A Danish Sojourn

On the Road

To end the summer, Beth Finch, Lunder Curator of American Art, ventured to Denmark to catch the closing of the exhibit Terry Winters Prints: 1999–2014 and to supervise the return of Colby’s loans to the show. While there, Beth was also able to attend the Louisiana Literature festival. Enjoy her reflection on her travels!

View of the Louisiana’s waterfront campus

It’s not often that one can combine a swim in the ocean with a day of art appreciation, but that’s exactly what some Louisiana Museum of Modern Art visitors did when presented with an especially beautiful late summer afternoon on the coast of Denmark’s Øresund. Founded in 1958 on the grounds of a former estate, the Louisiana is in Humlebæk, a suburb of Copenhagen, and its spectacular setting and artful approach to hospitality makes it an ideal excursion from the capital.

Installation view of Terry Winters Prints: 1999-2014

I visited the Louisiana to see Terry Winters Prints: 1999–2014, an exhibition that the Colby Museum co-organized with the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, and to hear Louisiana curator Anders Kold interview Winters as part of Louisiana Literature. Now in its sixth year, this celebrated literary festival brings together an international roster of writers for public talks and readings. The 2015 participants include the novelists Richard Ford, Rachel Kushner, and Colm Tóibín. Winters contributed the artwork for the festival poster and, in recognition of his print collaborations with writers, was the sole visual artist featured in the program. In conversation with Kold, Winters reflected on his early and omnivorous dedication to reading and his fascination with books as objects. “I do judge books by their covers,” he wryly admitted. Winters went on to frame his interest in collaborating with writers whose work resonates with his own in indirect but nonetheless mutually productive ways. (To date, he has made print projects with the writers Jean Starobinski,  Ben Marcus, and Eliot Weinberger.) An evocation of writing surfaced in Winters’s discussion of his process, in which he accesses visual source material to “dissolve,” he observed, “the distinctions between fact and fiction.” Later that afternoon, the Irish author Colm Tóibín described his practice in distinctly painterly terms when he observed that writing is a way to “put a shape on” a recollection, “to thicken it, make it more full of texture.” Judging from the good use that visitors made of Louisiana’s picturesque campus—reading, picnicking, napping, and the aforementioned swimming, not to mention listening and looking—the weekend had occasioned a renewable feast of exquisite memories.

Poster for the Louisiana Literature festival

The last day of Terry Winters Prints: 1999–2014 at the Louisiana Museum is August 30, 2015, after which the works will rejoin the Winters Print Collection at the Colby Museum.