Truly Wild

Truly Wild. Game Hunting in Danish Art

October 7, 2023 – January 7, 2024

The autumn’s big special exhibition at Fuglsang Kunstmuseum examines how hunting as a concept, logic, practice and view of nature is produced in Danish art from the end of the 1700th century to the present day. A total of 50 artists are presented, e.g. Jens Juel, PS Krøyer, Johannes Larsen, Otto Bache, Nina Saunders, Anette Abrahamsson, Peter Land, Svend-Allan Sørensen, Trine Søndergaard and Nicolai Howalt, who in 80 works of art depict the people, animals and landscapes of the hunt in beautiful, thoughtful and humorous ways. They do this in painting, sculpture, art on paper, photography and ceramics. The works are combined with cultural and natural history objects from the world of hunting as well as short films where four hunters talk about their lives with hunting.

The background for the exhibition is that the global climate crisis and the pandemic of recent years have once again focused on man’s relationship with nature, including hunting. Some emphasize that hunting gives modern man a sense of unity with nature and thus respect and care for it. And that it makes good sense to obtain a limited amount of meat at the same time that you contribute to the regulation of game populations and encourage terrain care. In addition, it is praised that the ‘indoor person’ gets out into nature, moves analogously with sharpened senses and in this way cultivates both mindfulness og simple living. Other, e.g. recent political-activist movements, whose view of bioethics is incompatible with hunting or certain forms of hunting, pose critical questions about the perception of man as a natural hunter, the breeding of prey, the killing of animals and hunting as a commercial industry.

The Fuglsang Kunstmuseum there are many good reasons to make an exhibition about hunting motifs in Danish art over the past 250 years. Firstly, the subject speaks into a current social debate about nature experiences, communities and sustainability. Secondly, the museum is located in an area where many go hunting. And thirdly, the museum has a distinguished collection and strong traditions for examining the relationship between man and nature through, for example, landscape art. With this initiative, the museum also hopes to appeal to a broad group of visitors, including those interested in hunting and nature.

According to the latest statistics, there are almost 225.000 hunting license holders in Denmark, of which 80.000 are estimated to be active hunters. Approximately two million pieces of game are killed each year in this country.

Wildly enough is curated by inspector on Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Tine Nielsen Fabienke. The exhibition will also be shown at Ribe Kunstmuseum, Faaborg Museum and Skovgaard Museum. It is accompanied by a richly illustrated magazine with contributions from Tine Nielsen Fabienke, Mickey Gjerris, Jette Baagøe, Hans Kristensen, Marie Riegels Melchior and Cecilie Rubow as well as a varied program of activities for children, adults and families.