The epitome of good taste

New exhibition sees artist Vilhelm Lundstrøm from a new perspective - with a little help from Finn Juhl

The recently opened exhibition at Brandts Museum in Odense, Denmark, takes a look at the artist Vilhelm Lundstrøm from a new perspective, by drawing parallells to Danish design and the story of 'good taste'. The exhibition visualizes the interiors and contexts that Lundström's many modernist works have been presented in over time.

Vilhelm Lundstrøm and Finn Juhl
Vilhelm Lundstrøm (1893-1950) is known primarily for his colorful paintings of simplified compositions of candles, fruits and portraits. He became a major representative of Danish modernism and although his early works provoked anxiety, his works today have become the epitome of good taste.

The exhibition has been created in collaboration between Brandts Museum of Art & Visual Culture in Odense and Kunsten - Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg.

More than 60 paintings and drawings are presented together with a large number of iconic design classics, mainly from Finn Juhl, who was inspired, admired and used Lundström's works.

The exhibition thus shows how Lundstrøm has been seen over time, from the perspective of Danish designers and architects, who became inspired and contributed to promoting Lundstrøm in relation to Danish furniture design.

Color inspiration and the epitome of good taste
Through the 50's Finn Juhl was inspired by Lundstrøms color universe and helped promote Lundstrøm in relation to Danish furniture design. Finn Juhl often used Lundstrøm's paintings in his furniture exhibitions, interior design and especially in his own home.

Over the years, Lundström's images have been repeatedly reproduced in magazines and furniture advertisements together with Finn Juhl's exclusive furniture.

For Finn Juhl, visual arts served as an integral part of a room's interior design. Vilhelm Lundstrøm's pictures and, in particular, his colors were one of Finn Juhl's core inspirations, and through his persistent use of Lundstrøm's paintings, Finn Juhl contributed from the 1940s and up to the 1960s to Lundstrøm becoming an exponent of good taste.

However, it also went the other way. From the mid-50s, after Lundström's death, his works became such a widespread and well-established cultural reference that just the presence of a single painting could set the agenda for the reception of an exhibition, a presentation or something else.

Just by incorporating Lundstrøm and other of the period's groundbreaking and renowned artists in the presentation of his furniture, Finn Juhl reinforced the perception of his furniture as an expression of the good taste.

In the book Finn Juhl's Watercolors, Designmuseum Denmark's director, Anne-Louise Sommer, described how Finn Juhl at his drawing room tried to find a special "Lundstrøm pink" that was in one of his pictures that Finn Juhl had in his collection.

Finn Juhl tried to incorporate the pink color in his outline to the draft ceiling in the Forensic Council Hall in the United Nations Building in New York. However, he ended up omitting the pink color in the realization of the project.

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