Categories: News

Exhibited for the First Time in the U.S. – New Sculptures by Bjørn Okholm Skaarup {April 4 – May 15}

Beginning Thursday, April 4 and running through Thursday May 18, Cavalier Gallery is pleased to present the opening of A Mythical Menagerie featuring the works of Danish artist Bjørn Okholm Skaarup at their Chelsea location (530 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011). The solo exhibition features more than 25 sculptures spanning the past decade of the artist’s oeuvre, including several new works that will be exhibited for the first time in the U.S.

Best known for his Hippo Ballerina, the most beloved of Skaarup’s Baroque-style circus of animals, the artist and historian draws inspiration from a wide breadth of sources, including ancient mythology, fairy tales and fables, and the Italian Renaissance. His masterful bronzes are steeped in historical tradition and informed by contemporary culture.

A highlight of the exhibition is a nine-foot-tall mini-menagerie The Town Musicians of Bremen, inspired by Grimm’s beloved fairy tale which describes the journey of a ragtag fellowship of retired, domesticated animals—a donkey, dog, cat, and rooster—that unite to form an unlikely but irresistible band of musicians. Skaarup has animated the story characters in playful, textural detail, and there is a levity in the animals’ precarious postures that brings movement and musicality to the totemic assembly.

Other new works making their U.S. debut include Skaarup’s interpretation of The Four Seasons as personified trees, a reference to the dendromorphic shapes and characters found in Renaissance-era art including Leonardo’s frescoes, Arcimboldo’s paintings, and Bramante’s columns. A spring tree awakens from her winter dormancy, arms outstretched, face tilted toward the sun. Summer is laden with verdant blooms and forest fauna; Autumn seeks shelter from the rain, his leaf cover replaced by the fungal growth of the season change. Winter is bare and frail, guarding against the chill as an owl finds shelter within his hollow.

Skaarup’s indoor and outdoor sculptures have been the subject of museum exhibitions throughout the world, most recently at the Accademia della Arte de Disegno, Florence, Italy—the first known academy of art inaugurated by Giorgio Vasari and Vincenzo Borghini in 1563. Other notable public exhibitions include the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut; the Koldinghus Museum, Kolding, Denmark; the Museo Cenacolo di Ognissanti and Four Seasons Hotel, Florence; Hotel Cipriani, Venice; and the Collectivité of St. Barth. The monumental Hippo Ballerina is currently on display outside the Ferguson Library, in downtown Stamford, Connecticut.

Helen

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