Poul Anker Bech

b. Taars 1942, d. 2009

Enigmatic Realism

The works of the North Jutland painter Poul Anker Bech stay with you for a long time after you have experienced his imaginative visual universe. In 1973 he completed an MA in History and Art History from Aarhus University, and for many years he worked as a high school teacher. It was only in 1988 that he quit his teaching job to become a full-time painter.

With his North Jutland humour and enigmatic realism, Poul Anker Bech created a thought-provoking, refreshing and original contribution to Danish art history. The works are based on a form of realism, where recognizable and lifelike elements populate the motifs. The surprising aspect of the art is that these elements are put together in unfamiliar contexts. Any interpretation will invariably fall short in explaining the works completely, and the viewer is both captivated and thrown into the deep end.

For Poul Anker Bech, life and art made sense if the focal point was memories of the past and expectations of the future. Therefore, his paintings contain several worlds all at once, where themes, different moments in time, geographical locations and moods intertwine in a kind of existential matrix of past, present and future.