Why Louisiana, the museum of modern art in Copenhagen, should be at the top of your list of things to do in the city
At times, walking around Louisiana, the museum of modern art in Copenhagen, is like walking around in the crazed concoction of a troubled and deluded artist. No matter where you look twisted shapes seem to form in the shadows, sculptures appear to melt and mould into something new before your eyes, paintings give the impression that they’re still dripping wet, drying only after you walk past them and look back.
Yet in the calming setting on the shore of the Øresund Sound with cold blue water on one side and a small green forest on the other, the perception of Louisiana completely changes. All of a sudden walking around this colourful and creative space is comforting, and moving from one exhibition to another is like going on your own magical journey. Colours are brighter, sounds are sharper, all your senses are heightened. If Louis Carrol did art museums, it’d probably look a lot like this.
Louisiana can be found in Humlebæk just 35kms north of Copenhagen, but once you get there it really does feel a lot further away, so much so you question whether you close to the capital at all.
Once you do arrive, the first thing that you see are a few sculptures seemingly scatted around with the ocean as a backdrop. With Louisiana being that close to the water you really couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting too.
Surprisingly, Louisiana first opened in 1958. I say surprisingly because in a city like Copenhagen where architecture and design is at the forefront of everything the museum still doesn’t look out of place today.
With over 3,000 works at the museum, there really is something for everyone here too, no matter your age.
The first section of Louisiana takes you through a modern interpretation of cubism before you come across a huge room with floor-to-ceiling windows that reveals the forest and the lake outside. The best thing about this place is you can even go outside for a little stroll around the lake.
Also outside hidden amongst the trees is a huge slide (you see, I told you there was something for everyone!) I’m not quite sure what the significance of the slide was, but like the rest of the museum it can’t fail to put a smile on your face.
There were a few sculptures and exhibitions that I really liked at Louisiana. Near to the cafe was this giant wooden pyramid where everybody was lazing about, and climbing to the top is well worth it just the for views alone.
Another exhibition I absolutely loved was by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. She loves using psychedelic colours which repeat and form a pattern, and at Louisiana her space is in a mirrored box with hundreds of bright lights inside which go on forever and ever and ever. Standing in the middle, I couldn’t help thinking I was just a tiny star in a galaxy full of stars around me. It really was an amazing use of space.
Today at Louisiana there are a number of unique galleries and collections, but it’s more than just a museum too. While walking around I saw couples on dates, groups outside sharing a picnic, families eating in the restaurant, all enjoying this space without thinking they were in a traditional “museum”.
It’s at this point that I should probably be more honest – I’m not the biggest fan of art and I doubt I could tell the difference between a Matisse and a Monet – yet I loved Louisiana, and that’s exactly my point. Louisiana has this rare ability to be a museum to some people and something else to others.
For me, I loved going on my own personal magical journey. This was my rabbit hole.
Tickets to Louisiana costs 115DKK (£12, $17) or free with the Copenhagen Card.
Have you been to Louisiana in Copenhagen? If so, what did you think of it? Were there any sculptures or exhibitions that really resonated with you? Let us know in the comment box below!