0128 American Connections: The Early Works of Thomas Bang

  • Anne Ring Petersen (Author)
    Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen

    Anne Ring Petersen is Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen. She currently researches cross-cultural issues in contemporary art and culture, in particular the transformative impact of migration on the visual arts and cultural identity. She was the leader of the interdisciplinary research network, "Network for Migration and Culture" 2010 through 2014, and she has published widely on modern and contemporary art in books and journals such as Third Text, RIHA Journal and Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture. Recent publications include the co-edited anthology The Culture of Migration: Politics, Aesthetics and Histories (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2015) and a monograph on installation art, Installation Art between Image and Stage (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2015).

    More information on: http://artsandculturalstudies.ku.dk/staff/profile/?id=2961

Identifiers (Article)


The Danish artist Thomas Bang spent his early years in the USA. The works he created in this formative period were thus profoundly shaped by the contemporary movements in American art of the 1960s and 1970s when sculpture, or to be more precise, three-dimensional work became a hotbed of expansive experiments. This article traces how Bang made a radical move from painting to sculpture, which was characteristic of that time, and how he developed his artistic idiom by taking an active part in some of the seminal new departures in American art, in particular process art and post-minimalism. By leaping forward to Bang's later works produced after his return to Denmark, the article also demonstrates how the sculptural syntax and working principles developed in the early works still underlie and structure the artist's more allegorical sculptures and installations from the 2000s, thus testifying to the lasting impact of Bang's American period, which remains the key to understanding his works.


abstract painting, sculpture, installation art, post-minimalism, process art, American art, Danish art