The works by the 17 Danish contemporary artists are selected with respect for the interior architecture of the Maersk Tower. Large, monumental works with a simple expression were selected to complement the interior space, which is characterized by sculptural shifts in level and a stunning spiralling staircase that offers views of several floors in one glance.
‘We see it as important to bring art into such a significant institution of education and research as the Faculty of Health of Medical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen. Moreover, the Maersk Tower is a landmark in the urban space. We selected 17 artists for the decorative project, among them Marie Lund, Farshad Farzankia, Per Kirkeby, Tal R and Peter Linde Busk. The decorative project offers a good representation of contemporary art at this moment in time and also demonstrates that art can add a unique potential for insight to a building. Visual art shows us imaginary landscapes that may inspire us to rethink the world – and it helps shape us as whole human beings,’ says Stine Høholt, member of the board for the New Carlsberg Foundation.
Organic copper shapes
Five copper sculptures by the Danish artist Marie Lund are mounted on a raw concrete frieze a couple of metres above the floor in the canteen. The five organic shapes are made of copper sheets that have been exposed to heat and twisted around their own axes. The golden material interacts with the building’s exterior copper shutters on the facade and adds a warm note that complements the white tables and lamps in the room. In an additional effect, the shiny surface sparkles in the light from the windows and reflect the surrounding space.
With their abstract forms, the copper sculptures appear as small individual bodies that have gone exploring. At the same time, however, they also convey a common narrative about a coherent group of individual elements, a family of organic tubular formations that have found their place in the industrial space.
Marie Lund always aims to create art that supports and contributes to the space where her works are placed. She trained and lives abroad and has built an international career with exhibitions in some of the world’s leading museums.
Aspects of Danish contemporary art
The decorative project at the Maersk Tower shows the varied expressions and materials that make up Danish contemporary art, from painting, silk-screen printing, copper and Laserchrome prints on Plexiglas to crocheted newsprint and bent neon tubes.
On some of the top floors Per Kirkeby is represented with works that give shape to geological strata, while Christian Lemmerz’s piece places the individual and the human body centre stage. In the panoramic viewing hall on the 15th floor is a large painting by the Danish-Iranian artist Farshad Farzankia, who is known for his colourful, figurative paintings. The project further includes works by other important Danish visual artists, including Tal R, John Kørner, Peter Linde Busk and Malene Landgreen.
The Maersk Tower was completed in 2017 with support from the private foundation A.P. Møller Fonden. The 15-storey science tower is part of the University of Copenhagen, an extension to the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district.