The Sculpture park
A walk in the Sculpture Park is an essential part of the Louisiana experience year round. This is where you meet panoramic views of the Sound and can really see how the buildings blend into the landscape. You can also explore, get lost and find calm. The many sculptures are an important part of the museum’s collection.
It was clear from the start: Louisiana should absolutely make itself known as a place for sculpture.” Thus wrote the founder, Knud W. Jensen, in his book Mit Louisiana-liv (My Louisiana Life), in which he describes the museum’s location in the Park by the Sound as both “a clear challenge and something that gave us a special position”. Later – as the museum grew – the steadily expanding semicircle that the buildings formed among the large clumps of trees created, according to Jensen, special “opportunities for secluded garden rooms beside which sculptures could be situated in a close interplay with the architecture”.
The landscape architects Ole and Edith Norgaard were responsible for the general outlines of the original Park. Since then, Lea Nørgaard and Vibeke Holscher have shaped the terrain around the new extensions in such a way that the Park elaborates on the labyrinthine nature of the buildings and creates curiosity about what may be hiding around the next corner.
THE GREAT TEST OF STRENGTH
Good sculptures always pass the test of strength, thought Knud W. Jensen. For him, nature could almost become too dominant if there was not something man-made added to it. And he considered surfeit to be the only danger that could threaten outdoor sculpture exhibitions: “Each work demands to be seen without too much competition from other works of art and without a restrictive landscape setting.”
The sculptures in the Park are positioned so that they interact with the architecture and nature surrounding them. This is true, for example, of Henry Moore’s sculpture Reclining Figure No. 5 (Seagram), which stands out by the cliff with the Sound as living backdrop. The experience of the work thus becomes dependent on the weather and the season.
Similar examples are the so-called site-specific sculptures, including Richard Serra’s The Gate in the Gorge and George Trakas’ Self Passage, which were acquired for their specific placements, where they become a very concrete part of the terrain.
Many other major figures in modern art have set their stamp on the Park with their works: Jean Arp, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Joel Shapiro, Noubo Sekine, Max Bill – and most recently Dan Graham, with his glass pavilion with a double-sided mirror – Square Bisected by Curve – from 2008.
But ultimately, the Park is the museum guests’ own peaceful garden, making Louisiana a particularly open, informal and intimate museum.
LOUISIANA’S SCULPTURE PARK
As part of the Louisiana Library series, curator Helle Crenzien introduces the history of the park and its art works.
TO THE PARK
Listen to the stories behind several of the Park’s striking sculptures – including works by Moore, Calder, Heerup and others.
THE LAKE GARDEN
Although it does not contain sculptures, the Lake Garden should be noted as an essential part of the interplay between architecture, nature and art, present everywhere at Louisiana. The garden was named after the lake that was excavated and turned into a fortified privateer port during the British bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807. Today the lake serves as a more peaceful – and very beautiful – backdrop for both the Children’s Wing and especially the figures in the Giacometti Gallery.