Toward the end of September I was in Denmark for several days for the opening of a show at Kunsthallen Brandts, a museum/cultural center in the small city of Odense. I had some drawings in the show--originals from Big Questions #9. The show was about one third cartooning (including David B., Anke Feuchtenberger (work from both below), R. Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner and Killofer) and about two thirds other media: sculpture, painting, video etc. A highlight was an animation by David Shrigley called Who I Am and What I Want. Shrigley is great. His work is both brilliant and hilarious and his sense of play and fun is contagious. Some other stuff that's worth a look is Fredrik Raddum (the guy on the tree), Soren Behncke, and Jesper Dalgaard (colored drawing below). But that's an incomplete list. There was a lot of good stuff in the show.
The point of the exhibition was to locate comics within the general purview of contemporary art and show the increasing cross pollination of what are less and less separate fields. It did so without apology or qualification which seems to me pretty unusual and quite welcome. They did a really nice catalog as well. Matthias Wivel, in particular, wrote a great essay on the place of comics within (and outside) high culture which is very much worth reading. He doesn't have it up on his website yet, but you should go there and bug him because it really deserves an audience wider than the people who can go to Denmark and get the catalog. So bug him. He also recently posted a four part interview he did with me on the site.
Some other things I did on the trip include pay an obscene amount of money for everything (fifty dollar breakfast pictured below). The dollar is sucking pretty hard at the moment.
One day we stumbled on several amazing flea markets in both Odense and Copenhagen. We got engrossed and managed to miss the other official touristy type stuff we'd wanted to see. I got a few things including one of these little plates and a number of old postcards, also pictured below.
Another day we took the train an hour or so south to Egeskov Slot, A 16th century castle, which is still inhabited ( we actually got a glimpse of the owner a late thirties-ish guy in a leather motorcycle jacket and sunglasses coming out a door with two blond kids who might have been his sons). It's built in the middle of an actual moat, on a foundation of upright tree trunks embedded in the earth. It was filled with all sorts of amazing artifacts including several hundred animal skulls, heads and skins, daggers and shields, suits of armor (exhibited, surreally, along with the original superman costume Christopher Reeves wore in Superman), there were paintings, drawings and prints that spanned the life of the place, depicting most of the inhabitants and their entire family tree. As if that wasn't enough, also on the grounds was a huge museum crammed to bursting with antique cars and aircraft.
On the morning before we flew out we went to the Bibliotek National and saw a show of 16th and 17th century illustrated books, which were beautiful. They included a pop-up book of anatomy and fantastical illustrated first hand accounts of the recently discovered New World, among other things.