Peter Brandes and an artist's collection

The Museum of Religious Art

26th May – 22nd September 2019



Peter Brandes has his 75th anniversary in 2019 and this is the external reason for making a biography of the polyhistor, the museum man and the man of great, but still basic narratives, and for showing the connection between the themes of the lifework and the actual collection of mythologies, impressions and simplifications which lie behind. For practical reasons this large exhibition is quite physically divided in two, so that we at the Museum of Religious Art with the exhibition “CREATIVE POWERS – Peter Brandes and an artist's collection” concentrate on the Christian themes, while the non-Christian myths are a central theme of the exhibitions shown at the Johannes Larsen Museum “The lost time. Cultural wanderings” (7th June – 22nd September 2019). This exhibition project has been elaborated in close cooperation with Peter Brandes.


Brandes writes about the connection between the two exhibitions in this way: ”I am convinced, that we are living in a more fragmented and historyless time than ever. The great myths and the great narratives, that have formed the basis for part of the backbone of our culture are disintegrating in the process of globalization. It is essential for me to emphasize and guide the attention to these archetypical roots.”


At the part of the exhibition shown at the Museum of Religious Art we focus on the number of Christian inspired works, made by Peter Brandes, not the least in connection with the large church decorations, for instance Roskilde Catheral, Vejleå Church and the local Nørre Nissum Church. The works are exhibited in a dialogue with Brandes’ impressive collection of churchart from the Antiquity to the Middle Age combined with artworks with a Christian content from the last two decades: Paintings by C.W. Eckersberg and Wilhelm Hammershøi, by Georg Baselitz and Leon Kossoff, to mention a few. The curatorial touch of the exhibition builds upon the associative access of the artist to his collection. We follow the wandering of the motifs, as they are repeated and reformed in the artworks of Peter Brandes. Through a thematic presentation of motifs such as: The lost son, The fight of Jakob, The Sower, etc. the connection between tradition and creative powers are presented.


During the recent years we have seen an increased interest for the artist as a collector and as a curator, where the job of collecting and curating can be seen as an artistic practice of its own. This artistic practice, where the collection makes a living art-archive, is very distinct by Peter Brandes. The artist himself says the following about collecting: “In all of my collecting time there has been a clear connection between my expressions in the art, that I create, and the inspiration from the artworks of the Antiquity.”  You will find works in the exhibition that has not earlier been placed in a religious comprehensibility frame, but by letting Peter Brandes’ subjective interpretation of the works lead the choice of works, the Museum of Religious Art invites to a continued conversation about how to define religious art and defined by whom?


The Museum of Religious Art and The Johannes Larsen Museum publish a mutual exhibition catalogue.


Picture: Peter Brandes. Job. 1995. Lithography and wood-cut. 560 x 760 mm

Future exhibitions

Jens Haaning - From where we stand
6th October 2019 - 23rd February 2020

Previous exhibitions

Thomas Kluge - God, King and Country
6th of september to 13th of december 2015

Ellen Hofman-Bang
7th February - 5th of June 2016

Sigurd Swane - Painting
12th June 2016 - 28th August 2016

Kunsten i Lyset - Glaskunst fra Per Steen Hebsgaards værksted
4th September - 30th December 2016

Barbara Kruger - Gluttony
5 February - 28 May 2017

Peter Brandes - A golden altar for the church of Nørre Nissum
5 February - 21 May 2017

Jeppe Hein - To sense the world inside yourself
4th June - 17th September 2017

Image storm - Otherness from the Reformation until today
1 October - 30 December 2017

Bodil Kaalund 1930 - 2016
9th November - 29th April 2018

THESES Danish contemporary artists in dialogue with the reformation
21st January - 29th April 2018

Becoming Animal
13th May - 12th Aug. 2018

Anita Houvenaeghel - Responses
26th August - 9th December 2018

Johannes Larsen - Birds of Passage in Art and Poetry
26th August - 9th December 2018

Jubilee exhibition - Do you remember?
27th January - 12th May 2019