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Danish Artgroup 6+2 1956-61
by Åge Delbanco
From Optimystic Bloghead Monday, February 27, 2006

In 1956 a group of young painters in Denmark decided to overcome the obstacles to get their works seen by renting a venue and make their own group exhibition. That was against the unwritten rules, which were to not form a group before all the members had been accepted several times at one of the official, censored exhibitions. Our group consisted of six painters and two textile artists and the first years were quite successful.

6+2, members: Jens Nordsø, Åge Delbanco, Ole Strøygård, Rudi Olsen and Poul Reimer
samt Jette Thyssen and Karen Nordsø
Catalogue and articles in Danish: Den Frie Udstillingsbygning. Copenhagen. 1956–58, 1960–61 -
1956 378kb - 1957 464kb - 1958 2,7mb - 1958-katalog 388kb - 1960 2,4mb - 1960-Stangerup 1,8mb - 61 2,6mb

Click on photos for larger copies

Abstract painting by Åge Delbanco from around 1960

The third year the art critic from the newspaper Information wrote a rather rude negative article about us and we decided to respond. We used his own words, but supplanted our name with his. It clearly brought out the quality of personal insult in his writing and we laughed uproariously while we composed it. The paper published it and the next day a sour reply from the critic who of course got the last word. He got more than that. Next year he came to our exhibition at the same time as two other critics and they had a conference right under our eyes. The day after, all three papers brought similar negative evaluation of our efforts and the number of visitors was in the one digit range with no sales at all. That became the end of our venture.

I made this satirical drawing of the critic’s conference:

The artist Jens Nordsø, were also known for LP-covers, were at the 6+2 exhibition in September 1958 asked to decorate a new jazz club. To fulfill the assignment he asked the other artist in 6+2 for help. They made the special atmosphere at Jazz club Montmartre in Store Regnegade in central Copenhagen, opening February 17th 1959. The club were the center modern jazz in Europe, until closing in Store Regnegade in 1976.
More about the decorating of Montmartre and the 2005 tribute-film

Fra venstre maleren Rudi Olsen, væversken Jette Thyssen og maleren Åge Delbanco.
Berlinske Tidende 18. februar 1959


Opening night at Montmatre17-2-1959: From left Rudi Olsen, Mogens Gylling
who made the African masks, Åge Delbanco, Ole Strøygaard and Jens Nordsø. Se og Hør.

In summer 1959 only half of the group showed, but we kept the name. 
From left Poul Reimer, Jette Thyssen, Age Delbanco and Ole Strøygaard

Ole Strøygård, who was the most idealistic in our group, had another idea. “Let us make a censored exhibition where we let in all the young talents who are rejected by the others,” he said. That was the start of ‘Sommerudstillingen’ (The Summer Exhibition). Ole wanted us to keep in the background, so we chose a committee of six young painters to censor the works while we were doing the manual labor of carrying paintings back and forth. The first day we saw several good painters being denied and some inferior ones being accepted. The next day Ole took the committee to task and confronted them with their choices from the previous day. They had to admit that they were too conservative and after that day they changed their judgments and the resulting exhibition was sensational. Even this triumph was not to continue. Both of the official censored exhibitions opened up for all the best painters from ‘Sommerudstillingen’, which lost its ammunition and died after the second year. Still, we were happy enough with what we had achieved, it had blown a fresh wind into Danish art.


Ole Strøygård, Jens Nordsø and Ole preparing ‘Sommerudstillingen’ 1961


Here I am contemplating a couple of my paintings.


Friday, February 17, 2006

IN MEMORIAM

From my homeland I have had the sad news that the painter Jens Nordsø, an old friend of mine, passed away on February 10 and was buried today. I found these two pictures of his paintings on the net and would like to share them with you.

Return biografi - forsiden - Opdateret 30-11-2013

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