Mikael Andersen turns his gallery into a home in Copenhagen

Danish gallerist Mikael Andersen knows a few things about good curation. Topping the list? The element of surprise. ‘I like the idea of making people see a gallery space a little differently,’ he says. ‘An especially good time to do that is 3daysofdesign, a festival that’s about design rather than art. We’re getting a really different audience into the gallery, and we want to make sure we speak directly to them.’

Mikael Andersen turns his gallery into a home in Copenhagen

(Image credit: Stephan Thordal)

This sense of speaking to the design community is the driving force behind the latest exhibition, a collaboration between Danish design brand Karakter and Andersen, who brought in works by contemporary artist Tom Anholt and beloved mid-20th century Danish sculptor Sonja Ferlov Mancoba. He finished curating the space with pieces from Karakter’s portfolio: reissued lamps by 1970s Italian designer Angelo Mangiarotti, mid-century furniture by Danish architect Bodil Kjær, and contemporary creations by Dutch designer Aldo Bakker.

Mikael Andersen and Karaketer

(Image credit: Stephan Thordal)

‘I really wanted to create a space that feels like home,’ explains Andersen. ‘I made sure the design and art pieces were in conversation with one another in a way that felt comfortable. People can sit in these beautiful, classic design chairs, look at the art on the walls or the sculptures; that’s a really different feel to how they would usually experience a gallery.’

Mikael Andersen and Karaketer

(Image credit: Stephan Thordal)

Karakter, the Danish design brand with a wide-ranging brief that includes both heritage and contemporary works, presents the ideal marriage for Andersen’s vision. The word ‘character’ perfectly describes the red thread found throughout the brand’s array of products, from the sensuous curves and humour of Joe Colombo glassware to the sleek industrial lines of Anatomy Design’s steel lamps. These are pieces that speak to excellent taste that can be lived in; the curation of a home rather than a museum.

Mikael Andersen and Karaketer

(Image credit: Stephan Thordal)

Of special note in the space is contemporary German painter Tom Anholt’s exhibition, ‘Twins,’ which will continue to be on display at Galerie Mikael Andersen through August. Tom lost his twin, Maddy, in 2023, and these works are dedicated to her memory.

Mikael Andersen and Karaketer

(Image credit: Stephan Thordal)

The pairing of large and small images – which Anholt often creates in sequence, taking a small watercolour or sketch into a painting, is highlighted here, and even subverted, asking the viewer to question scale and participation. At the same time, the images themselves evoke both familiar, general vistas and personal, intimate memories. Here, the concept of ‘home’ is undulating, but still a salve. ‘I love to see my paintings in conversation with unexpected objects. I particularly loved the relationship with my paintings and [Danish designer] Bodil Kjær,’ says Anholt.

Mikael Andersen and Karaketer

(Image credit: Stephan Thordal)

Paired with Kjær’s elegant furniture, the tactile, African and pre-Columbian inspired sculptures of Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Anholt’s work, and Karakter’s design pieces all speak to a whole greater than the sum of its parts: a gallery that replicates the feeling of home, not necessarily in layout, but rather in all its emotions, textures, colours, and comforts.

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