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 around 60 sculptures of the Park are an important part of the museum’s collection. Some are remarkable and easily distinguished, others almost hidden or blending in to the surroudings in an almost mysterious way. The special interplay with nature, the view, the weather and the changing of the Seasons makes for totally different experiences of the same figures. Thus the Sculpture Park is well worth a visit in itself at every time of year.
"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 besides 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 labyrinthic nature of the buildings. Constantly arousing our curiosity as to 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.
MOBILE GUIDE TO THE PARK
Listen to the stories behind several of the Park’s striking sculptures – including works by Moore, Calder, Heerup and others.
You can download the Louisiana Mobile Guide to your mobile phone free of charge on the museum’s wireless network. To borrow an iPod or purchase headphones, ask the staff at the entrance.
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.