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Troels Wörsel.

Troels Wörsel (1950–2018)

Danish experimental painter Troels Wörsel, who represented Denmark in the Fifty-Second Venice Biennale, has died at age sixty-eight. Wörsel was a self-taught artist whose formal experiments fused elements of Minimalism, Pop art, and Conceptualism. His strategies involved incorporating familiar imagery into his art, blending figuration with abstraction, collage, and sometimes painting on the back sides of his canvases. The artist gained international recognition in 2007, when his work was exhibited in the Danish pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Born in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1950, Wörsel moved to Munich and then Cologne, where he developed an interest in Pop and Conceptual art. He often included texts, such as wine labels or newspaper clippings, on the surfaces of his works, which were mostly concerned with art history and tradition. “Wörsel is concerned with painting as a means of expression of the intuitive imagination,” Annelie Phlen wrote in a review of the artist’s work in Artforum’s March 1983 issue. “His work speaks of the danger implicit in the gap between art’s high ambitions and the banal readings to which it can be subjected.”

In 1995 Wörsel won the Eckersberg Medal, and in 2002 he received the Carnegie Art Award’s first prize. His work is held in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

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