Half of the people who visit SMK – the National Gallery of Denmark – come to see the museum’s permanent collection of art, which stretches back seven centuries. Soon, art enthusiasts will have even more reason to visit the National Gallery. With a significant extraordinary donation the New Carlsberg Foundation has enabled SMK to make a large purchase of new video art, installations, paintings, drawings, graphic prints, photographs, sculptures and performances – a total of 104 significant works by 61 leading artists. 

The unusually large purchase is intended to enhance SMK’s collection. Moreover, the sizeable addition to the collection is aligned with the New Carlsberg Foundation’s current focus on promoting and launching meaningful initiatives to assist the hard-hit Danish art scene during the under coronavirus crisis.

A boost for the National Gallery and the art scene

‘From an art perspective, the works that SMK now adds to its collection and, ultimately, present to its audience represent a profoundly interesting and ambitious selection of Danish contemporary art. However, the philanthropic aim should not be underestimated. Due to the scale, width and diversity of the museum’s large acquisition programme the New Carlsberg Foundation’s donation will also provide much-needed economic support to many actors in the Danish art scene; a boost that is sorely needed during the current crisis,’ says Christine Buhl Andersen, chairwoman of the New Carlsberg Foundation.


The new acquisitions were selected in part with an eye to ensure a better and broader representation of artists who are active in Denmark right now. The pieces are deliberately selected to represent diversity with regard to gender, generations, media and artistic approaches.

‘The acquisitions will give our audience unique insight into the power and scope of what is happening in the Danish art scene right now, among the young as well as the very experienced artists. It includes some of the most important works and manifestations of art presented in Danish exhibition venues in recent years. We have taken this opportunity to take a critical look at the biases and omissions in our collection and sought to enhance the representation of artists and bodies of work. This generous donation gives us a much stronger basis for living up to what I consider one of the main responsibilities of a modern national gallery: to document and present significant works of art that address the time and the society we are living in right now,’ says Mikkel Bogh, director of SMK.

Exhibition – a work in progress

Throughout September the new pieces will be delivered to the museum and go directly into a series of exhibition halls where they will be hung and installed as they arrive. In the designated exhibition area, titled ‘Danish Art Now’, the audience will be able to observe the process as the pieces are checked in by conservators and then installed in the exhibition. ‘Danish Art Now’ will be on display until 2022. 

Extraordinary efforts

As part of the New Carlsberg Foundation’s emergency effort in response to the coronavirus crisis, the foundation handed out donations totalling more than DKK 27 million to Danish art museums earlier this month. With the new performance festival ‘Up Close’, which is held over the last two weekends of June, the New Carlsberg Foundation also aims to contribute to the reopening of the Danish art scene by highlighting one of the hardest-hit art forms.

Works by the following artists will be added to SMK’s collection:
Kristoffer Akselbo (b. 1974), Magnus Andersen (b. 1987), Nina Beier (b. 1975), Anna Bjerger (b. 1973), Benedikte Bjerre (b. 1987), Inge Bjørn (b. 1925), Kaspar Bonnén (b. 1968), Astrup og Bordorff (b. 1983 and 1988), Julie Boserup (b. 1976), Sonja Lillebæk Christensen (b. 1972), Ursula Reuter Christiansen (b. 1943), Ismar Cirkinagic (b. 1973), Nermin Duraković (b. 1979), Deniz Eroglu (b. 1981), Christian Falsnæs (b. 1980), Ester Fleckner (b. 1983), Thomas Fleron (b. 1971), Suzette Gemzøe (b. 1964), Birke Gorm (b. 1986), Anne Haaning (b. 1977), Molly Haslund (b. 1979), Hannah Heilmann (b. 1978), Henriette Heise (b. 1965), Sebastian Hedevang (b. 1985), Morten Knudsen (b. 1985), Andreas Rønholt (b. 1989), Jens Hüls Funder (b. 1985), Peter Holst Henckel (b. 1966), Emil Westman Hertz (1978–2016), Kristofer Hultenberg (b. 1971), Ellen Hyllemose (b. 1958), Uffe Isolotto (b. 1976), Marie Kølbæk Iversen (b. 1981), Kirsten Justesen (b. 1943), Jane Jin Kaisen (b. 1980), Sophia Kalkau (b. 1960), Jessie Kleemann (b. 1959), Jakob Kolding (b. 1971), Miriam Kongstad (b. 1981), Christian Lemmerz (b. 1959), Marie Søndergaard Lolk (b. 1981), Marie Lund (b. 1976), Maria Meinild (b. 1984), Kim Richard Adler Mejldahl (b. 1990), Rasmus Myrup (b. 1991), Simon Dybbroe Møller (b. 1976), Allan Nicolaisen (b. 1982), Henrik Olesen (b. 1967), Kirsten Ortwed (b. 1948), PISCINE (Mikkeline Daa, Michael Roloff, Jens Settergren, Mark Tholander and Ida Thorhauge), Lea Porsager (b. 1981), Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen (b. 1963), Jytte Rex (b. 1942), Tabita Rezaire (b. 1989), Amitai Romm (b. 1985), Ane Mette Ruge (b. 1955), Masar Sohail (b. 1982), Nanna Starck (b. 1976), Jakob Kudsk Steensen (b. 1987), Tove Storch (b. 1981), Astrid Svangren (b. 1972), Lydia Hauge Sølvberg (b. 1989), Marie Thams (b. 1982), Anna Fro Vodder (b. 1972), Years, Oscar Yran (b. 1990).