BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

V1 Gallery – Copenhagen, Denmark

Challenging the Boundaries of Art

Copenhagen feels like one out those rare places where the government takes care of its inhabitants, who in turn are happy and actually want to invest into the place they call home. In return, this creates a striving cityscape that practically glows with vitality. With studies showing that some 40% of Københavners' ride their bike to and from work – how could anyone be unhappy after coming home via a cycle by the canal? The downside to living in the Danish port is the blistering winters and lack of sun, but still Copenhagen routinely makes it into the top three of Monocle's 'Quality of Life' list.

Misaki Kawai, ’Panty Master’, 2015
Misaki Kawai, ’Panty Master’, 2015
Installation view at V1 Gallery, Copenhagen
Installation view at V1 Gallery, Copenhagen

Back in 2002, Jesper Elg and Peter Funch founded the V1 Gallery and were soon joined by Mikkel Grønnebæk. The gallery is located in the Meatpacking District and it strives to challenge both its audiences as well as their own norms within the boundaries of visual art, installations, video, and sculpture.The gallery owners have made it their goal to introduce art, in all its forms, to an international audience whilst representing a select group of emerging and established artists. V1 Gallery first gained international notability by being the first Scandinavian art gallery to exhibit international street art pioneers. Jesper and Mikkel agree that “curiosity and a sense of independence have always fueled our program. We grew up being interested in the periphery as well as the alternative”.

Monica Kim Garza, ’Miami 16 (Gonna Be A Fitness Model Tho)’, 2016
Monica Kim Garza, ’Miami 16 (Gonna Be A Fitness Model Tho)’, 2016
Wes Lang. Installation view at V1 Gallery, Copenhagen
Wes Lang. Installation view at V1 Gallery, Copenhagen

The two founders believe that in general, the Danish art scene has grown from being a mostly regional affair into an international platform for contemporary art over the last ten years. “We currently have an abundance of good art institutions, non-profits, and galleries”. No matter what you're looking for, you'll find it in the Danish capital. Despite its size, Copenhagen has become a popular destination for visitors interested in art, design, architecture, music, fashion, theatre, television, and the culinary arts. “I think the spirit of collaboration and appreciation amongst different cultural fields has been very important and productive in advancing the city’s international creative position. The Chart Art Fair is a perfect example of this spirit. Experts from many different fields join forces to create a rather unique creative experience with art at its center”, says Jesper.

Wes Lang, ’To The Kingdom’, 2016
Wes Lang, ’To The Kingdom’, 2016

It's always been important to the three owners that the artists they work with represent an original position: “Our program is very eclectic in regards to visual style and media. We like art that makes the viewer curious, makes you think, and offers room for contemplation”. The gallery just opened their new space Eighteen with an exhibition by Wes Lang. “We've been wanting to create a new platform for those artists who we enjoy exploring for a long time”. In September V1 Gallery will be home to a collaborative exhibition by Asger Carlsen and Roger Ballen: “It’s a radical new body of work and we really look forward to presenting it. Towards the end of the year, October to be precise, "the magnificent young Swedish painter Sara-Vide Ericson is presenting a new solo exhibition with us, and in November we will be hosting our first solo exhibition with Danny Fox”. No matter when you decide to visit Copenhagen, V1's program is sure to excite the senses.

by Liv Fleischhacker

Wes Lang, ’Fellow Traveler of Awareness’, 2016
Wes Lang, ’Fellow Traveler of Awareness’, 2016

Liv Fleischhacker is a freelance writer based in Berlin. Her favorite topics include art, design and food.

All images courtesy V1 Gallery, Copenhagen

More Information on V1 Gallery, Copenhagen

Galleries (40)

Futura Art Gallery — Pietrasanta, Italy

A gallery that unites established and emerging artists

Gianni Manhattan - Vienna, Austria

Young, International and Critically Astute

Misako & Rosen — Tokyo, Japan

Redefining the Conversation Around Aesthetics

Tiwani Contemporary – London, Great Britain

The London Gallery Promoting African Self-definition

Frutta Gallery — Rome, Italy

Understanding Tradition Without Hesitating to Break It

Contemporary Fine Arts – Berlin, Germany

From West to East and Back Again: a Berlin Institution That’s Made Its Mark

Bo Bjerggaard – Copenhagen, Denmark

Showcasing Figurative Painting With a Side of Communal Spirit

Pierre-Yves Caër Gallery – Paris, France

The Parisian gallery creating a home for Japanese artists in the European art market.

Blindspot Gallery — Hong Kong, China

Throwing a Spotlight on Local Artists

Vane – Newcastle upon Tyne, Great Britain

The Not-for-profit Space Offering Context And Critique In Newcastle

H’art Gallery — Bucharest, Romania

One of Bucharest’s Oldest Private-Run Galleries

LambdaLambda Lambda – Pristina, Kosovo

Mastering the Language in the Kosovan Capital

Deák Erika Galéria – Budapest, Hungary

Beyond Budapest’s Baths

The Breeder Gallery – Athens, Greece

Breeding New Forms in Athens

Tim Van Laere Gallery – Antwerp, Belgium

An autonomous gallery representing both upcoming and well-established artists

Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler – Berlin, Germany

One of the most cutting-edge galleries in Berlin

Galerie Fons Welters – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Doorway to Amsterdam’s Contemporary Art

Bosse & Baum – London, United Kingdom

Ambitious perspectives in Peckham

TM51 – Oslo, Norway

Three Galleries in One – Oslo’s Most Accessible Space

mfc-michèle didier – Paris, France

A Space that Reflects the Artistic Discipline

Upstream Gallery – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tackling the Shift Between the Analog and Digital in a Post Internet World

Galerie Forsblom – Helsinki, Finland

Bringing international contemporary art to the Finnish capital

The Journal Gallery – New York, USA

Saving New York from Becoming a Sale-Focused Gallery Wasteland

Peres Projects – Berlin, Germany

Bridging the Gap Between Los Angeles and Berlin

Galeria OMR – Mexico City

Mexico City’s advocate for modern artistic tendencies and international contemporary art

LOYAL – Stockholm, Sweden

A Gallery that Pushes the Dialogue Around Young and International Art in Sweden’s Capital

Chimera-Project — Budapest, Hungary

Post-contemporary interest in aesthetics while eagerly re-constructing and defining traditions

La New Gallery — Madrid, Spain

Celebrating contemporary art in all its multi-faceted forms

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery – Sydney, Australia

Her uncanny ability to recognize unique Pacific Rim talent

Take Ninagawa Gallery – Tokyo, Japan

Promoting emerging Japanese artists within a cross-generational, international framework

RaebervonStenglin – Zurich, Switzerland

It is much more about concepts, long conversations and long-term commitment

Galerie Emanuel Layr – Vienna, Austria

Finding the right chord among the various artists

Platform China – Beijing/Hongkong, China

This shows how much prejudgment there still is

Fluxia – Milan, Italy

Strive to discover new approaches in contemporary art

Gaudel de Stampa – Paris, France

“Discreet” seems to be the perfect adjective

NON – Istanbul, Turkey

The dawn of an era of collaboration

Vermelho – São Paulo, Brazil

There were no galleries open to a new generation of artists working in a nontraditional way

Eleven Rivington – New York, USA

Newfound talent and rediscovers international artists for a new audience

Ibid. – London, Great Britain

Rather than listing names