Keenly aware of unusual shapes and erratic energies, Bjørn Poulsen (1959–) is a unique and inspiring Danish artist whose eye-catching figures – executed in a range of different materials, shapes and colours – tease our senses and arouse our curiosity about what the fantastic shapes might mean. A graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Poulsen has been active since the mid-nineties, creating works full of proliferating offshoots, outgrowths and holes. He employs what may be termed a molecular structure, one which draws on the Minimalists’ repetitions and reductions of form while also breaking away from these forebears in playful and free improvisation.
Turbulent upbringing leaves way for compelling art
Poulsen’s art reflects his turbulent upbringing through symbolic associations to unpredictability and chaos, to the unexpected and the exciting. Having broken away from authoritarian forces, he kindled a bohemian desire for freedom that went on to pave the way for the art he creates today. A prolific artist, he often works on new creations in his Copenhagen studio.
Shift in material and style
Bjørn Poulsen previously worked with classical materials such as bronze and stone, drawing inspiration from mythological and historical figures such as Marsyas, Saint Sebastian and Prometheus. Since then, he has moved on to using ceramics as his main medium, working with more geometric subject matter with spheres and squares as central elements. Full of holes, outgrowths and bulging shapes, these colourful sculptures often evoke associations to toys fighting a fierce battle against the law of gravity and our expectations regarding the kinds of forms and formats these materials would normally take.