Ingemann Andersen's landscapes are like no other, says curator Tine Nielsen Fabienke. The motifs in his stylized woodcuts come mainly from the native Lolland region and from the Amalfi Coast in Italy, where he lived in a former monastery for three decades.
One of Ingemann Andersen's close friends has called him "The Tree Man", which is quite telling. It is with his woodcuts that Andersen really excels. And it is even woodcuts that often represent trees. As a young man he was a forester, so he really had an in-depth knowledge of those trees.
Technically, it was quite advanced to make the woodcuts. Both because of the hard wood he preferred to cut his motifs in, and later because of the many colors he printed with. So he was also a hard-working and incredibly skilled craftsman.
Although Andersen's images in a way look very natural and simple, they are also abstract and complicated. As you can see here, the plants of the monastery garden are neatly stylized - as in Japanese woodcuts. But he also has many details with him. Among other things, the newly sprouted white cherry blossoms that look like small cotton balls.
Moreover, it looks like the dark trunks and branches are taking over the entire image area. They almost block the view. And they puncture the perspective so that the space in the image becomes very flat and unnatural. But if you look closer, they cover layers of shrubs, trees and plants in green, yellow and white. You can also glimpse the mountains in the haze of the background.
Ingemann Andersen (1929–2017)
Dimensions: 283 x 355 mm
Acquisition: Purchased 1977
Ingemann Andersen had a good career in Denmark when he settled in Italy. In 1966 he was on a scholarship stay at the San Cataldo Refuge, a former nunnery on the Amalfi Coast. Here he fell in love with the Funen hostess, whom he married in 1968. For the following three decades, they were the place's host couple, and only during the winter months did they stay in Denmark.
Andersen's life and art thus originated from the monastery in the steep mountains of southern Italy and from the small farm in the countryside on the flat Lolland. Far from the city bustle and the national art scene. Here he had his loyal fans, so he did not have to profile himself. Unfortunately, he also disappeared from the radar of the wider public.
“Because he was a talented artist who worked originally with painting, sculpture, mosaic, drawing, watercolor and graphics. In particular, he excelled as a graphic artist, both technically and aesthetically. Within the woodcuts, for example, there are no landscapes similar to his.
He immersed himself patiently and insistently in the world around him. For landscapes like the monastery garden here, this means that they partly look like unreal dream visions, and partly are so present that you can almost taste, smell and hear them. At least that's how I feel when I look at a woodcut like this. ”
One of Fuglsang Kunstmuseums collection areas are art and artists with a Lolland background and motifs. Since the 1950s, the museum has therefore acquired Ingemann Andersen's art. Today, it owns 163 works by him and can thus ensure that he is not written out of art history. He is also a great example of a significant artist with roots locally and internationally.
Please note that the work is not necessarily exhibited in the museum.
Tine Nielsen Fabienke is an art historian and curator at Fuglsang Kunstmuseum. Here she is, among other things, in charge of the museum's exhibitions.
Note: Danish only