Hans Alf Gallery is driven by a love for the arts and hard, creative work

Hans Alf Gallery is driven by a love for the arts and hard, creative work

Christian Achenbachs Kaleidoscope. Hans Alf Gallery.

“A gallerist can never rest on their laurels” says the team behind the gallery Hans Alf, a gallery that lives and breathes for the figurative arts and continuously creative and challenging work. This is a portrait of the significant and important gallery whose exhibition ‘North’, by the notorious Armin Boehm, opens Friday the 24th of May during Art Week.

When did Hans Alf Gallery open?
The current state of the gallery was formed in 2006, when the modernisation of Kødbyen created a space for new creative initiatives in the old meat packing district. Together with Bo Bjerggaard and V1, we were situated at the fashionable flæsketorv. This was our location until 2012, when we moved near Charlottenborg in the Inner City. Today we are in Holbergsgade just behind the Royal Theater.

What kind of art/artists are you focusing on and why? 
We represent a wide range of artists – all who are living and still active – which covers most of the palette, so to speak. But our main focus is painting, sculpture and drawing and we have a distinct preference for the figurative arts. You probably won’t find your next piece of hyperminimalism at our gallery.

What is the best part and the most difficult part about being a gallerist?
Art as a commodity is a luxury which people allow themselves when things are doing well. That means that we are particularly vulnerable in economic downturns. We are extremely affected by the state of the market, as they say. This puts a huge pressure on our imagination and flexibility, because we cannot allow ourselves to rest on our laurels – the private art consumption is madly unstable, so we have to be one step ahead. So, the constant demand for creativity is at the same time the best and hardest part about being a gallerist. Then of course it is a gift in itself to be surrounded by beauty in one’s professional life.

How do you see your own role, as a gallery, on the Danish art scene?
We are among one of the leading galleries in Denmark. This is not only because of our artists, which includes some of the most well-known names in the Danish art scene, but also because of our physical surroundings, our art exhibition program, our tenacity and our overall level of ambition. We work hard and purposefully to disseminate knowledge of our artists, and we strive to make high-quality exhibitions in an inviting and conducive setting.

Armin Boehm: <em>Jongleurs des formes</em>. Part of the exhibition North that can be experienced at Hans Alf during Art Week. Press photo.
Armin Boehm: Jongleurs des formes. Part of the exhibition North that can be experienced at Hans Alf during Art Week. Press photo.

What is your goal for the future?
We have experienced quite a lot of growth in the past five to six years, and we’ll be honest and say that we’d like to grow more. But first and foremost, we would like to treat our artists well, take care of their careers and make sure they get into the right places. We would also like to form new collaborations – with both young and inexperienced artists and big, international names. And then we would obviously like to do excellent exhibitions and to introduce a lot of great art to the people – free of charge!

Can you reveal what one can experience at your gallery during Art Week from the 23rd – 25th of May?
On Friday the 24th of May, on what is called Gallery Day&Night, we will open the ‘North’ an exhibition by the German painter Armin Boehm. For us, it is quite a scoop that we have secured Armin. He is quite a big international name and has never previously done a solo exhibition in Scandinavia. We have collaborated with him for two years now and he likes our energy, he says. So, we will have to try and live up to that!

Gallery Portraits – six questions for the galleries
As in previous years, Art Week is focusing on the Copenhagen gallery scene with gallery-walks and the event Gallery Day&Night on the 24th of May. At this event several of the galleries in Denmark's capital are opening their doors to exciting exhibitions. In this context we are asking six questions to five of the galleries in order to get know who they are, what they want to exhibit at Art Week and what they are doing for the Copenhagen art scene.

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'Hans Alf Gallery is driven by a love for the arts and hard, creative work'