Danish Artist's Baroque-Style Circus Of Animals Is Back In The U.S

(MENAFN- USA Art News) Drawing inspiration from a wide breadth of sources, including ancient mythology, fairy tales and fables, and the Italian Renaissance, Danish artist
Bjørn Okholm Skaarup's
sculptures are steeped in historical tradition and informed by contemporary culture.

His nine-foot-tall mini-menagerie
The Town Musicians of Bremen, inspired by Grimm's beloved fairy tale which describes the journey of a ragtag fellowship of retired, domesticated animals-a donkey, dog, cat, and rooster-that unite to form an unlikely but irresistible band of musicians. Skaarup has animated the story characters in playful, textural detail, and there is a levity in the animals' precarious postures that brings movement and musicality to the totemic assembly.

New works from Skaarup that have made their U.S. debut include his interpretation of
The Four Seasons
as personified trees, a reference to the dendromorphic shapes and characters found in Renaissance-era art including Leonardo's frescoes, Arcimboldo's paintings, and Bramante's columns. A spring tree awakens from her winter dormancy, arms outstretched, face tilted toward the sun.
is laden with verdant blooms and forest fauna;
seeks shelter from the rain, his leaf cover replaced by the fungal growth of the season change.
is bare and frail, guarding against the chill as an owl finds shelter within his hollow.

A New York City favorite,
Hippo Ballerina
graces the exhibition in a variety of dance positions. Dually inspired by Degas'
Little Dancer Aged Fourteen
(1878–1881) and Disney's
(1940), Skaarup's 15-foot incarnation of the now-famous megaherbivore made her Manhattan debut in 2017 in Dante Park opposite Lincoln Center. From there, she entertained the public in the Flatiron District and outside the Girl Scouts of America's New York headquarters before spending most of 2022 in Pershing Square near Grand Central Terminal. Her“little sisters” in bronze, wearing 19th-century leotards and tutus, will bring a familiar delight to gallery visitors.
Hippo Ballerina
is accompanied by a menagerie of circus friends, including
Rhino Harlequin,
Giraffe Tall Clown,
Elephant Magician,
Sea Lion Juggler,
Bear Roller Skater,
Racoon Boxer,
Crocodile Cymbalist, and the master of ceremonies himself, the
Lion Tamer, who embodies the upended power dynamics of this all-animal carnival.

Currently, more than 25 of Skaarup's sculptures are on display at
Cavalier Gallery
in New York City through next month.


USA Art News

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