52museums – Day 4

Post 1: Jens Lund
Welcome to day four of our takeover. Today we will present to you Jens Lund. He was a Danish draughtsman and painter. Our museum holds a rich collection of his works as his heirs donated his oeuvre to us. Lund studied at the Académie Julian in Paris. While he lived in Paris he met Niels Hansen Jacobsen, and the two formed a close friendship. Here it’s the piece “The Green Flower” from 1899.

Post 2: The Flower of the Day and The Flower of the Night (video)
Jens Lund was a strong part of the art nouveau craze for an organic decorative flow. In 1898 he painted the contrast between good and evil symbolized in “The Flower of the Day” and “The Flower of the Night” – the latter a fin-de-siecle femme fatale. As part of a synthesist entity he also wrote a text about the paintings called ‘Forvandlede Blomster’ (‘The Flowers of Transformation’).

Post 3: The Glory of God
Jens Lund’s best known work is the almost 2 meters tall painting ”Herrens Herlighed” (The Glory of God). In its abstract form – at least a decade before abstract art was “invented” – the spectator is left free to interpret the painting. The artist presents something greater than man – perhaps the connection between heaven and earth? There is a green circular shape, like a science fiction portal. The left side is bright, colourful with soft, wavy lines opposed to the right side with dark tones and sharp, rugged forms – an abstract depiction of the opposites of life, of good and evil.

Post 4: Psychedelic Landscapes
In the late 1890’s Jens Lund drew a series of psychedelic landscapes working in a very personal interpretation of the decorative art nouveau style – a harbinger of the decorative work of the hippie movement. Spectators frequently mistake them to be drawn in the 1960’s. As Paris of the 1890´s had its opium dens, so the 1960’s had other euphoriants – not to say that Jens Lund took opium, literary descriptions of psychedelic experiences were by then available, and the drawings clearly show his joy in contrasting the art nouveau waves with sharp rugged shapes like bolts of lightning.

Post 5: Forvandlede Blomster / The Flowers of Transformation (video)
Jens Lund was of a wealthy family. At his own expense he in 1899 published his first book of drawings “Forvandlede Blomster”, The Flowers of Transformation. These two leather bound versions were exhibited at the Paris World Fair 1900. Jens Lund used the flowers as metaphors in describing aspects of human nature. Starting at a floral gate the spectator meets “Devine Arrogance”, “The Flowers of Anarchy”, “The Flowers of Sorrow” (note lui/elle – the male and female version of Sorrow), “The Flower of Reproduction”, “A Cycling Flower”. The book closes with an expressively wild gate in black and gold.
Music: ‘Til Anne’ by Anders Tærsbøl Feddersen

Post 6: Title pages (video)
Jens Lund’s studies for the title pages of the three volumes of Georg Brandes’ book on Shakespeare are dated 1896-1897. They were published in 1899 as part of Jens Lund’s book “The Flowers of Transformation.” Vol. 1: “Youth”. Vol. 2: “Mature Years”. Vol. 3: “The Final Years.”

Post 7: Livets Skove / The Forrests of Life (video)
In 1901 – once again at his own expense – Jens Lund published his second book of drawings “Livets Skove”, The Forrests of Life. He shaped the trees in different ways in order to “portray” phases of life and different emotions. Here presenting “The Forrest of Despair”, “The Forrest of the Fear of Death”, “The Forrest of the Community”, “The Forrest of Hopelessness” (predating the battlefields of The First World War!) and “The Forrest of the Visions”.
Music: ‘Impressionisme (Impression, soleil levant) – tilegnet David Abramovitz’ by Anders Tærsbøl Feddersen

Post 8: Sakuntala
Towards the end of the year 1900 Jens Lund in October, November and December made three drawings in ink and watercolour based on the Hindu tale of Shakuntala. His focus was solely on the figure of Sakuntala – here in the December-version in full figure, the two earlier versions show only her head surrounded by psychedelic art nouveau ornaments.

Post 9: Oh Darkness… (video)
We leave you today with this seemingly dark piece by Jens Lund from 1904. However, like his many pieces we have shown you, this piece too explores good and evil. If one reads the inscription at the bottom it becomes clear that this is in fact a piece exploring resilience… “OH DARKNESS THAT DEVOUR WORLDS! CEASELESSLY RISES NEW WORLDS FROM YOUR LAP. BECAUSE THE LIGHT, THE ETERNAL, THE SECRETIVE, SHINES THROUGH YOU. OH LONGING! OH HARMONY!”

Leave a Reply