Since 2004, ARoS has been in possession of a veritable treasure: the artist Per Kirkeby’s archives, which were exclusively put in the keeping of ARoS and are currently being supplemented with fresh packing cases from the artist’s extensive archives. These archives contain sketches for paintings, sculptures, decorations and scenography. And there are notebooks, books, cuttings, articles and letters as well as a large number of private photographs, collages and other visual inventions that have formed the undercurrent to the artist’s work. There are so far 1500 items in these archives.
During the summer of 2008, ARoS will present the archives in a new and spectacular manner. The research-based insight that ARoS has acquired in recent years by systematising and categorising the archives will form the handle for the exhibition: a special Kirkeby-esque method in which the artist explores his world with the eye of an archaeologist – later to allow all these sources of inspiration to converge in a host of references in the final work. Sources of inspiration of such varied character as sex workers, children’s drawings, fashion magazines, geological deposits, historical paintings and brick buildings appear side by side in Kirkeby’s peerless, phenomenal works. It is this cacophony of sources of inspiration at which the exhibition of the archives seeks to take a new and exciting look.