The Artbarn


November 4, 2023 – February 9, 2024

ARNDT Collection, The Artbarn, Cape Schanck, Australia


Photos: Ashley Ludkin

The ARNDT Collection is delighted to announce the first solo presentation of sculptural works in Australia by internationally acclaimed Danish, Berlin-based artist Jeppe Hein in November 2023. This project will include an exhibition within the ARNDT Collection's The Artbarn Art Space, showcasing a selection of pieces from the artist’s key artwork series’ that include Hein’s coloured Mirrored Balloons and appellative neon texts glowing behind two-way mirrors. This survey of works will continue outside in the natural environment with a curation of large-scale outdoor sculptures from the artist's Modified Social Benches pieces staged throughout the ARNDT Collection's property in Cape Schanck, Australia.


Finding inspiration in the constant regeneration of perception, Jeppe Hein's work asks the viewer to become aware of the elemental processes that form sensory reality. Born from ideas in Eastern philosophy and sculpture's potential for profound spatial recombination, the works offer a world of experiential simultaneity. Hein is widely known for his production of experiential and interactive artworks that can be positioned at the junction where art, architecture, and technical inventions intersect. Unique in their formal simplicity and notable for their frequent use of humour, his pieces engage in a lively dialogue with the traditions of Minimalist sculpture and Conceptual art of the 1970s. The artist’s  works often feature surprising and captivating elements which place spectators at the centre of events and focus on their experience and perception of the surrounding space that promote positive interaction and a sense of playful engagement.


Working with social issues, Hein utilises his sculptures as “tools” to get in touch with the world and others and “uncover the social aspects of society”. His Modified Social Benches exemplify this approach. Unlike typical benches, they consist of elongated, tilting, winding, and rapidly rising or falling lines of seating. These benches of course offer a place to sit, rest and observe one’s surroundings. However, their playful nature also makes them communication instruments, allowing users to climb, slide, jump and explore, while sharing smiles and laughter with the people they encounter on them. The bench designs borrow their basic form from the ubiquitous park or garden bench seen everywhere but are altered to various degrees making the act of sitting on them a conscious physical endeavour. Due to their alterations, the benches end up somewhere between a dysfunctional object and a functional piece of furniture, and therefore demonstrate the contradiction between artwork and functional object.


As with much of Hein’s prolific oeuvre, the works within this exhibition have been conceived with a sincere intent: to spark joy, alter perceptions, open the viewer to new experiences, and create the conditions that foster moments of empathy and fellowship.