Karsten Ohrt and Andreas Jürgensen


About forty years ago when installation art first emerged, it was in particular noted that it was exhibited in some - for art - highly remote places: in backyards, in forests, on fields, on mountains, on streets or in deserts. In themselves these places signalled a significant distance to the established rooms of art.

By now installation art has gradually become an integral part of contemporary art; it can even be seen as the characteristic art form of the second half of our century. Installation art has developed into a symbolic expression mode of our time, and the suggestions for what this symbolism actually means are many: its limited physical existence may be seen as symbolizing the transitoriness of everything; its definite concern for the space in which it is created may be regarded as a metaphor of the sensitivity ideal towards our physical, psychological and natural environment; the inclusion in installations of other art forms, particularly architecture, may be symbolizing transcendence, ecstacy as a ”condition,” as it is often said; etc.

The status and respect, which has today been achieved by installation art, also mean that its relationship to the established rooms of art has become clearer. Kunsthalles and museums have taken this art in from the street, out of the forests and down from the mountains to include it in their other exhibitions. Installation art, which used to be an alternative and provocative enterprise, has established itself as a topic in art history.

Of course, there are artists and theorists who believe the institutions by that have removed the original and provocative sting from installation art. They primarily see this development as a series of losses, and they look nostalgically towards the 60s and 70s while deploring this process.

On the other hand, however, installation art had on its own also penetrated the established  art scene and virtually forced the art institutions to think and work along different lines, which until then had been inconceivable. Compared to an exhibition of paintings or sculpture, an exhibition of installations calls for other kinds of preparation and effort. It presupposes a specific and wholehearted involvement by the institutions and an exceptionally close and intensive dialogue with the artist, the artisans and the many others who are involved in the materialisation of an installation. Today the uncompromising relationship with the room in which installation art is shown and the span of time during which it exists have a powerful influence on how kunsthalles and museums of modern art function - or on how they ought to function.

Finn Naur Petersen (born 1954) is a part of this development. He too started in the 80s by building installations in remote places. Later he also installed works in exhibition institutions; these works had some rather sculptural aspects however. They could be dismantled and reconstructed where and when wanted. Thus the unique quality of the installation, only to exist in a specific location and for a certain time span, was de-emphasized here.

With this new work Front, the way things are related again differ. Front works with the entire room, and, since the coloured glass also takes in the outer space around Kunsthallen Brandts Klëdefabrik, the work does in fact not appear to have limitations of any kind inside the room. This installation has been specifically created for the so-called Concrete Room in Kunsthallen Brandts Klëdefabrik. At the same time Front exists only for a specific period of time, namely from 20 June to 19 October 1997. Afterwards the Concrete Room is reestablished once more, and this art work will only remain alive through documentations - and as a memory.

We are delighted that Finn Naur Petersen has put such a great effort and sensitivity into his work with this room, and we are proud to have provided the framework for an installation that has turned out so well. We thank glazier Frese and Sons, Pilkington in Denmark and also the Glaziers’ Association in Denmark for their support to this project.


Karsten Ohrt and Andreas Jürgensen

Kunsthallen Brandts Klædefabrik