Discovering a New World At Denmark’s Louisiana

No, I’m not talking about the US state of Louisiana or anything to do with French Kings. I’m actually talking about three women named Louise, who were all at one point wives of Alexander Brun. And it was these three women that Brun named his museum after. I’m talking about the wondrous Louisiana Museum of Modern Art located in Humlebæk, Denmark.

Louisiana Denmark 2 Louisiana Denmark 3I don’t know about you, but modern art can get a bit, well, weird. But I want to emphasize that it’s probably not modern art you’re thinking of (how could you hate the impressionists), but contemporary art. Contemporary art has a bit of a bad rep because it’s often drastically simple and people often think, “I could’ve done that.” I remember reading a news story once about how someone had dropped a pair of glasses on the floor of a museum, and visitors took pictures of it because they thought it was art.

Yet, I think such generalizations are largely unfair. Contemporary art just means new art and the Louisiana Museum showed me how great such art can be.

Louisiana Denmark 1 Louisiana Denmark 9 Louisiana Denmark 8Louise Bourgeois’ “Structures of Existence: The Cells” was the main exhibit. As indicated in the exhibit, the word cell is true to all its meanings: prison cell to monk’s cell to the smallest biological units of the body. All these little spaces were extraordinarily sensory and psychologically tense, yet calming in its own way.

Louisiana Denmark 7 Louisiana Denmark 4Of course the most astounding art piece of all was one that I knew about before visiting the museum. “Gleaming Lights of the Souls” by Yayoi Kusama is an amazing installation, and I am so grateful I could experience her world. Balls of light hang from the ceiling. You step onto a small platform surrounded by water. The color-changing bulbs reflect off the water making you feel like you are floating in space. Absolutely life-changing moment. How small I felt, yet also important.

The rest of the museum’s permanent collection is also amazing. Coming from an obsessive art type of person, this museum is worth making the trek too.

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