HCA NEWS Håkon Bleken to make this year's contribution to Andersen Annual Art

Ten world-renowned artists will create ten works inspired by the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen in honor of the writer's 200th birthday. This year's contribution to Andersen Annual Art - the graphic print of Håkon Bleken - will be unveiled on 2 April 2003.

By Annette Matthiesen - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 25 February 2003

Håkon Bleken's work will be unveiled at Odense Hall on the 198th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth on 2 April 2003. At the same time, Håkon Bleken will be exhibiting at Galleri M at Gyldensteen Castle on the island of Funen. The proprietor of Galleri M, Uffe Larsen, initiated the series of which Håkon Bleken's print will be a part and contacted the Trondheim artist to ask him to create this year's contribution to Andersen Annual Art.

It is the intent that a series of ten works will be ready for the jubilee year of 2005. To date, the series "Andersen Annual Art" has been underway for ten years. Since 1996, internationally recognized artists, including Günter Grass, Per Kirkeby and Corneille, have contributed works to the series, all taking their starting point in the words of Hans Christian Andersen. Håkon Bleken?s work "The Tinder Box" will thus become the seventh in the series of works.

World-renowned artists
In an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Adresseposten, Håkon Bleken says that he knew at once he wanted to create a picture for "The Tinder Box", when he received the offer to create a piece for Andersen Annual Art. He decided to take his starting point in a scene from the fairy tale that moved him deeply as a child - the scene in which the soldier is standing face to face with the terrifying guard dog. 

Håkon Bleken has exhibited works a number of times in Denmark.  However, it was his exhibition of charcoals at the Round Tower some years ago that proved decisive in his selection as the Norwegian artist for the series.

The original works are made in 250 numbered and signed copies.   Previous works in the series are "The Wild Swans" by Norwegian artist Lars Bo, "The Little Mermaid" by Danish artist Aka Høegh, German artist Zwy Milshein's "The Little Matchstick Girl," Per Kirkeby's "The Elfin Hill," Antonio Saura's "The Ugly Duckling," Corneille's "Thumbellina," Günter Grass' lithograph "The Princess and the Pea," and Eiler Madsen?s bronze sculpture "The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf." 
During the next two years leading to the writer's 200th birthday, new works for the series will be created by American artist Jim Dine and David Hockney from England.

See the gallery with Andersen Annual Art here!