Karsten Ohrt, 2017
The Crowd in Pietrasanta
As the first Danish artist, Jørgen Haugen Sørensen now has a permanent artistic presence in Pietrasanta. Based on a donation from the New Carlsberg Foundation, his monumental bronze sculpture The Crowd was recently installed in the centre of the town.
The 2.5-metre-tall sculpture by the Danish sculptor Jørgen Haugen Sørensen (b. 1934) depicts a group of anonymous individuals. The ghost-like bronze figures stand so close together that they almost merge into a single form, expressing solidity and fragility at once.
‘Jørgen Haugen Sørensen masters the full spectrum as a sculptor. He carves, shapes and kneads his messages into a form that is immediately comprehensible, yet still leaves us in doubt. The duality of The Crowd is no exception. Here, he addresses the phenomenon of the group. At first glance, his “crowd” signals unity and solidarity. However, outsiders soon detect an exclusive and oppressive sense of cliquishness emanating from the eerie figures,’ says Karsten Ohrt, chairman of the board for the New Carlsberg Foundation.
The Crowd is now a permanent installation at Piazza Francesco Crispi in the centre of Pietrasanta. It was while working on a sculpture group for Danish School of Media and Journalism in 1971 that Jørgen Haugen Sørensen first visited Pietrasanta, where he now lives and works. For centuries, Pietrasanta has been a hotspot for sculptors due to the local Carrara marble and the professional bronze casters and stone carvers in the town.
The New Carlsberg Foundation has supported a wide range of projects carried out by Danish artists in the Italian town. The foundation’s donation of Jørgen Haugen Sørensen’s The Crowd thus also marks a recognition of Pietrasanta’s importance for Danish art.
About Jørgen Haugen Sørensen
Since his debut in 1953 Jørgen Haugen Sørensen has engaged in an original and uncompromising study of the modern human condition, with a sublime and unique sense of the properties and potentials of his material. A self-taught artist, he has expressed reservations towards schooled art, and his work strikes a fine contrast to the theoretical art practised by leading contemporary sculptors trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art.
Driven by his personal experience and perspectives on life, Jørgen Haugen Sørensen has maintained his focus on universal human conditions – life and death, love and suffering – as the core topic of his sculptures. Whether they are shaped in clay, plaster, fabric or terracotta, cast in bronze or carved in stone.