To celebrate the artistry of L.A. Ring — the Danish master painter presented in the Bruce Museum’s current visiting exhibition — the Bruce Museum is pleased to host a virtual solo concert performed by internationally renowned Danish jazz and improvisational artist Nikolaj Hess. Filmed on June 24 before a live audience at SMK, the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen, the audiovisual hybrid concert will also feature visuals by acclaimed film director Andreas Johnsen based on the paintings of Ring.
Impressions of L.A. Ring: On a Threshold will be broadcast on Sunday, July 19, 2:00 – 3:00 pm via Zoom webinar. Part of the Bruce Experiences series of special programming for Museum members, admittance to the virtual concert is being offered free of charge for members and AFSMK patrons and $10 for non-members to benefit the Bruce Museum. To reserve a place or to join as a member, visit this page at brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376; a link to attend the online concert will be sent to registered attendees one hour prior to the program.
Nikolaj Hess, whose influences can be described as a Nordic mix of International jazz, European classical, and Scandinavian folk music, has composed a unique concert reflecting on the themes in L.A. Ring’s artistic universe to paint a modern impression of one of Denmark’s most celebrated artists. The performance explores Hess’ interest in the five main themes of Ring’s work as highlighted in the exhibition, such as the naturalism seen in the landscape paintings, and the humanity captured through portraiture.
On view through August 9, 2020, in the Bruce Museum’s recently renovated and expanded main art gallery, On the Edge of the World: Masterworks by Laurits Andersen Ring from SMK—the National Gallery of Denmark showcases 25 of Ring’s most important paintings, which represent the key themes, sheer variety, and complexity of his work.
The exhibition was initiated by the American Friends of Statens Museum for Kunst, the National Gallery of Denmark, which holds the largest collection of Ring’s paintings and drawings. The Bruce Museum is the only East Coast venue to host this first exhibition outside Scandinavia to be solely devoted to L.A. Ring.
“It is part of our mission at SMK to inspire and spark creative thinking by making the art of our collection known to a wider audience, which includes audiences outside the Nordic region,” says Mikkel Bogh, Director of SMK. “L.A. Ring was a sensitive and profound interpreter of the changing conditions of human existence at the threshold of modernity, in Denmark and elsewhere. We believe his painting has an appeal to U.S. audiences and that his works, while embedded within specific geographic and historical circumstances, speak to us today in a powerful artistic language that matters as never before.”
Laurits Andersen Ring was born into a smallholder family in the village of Ring in Southern Zealand, Denmark. As an artist, he never distanced himself from his humble origins. The two central themes of his art were the everyday struggles of ordinary people and the Danish landscape. Ring’s work reflects the great upheavals taking place in society and art in the decades around 1900. The processes of industrialization caused major changes in the labor market; new enterprises flourished, and people moved from the country to the cities, especially the burgeoning capital, Copenhagen.
“The opportunity to present the work of this great Danish artist to audiences on the East Coast is unprecedented, and the Bruce strives to engage museum visitors both near and far with new experiences and insight,” says Robert Wolterstorff, The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director.
“The issues Ring addresses, and the visual and psychological means he uses to address them, remain relevant today. Ring is unusual, at the turn of the 20th century, because he addressed modern issues in a traditional style. That makes him fascinating to me. His landscapes and images of peasants on the land and of workers in the town or city address contemporary issues of land reform, rapid population growth, and people moving to the cities. At the same time, the railroad and the telegraph knit the nation together, but speeded up life. Ring captured a world that was poised between traditional values and modernism. That’s a balance, and a tension, that we here in Connecticut—the gateway to New England—grapple with to this day.”
The Bruce Museum is grateful for exhibition support from Amica Insurance and a Committee of Honor Co-Chaired by Ellen Flanagan, Simone McEntire, Betsey Ruprecht, Patricia W. Chadwick, and Susan and Torben Weis. Honorary Chair is John L. Loeb, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark. Additional exhibition support is provided by Maryann Keller Chai and Jay Chai, Ambassador and Mrs. John L. Loeb, Jr., Sylvia and Leonard Marx, Jr., the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, and the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
Presentation of the exhibition at the Bruce Museum and the Nordic Museum in Seattle has been made possible by the generous support of Mary & Greg Moga. Additional support has been provided by Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, Queen Margrethe’s and Prince Henrik’s Foundation, the Oak Foundation, the Scan|Design Foundation, the Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Arne V. Schleschs Foundation, Hermod Lannung Museum Foundation, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Meltwater, SAS Cargo, Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, ArcusGruppen, Fritz Hansen, Ilse Jacobsen Hornbæk, International Flight Support ApS, Beck Global Consulting, Embassy of Denmark in Washington D.C., The Consulate General of Denmark in New York, and board & patrons of the AFSMK – American Friends of Statens Museum for Kunst. For more information, please visit afsmk.org.