Carl-Henning Pedersen. The Three Towers. 1990. Oil on canvas. 60x70cm
Born 1913, Copenhagen – died 2007
Carl-Henning Pedersen was together with Asger Jorn, one of the country’s picturesquely highly gifted artists. In over seven decades has he with undiminished energy, created the one work of art after another and not without reason, he was characterized as a fairytale painter, his picture-world is populated with mythical beings seemingly from another world – magical and enchanting. The floating figures and the blue colour-scale has become his trademark and the characteristic expressive, imaginative and poetic imagery is well-known and loved by a huge audience.
As young he works as a milk boy and engages also in communistic youth work. In the communistic environment hears he about the International High School in Helsingør and he seeks admission in 1933, where he meets the young Else Alfelt (1910-1974) who are vivid occupied of painting and had at that time, already painted in 10 years. They quickly become a couple and it is most of all on Else Alfelt´s merit, that Carl-Henning Pedersen are introduced to the modern pictorial art. He sees his first abstract paintings on the High School and studies pictorial art on the library. His fascination leads finally to he starts to paint himself. It is in 1935, he is married with Else and they have rented a small atelier. Already the year after, is four of his abstract works submitted on “Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling”. The meeting with Else Alfelt is decisive for the direction which Carl-Henning Pedersen’s life takes; he had of course earlier on considered becoming an architect or composer, but it is in the pictorial art he finds his purpose.
In 1950 did Carl-Henning Pedersen "mark ones mark" with a retrospective exhibition in “Den Frie Udstillingsbygning” and internationally he is with COBRA when the movement with Asger Jorn forms in 1948. The movement existed only three years before internal strife broke it up, but it was three years who has left a mark and gave a long friendship with Asger Jorn.
Carl-Henning Pedersen´s vision, that the origin of art was neither academic nor acquired but rather spontaneous and individual, was met with sympathy amongst the other COBRA-members.
In time when the recognition rose, so did the travel activity and throughout his career he worked in places like Greece, Italy, Schweitzerland, Norway, Iceland, France, Germany, USA, Turkey, India, Tunisia, Nepal, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, China, Martinique, Peru, Bali and Guadeloupe. On the travels he worked in smaller formats and the preferred materials was watercolour, pastel, crayon and Indian ink. In this media he had a thorough and formidable technique. Crayon he mastered like no other artist.
Galerie Birch had a close bond of kinship with the artists in the COBRA-movement and that included Carl-Henning Pedersen who became friend with Børge Birch. This leads to several solo exhibitions in 1974-81-83-84-85-86-87 and numerous mixed exhibitions.
Honorary and rewards
In 1950 receiving Eckersbergs Medalje
In 1958 receiving The Guggenheim Award
In 1963 receiving Thorvaldsens Medalje
In 1969 receiving The Henrik Steffens Award
In 1970 he represents Denmark at the Worlds Faire in Osaka, Japan
In 1980 receiving Prins Eugen-Medaljen
Appointed honorary citizen and gets his own museum in Herning
Represented at the following Danish Museums
KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art Aalborg
Statens Museum for Kunst
ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum
HEART - Herning Museum of Contemporary Art
Email request to Galerie Birch on current artworks for sale