, which became his trademark. In 1971, a trip took him to Central America, where he studied the Mayan culture. Paintings, prints, and collages emerge that allow associative references to nature. Color also develops into an essential design factor in his works.

In 1978 the Dane was appointed professor at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. In the 1980s, in addition to oil paintings, he also created bronze sculptures. In 1982 he stayed in Berlin as a DAAD scholarship holder.

From 1989 to 2002 he taught at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Since the 1990s, Kirkeby has also been increasingly involved with architecture and designed several buildings for the Insel Hombroich Foundation. This was followed by major retrospectives at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk and the Tate Modern in London.

In addition to a large number of exhibitions in renowned museums around the world, Kirkeby participated several times in the Venice Biennale and exhibited his works at documenta 7 and IX.  After suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, Kirkeby had to limit his artistic activities. Although he was later active again as a painter and sculptor, after a fall down the stairs in his own house, even that was no longer possible for the Dane. At the age of 79, the multi-award-winning artist passed away in Copenhagen in 2018.



  • 10.10.21 – 23.01.22 Art Vischering – Münsterlandmuseum Burg Vischering, Lüdinghausen.
  • 01.08.20 – 01.07.22 KölnSkulptur #10 "ÜberNatur – Natural Takeover" – Skulpturenpark Köln, Cologne.
  • 06.05.21 – 20.06.21 Succo | Kirkeby - Achenbach Hagemeier, Düsseldorf.
  • 16.04.21 – 04.06.21 PER KIRKEBY – SCULPTURES - Galerie Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck.
  • 27.02.21 – 04.07.21 Menschenbilder – Kunsthalle in Emden, Emden.
  • 21.06.20 - ∞ NEUE WELTEN. Die Entdeckung der Sammlung – Museum Folkwang, Essen.
  • 21.02.20 – 21.06.20 Per Kirkeby – Bronze – Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk.
  • 29.05.19 – 08.09.19 Art & Porn - AROS Aarhus.
  • 17.05.19 – 15.09.19 Building a Dialogue. Two Corporate Collections of Contemporary Art - Kunstsammlung Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt.
  • 07.04.19 – 10.10.19 Per Kirkeby. Bau und Bild - Museum Insel Hombroich + Siza Pavillon, Neuss.
  • 01.11.18 – 03.02.19 WILDNIS - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.
  • 16.09.17 – 04.02.18 Auf unbekanntem Terrain. Landschaft in der Kunst nach 1945 - Museum für Aktuelle Kunst - Sammlung Hurrle, Durbach.
  • 02.07.17 – 05.11.17 Abstract Painting Now! Gerhard Richter, Katharina Grosse, Sean Scully... - Kunsthalle Krems.
  • 02.05.17 – 16.09.17 PER KIRKEBY: PAINTINGS AND BRONZES FROM THE 1980S - Michael Werner Gallery, London MAYFAIR.



  • 1965: scholarship from the State Art Foundation.
  • 1982: DAAD scholarship
  • 1990: Art Prize of the Norddeutsche Landesbank, Hanover.
  • 1996: Coutts Contemporary Art Foundation Award.
  • 1996: Henrik Steffens Prize of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S., Hamburg.
  • 2003: Herbert Boeckl Prize Winner.



  • Per Kirkeby, Florian Steiniger (Publ.), Wien 2018.
  • Per Kirkeby, Aus der Natur : Ausstellung des Museums für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Schloss Gottorf, Kirsten Baumann (Publ.), Uta Kuhl (Publ.), Schleswig 2018.
  • Per Kirkeby, Werke aus dem Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Verena Borgmann (Publ.), Bremen 2016.